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Richard Armitage to head cast of The Crucible at The Old Vic

Story by Jack Foley

RICHARD Armitage, star of The Hobbit films and Spooks, is to lead the cast of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible at The Old Vic this summer.

He will play the role of John Proctor in Yaёl Farber’s new production, which also stars Anna Madeley and Samantha Colley as Elizabeth Proctor and Abigail Williams.

Sarah Niles, Rebecca Saire and Zara White will also appear in the play, with further casting to be announced shortly. Previews begin from Tuesday, June 24, 2014.

Described as a visceral re-imagining of Arthur Miller’s modern American masterpiece, the play follows the Salem witch trials and draw parallels with the author’s own experience of McCarthy’s anti-Communist investigations in the 1950’s.

The Crucible tells the story of one man’s fight to save his identity in a repressive Puritan community where intolerance collides with lust and superstition, fuelling widespread hysteria with tragic results.

The Crucible is the third play in a new season of productions which are presented in-theround at The Old Vic. Reprising the transformation of The Old Vic’s auditorium into the round, first seen for the award-winning 2008 production of The Norman Conquests, this ambitious project is once more made possible by the generous support of CQS.

Armitage will shortly be seen on cinema screens in tornado disaster film Into The Storm, directed by Steven Quale, in which he stars opposite Sarah Wayne Callies.

Later this year he will reprise his starring role of Thorin Oakenshield, leader of the Dwarves, in Peter Jackson’s last instalment of the highly successful Hobbit trilogy alongside Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Andy Serkis and Cate Blanchett.

He is also well known to cinema audiences for playing villain Heinz Kruger in Captain America: The First Avenger as well as TV roles in Spooks, Robin Hood, Strike Back, The Vicar of Dibley and the BBC’s Macbeth opposite James McAvoy and Keeley Hawes.

A respected theatre actor, his previous stage work includes The Duchess of Malfi and Macbeth for the Royal Shakespeare Company and Hamlet at the Birmingham Rep.

Samantha Colley is to graduate from The Oxford School of Drama in 2014. Whilst training, she played the title role in Anna Karenina, Katherina in The Taming of the Shrew and Elizabeth Bennett in Pride and Prejudice. The Crucible is to be Samantha’s professional stage debut.

Anna Madeley’s previous stage credits include Richard Eyre’s Broadway production of Private Lives (Music Box Theater), Earthquakes in London (National), The Turn of the Screw (Almeida) and The Philanthropist (Donmar and Broadway). She has also appeared in three seasons with the Royal Shakespeare Company.

On film she has starred in In Bruges, Guest House Paradiso and A Fantastic Fear of Everything. Most recently, she played Miss Ravillious in Mr Selfridge and has had roles in Utopia, Hustle and the controversial Channel 4 drama, Consent.

Yaël Farber is a multiple award-winning director and playwright of international acclaim. Her productions have toured the world extensively – earning her a reputation for hard-hitting, controversial works of the highest artistic standard.

Her most recent work Nirbhaya (directed and written by Farber in India) earned rave reviews and three international awards at the 2013 Edinburgh Festival and has just completed a sold out run at The Southbank Centre. Mies Julie (written and directed by Farber) won a string of international awards at the 2012 Edinburgh Festival, was named one of the Top Ten Productions of 2012 by The New York Times, and Top five Productions of 2012 by The Guardian.

Yaël is the recipient of four Best Director Awards (1991, 2002, 2008, 2012) in her native South Africa, where she was named Artist of the Year (2003). She has won the Scotsman Fringe First Award (Edinburgh 2000, 2012, 2013), The Sony Gold Award (London 2001), Best of Edinburgh Award (Edinburgh 2012) and The Amnesty Freedom of Expression Award 2013.

She has been nominated for a Drama Desk Award (New York, 2007) and a TMA Best Director Award (UK 2008). Her productions have toured across the major cities of the USA, the UK (including the West End and the Barbican), Canada, Australia, Japan, Europe and Africa, The United Arab Emirates and Bermuda.

She created a work in residence at The Joseph Papp Public Theatre, and was Head of the Directing Program at the National Theatre School of Canada for three years (2009 – 2012).

Arthur Miller (1915-2005) needs little introduction. His plays include The Man Who Had All the Luck (1944), All My Sons (1947), Death of a Salesman (1949), The Crucible (1953), A View from the Bridge and A Memory of Two Mondays.

He was awarded the Avery Hopwood Award for Playwriting at University of Michigan in 1936. He twice won the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award, received two Emmy awards and three Tony Awards for his plays, as well as a Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement.

He also won an Obie award, a BBC Best Play Award, the George Foster Peabody Award, a Gold Medal for Drama from the National Institute of Arts and Letters, the Literary Lion Award from the New York Public Library, the John F. Kennedy Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Algur Meadows Award.

Box office: 0844 871 7628 | oldvictheatre.com
The Old Vic, The Cut, London SE1 8NB
From Tues, June 24 – Sat, Sept 13
Preview pricing: Tues, June 24 – Tues, July 8
Mon–Sat 7.30pm; Wed & Sat 2.30pm
[Please note there are no matinee performances on Wed, June 25 & Wed, July 9].
Tickets: £10, £16, £21, £30, £45, £55