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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Crucible Sketchings

"All is left is my name!! We will burn together!! I will rip your sketch!!"
Wednesday 23 July 2014 eve I went to see The Crucible play at the Old Vic.
The audience was very diverse. Gushing women were not the majority!
It was a crowd every theatre owner would have liked to see.
My preparations were appalling. Following the daily aftertweets, finding that Arthur Miller interview "it will all happen again" re. the 'fingerpointing' and me skimming John Proctor bits in the play. Decided not to read the whole text. Then lured in British media the sentiment of celebrities turning to be perverts as in: 'Can we put celebrities on a pedestal anymore?', Richard mentioning in interview that age of girl has been raised and age of JP been lowered in play. Me again wondering if fangirling was wise in the first place and whether I should spent money seeing a play abroad.
Then in Dutch media was shocking news of a plane crash with nearly 200 Dutch people dead, which swept my closely knitted nation of 17 million people (just as many as inhabitants of NYC) into mourning, anger and disbelief for the impossibility to get access to the crash site and removal of the bodies. Politicians, even worldwide, started fingerpointing to whoever was responsible for the mis*sile. The question 'Who was responsible for sending a civil aircraft across a warzone in the first place?' was not asked. It affected my anticipation of going and finding my flight rather tricky, not rationally, but from the heart. Decided to defy that sentiment and rejoice in my unique chance to see Richard in this play.
Then found myself in a gloomy theatre, with burned walls and dusty cloths hanging over the balconies, mulling in severe damps of steaming herbs and aluminium foil 'ashes' with 'a silence rising around me, an impeding and invisible wash of dulled vibrations between us, like a endless moaning musical note through which we could not hear or speak anymore, it was sadness, purely mournful, deadening'. I welled up during curtain changes of my associations with that plane crash site and was in survival mode during the play, because I did jump in a plane after all.
Then there was this burden that thousands of you could not be here with me. Therefore I wanted to keep the memory alive of this acting party Old Vic throwed with a skilled cast and crew.
Here's to sketching.
I had a shamefully good seat G13, Stalls, middle aisle, second row!!
I should add here sketch of his piercing, disapproving stare into the audience, at my height and place!
(I stared back! Might have unsettled him. Sorry, wasn't helping ye).
That was the opening scene with all the chairs.
Proctor Listening
It started with Richard standing near the front row, on the left of me, within 3 metres.
His face blocked by his upright collar. I rather see his face so I can hear him better.
He wore a dark coat and thin clothed trousers.
Proctor is listening to male villagers (Parris, Giles?).
Proud Proctor
Richard walked towards the steps and stopped within two metres of me, towering over.
He has hammer toes (sorry Richard, I wore open sandals with my Angeline Lilly feet).
Now that we are acquainted, we better carry on...
The Wash
Proctor came home with a ri*fle, which was not bended for safety (that worried me).
His wife had already filled this undeep, grey basin with water - which was on the floor (not table).
Richard sighed (hope it wasn't: here we go again), sank onto his knees,
crossed his arms and pulled his dark blue/gray shirt over his head (dramatic),
then ducked like a dog to his drinking bowl. He washed his face with his hands,
his underarms in alignment with the floor.
Then came upwards and turned his chest away to his left side.
His bum was sticking out and later he repeated this 'bum-up' at the other side of the floor.
So I had a good view up his bum (was that necessary?)
This Wash happened within 3-4 metres of me. :)
The Whip
OMG! Richard and a whip! This happened so fast, it must be an anger outburst.
Proctor is angry at his maid Mary Warren. He took the whip from behind one of the colons seen left.
I think he was slamming his fists on the table.
Running Whipper
Then Proctor runs around the table and lashes the whip three times, while shouting!
Richard has enormous long legs and big feet and takes gigantic steps like
John Cleese, so I found it funny, but also impressing! (phew!)
Handcuffed Proctor
My Mum made this sketch, to show that costumes weren't that soberly designed.
The End Kiss
After the trial, Proctor gives Elizabeth one final kiss.
A very long kiss, prolonged with grief and passion, which I could see in Richard's back.
The two kissers did a full turn, by making tiny steps in the round.
Audience members all around had a good view!
Even Hawthorpe(?) stepped aside!
(Makes me think they do read comments in tweets and reviews).
I haven't read The Crucible yet, because I wanted to upload these sketches first. I fear reading the play will trigger more images (which I will have to draw possibly).

Oh, and, ...
Despite my fangirly remarks, I found the acting truely worthwile to travel abroad!

I would love to see this play back on DVD!


Phylly3 said...

Thanks for including your sketches and the extra details of the play. Now I am wondering if Anna Madeley is quite tall- as Richard doesn't seem to be stooping to kiss her? (I really need to picture this scene!!)

Violet said...

He is taller and bends his back. He stands more away from here. It was touching to watch.

Guylty said...

Found my way here thanks to Serv's post. And how beautiful. A truly unique take on the play, and a review that is very special. I love your idea (especially as I couldn't even draw a straight line). The drawing of the kiss is fantastic. I'd frame it and hang it on the wall. (And I haven't even seen the real thing *ggg*)
PS - I feel for you and your country re. the plane tragedy. Bad enough as it is, but the uncooperativeness of the local militia is just scandalous.

Violet said...

@Guylty, That is the best compliment I've had on my blog. Thank you so much! I can also do painting.

Yes, it was constantly in the news, extensively in my country. I am sensitive, so I stayed away from these images and was grateful to be distraced by beautiful London.

Violet said...

Stayed away as much as I could, not seeking Pictures on social media.

I meant distracted.

Anonymous said...

I'm also from the Netherlands and saw the Crucible 3 days after you, a little bit further away from the stage. Still, it was quite amazing.
Thank you for your review.

bccmee said...

This is a very compelling review. Wonderful sketches by you and your mom. Fascinating. I really feel like I experienced the live play with you.

Violet said...

Thank you Anonymous and Bccmee for your kind comments!