First Impressions- The Crucible On Screen with Hubby

THE CRUCIBLE

Richard Armitage as John Proctor. How I’ve missed this character.

Despite yesterday’s exhilarating announcement that Digital Theatre would be making The Crucible available for worldwide download in little over a week, my PreoccupationWithArmitage did not allow me to sensibly cancel today’s afternoon date plans with Hubby. No, the Hubby had dutifully made the effort to troubleshoot the streaming of the Digital Theatre Plus academic/educational opportunity available to us through his faculty status at the college, and we had childcare arrangements in place long before. I did offer him an “out” when he enquired about the remarkable nature of my deviation from the normal morning routine yesterday, as I’d leapt out of bed like a kid on Christmas and happy-danced my way across the bedroom… I did not conceal the source of my joy, no, I did not. To his credit, he knows me well enough to have proceeded to make his arrangements yesterday at the college, projecting that the announcement would dim my enthusiasm for the planned classroom date not at all! (Love him!!)

classroomdate

Hubby getting us set up in the classroom. =)

So this afternoon, we took ourselves off to the classroom, and we watched together. I gave him a bit of background on my experience of the live production, mentioning the aspects that I predicted could not be experienced in the DT film, such as the incense, the ominous low reverberations of sound, the way that the theatre had been draped to conceal the ornate décor… but I didn’t give him my impressions of the characters, the theme, or the actors. Obviously he knew I was heavily invested in the program, but I left it at that. Being a bass player, Hubby was naturally most interested in my description of the low-end sound resonance, postulating that the notes may have been, in bass player’s parlance, somewhere in the 30 Hz, low B (bodyshaker) frequency. Trust an engineering prof to be concerned with these details! Lol

SD3

Inserted simply because it’s gorgeous. I took the pic on the right at the stage door, and I’m rather attached to it.

I’d seen it three times in London, and I have to say, I thought the screen version was extraordinarily well-done. I can’t say that I had exactly the same level of exhilaration while watching it onscreen that I experienced when I was just a few feet from the action, in the presence of the most charismatic performer I’ve ever had the pleasure of observing, but I did feel the same level of awe at the performances by the entire ensemble, and felt the same physiological reactions (goosebumps, chills, tachycardia, light-headedness, and tears) at various points in the performance, which says a lot. It was powerful, and just as devastating as I’d remembered. My initial impressions remained the same, with the stand-outs in the cast of characters (aside from John Proctor) being the roles of Rebecca Nurse, Reverend Hale, Abigail Williams, Mary Warren, and Elizabeth Proctor. I guess I’m still processing it, and may have more to say after a few more viewings.

greekRA

Yeah, I can see where Hubby is coming from. In that Act 4 costume, and given the intensity on his face, I could see the a bit of the Greek tragic hero, as well…

As for Hubby, he didn’t have a lot to add. He said he thought it was really good. He especially complimented Natalie Gavin’s performance as Mary Warren, loving how her eyes would bulge and her face would turn red. At one point, in Act 4, as John Proctor gives Elizabeth his fierce stare, and tells her to “Give them no tear! Tears pleasure them!” Hubby commented that he thought Richard Armitage would make a good Greek. (This is in reference to the speculation that Armitage might collaborate with Yael in some sort of Greek Tragedy in the future, which I’ve floated past him before!) This was the only time during the entire viewing that he made a comment. Afterward, he said he enjoyed it, went so far as to recommend it to a colleague as we exited the building, and thanked me for spending the afternoon with him! He thought the entire ensemble was strong, reassured me that he was never bored, that he thought it was powerful, and I noticed he was pensive afterward. After a quiet few miles on the drive home, we did discuss the context in which the play was written by Miller, the House Un-American Activities Committee, and how that kind of absolute authority paired with general paranoia and hysteria was deeply disturbing. It turns out that Hubby hadn’t really known where the play was going. He didn’t remember if he’d ever been required to read it, and said that if so, it hadn’t made much of an impression on him. When I asked if it had made an impression on him now, he said, “Oh yeah.”

posterboys

My idea of a perfect afternoon…

I can’t wait to read the impressions of the many who will see it for the first time in the weeks to come. I loved it. I was entirely immersed, once again. What a way to spend the afternoon… my favorite actor for over three hours, with my favorite person. I’m deeply content tonight.

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16 comments

  1. Tessa · March 7, 2015

    I am eagerly awaiting the 17th of March to download The Crucible….I wait with bated breath…

    Like

    • jholland · March 7, 2015

      They did it justice! I can’t expressed how relieved I am about that, on behalf of those who weren’t able to see it. It was just as wonderful as I remembered.

      Liked by 1 person

      • June · March 7, 2015

        I’m hoping for the same remembrance. Glad you had a good time. 🙂

        Like

        • jholland · March 8, 2015

          Yes, it was a lovely afternoon. I’m so glad that the download is almost here. Otherwise I know I’d be back at the college next weekend and maybe every weekend for quite some time. One taste of it was not enough. True in London, and true at home. =)

          Like

  2. linnetmoss · March 8, 2015

    He would make a fantastic Greek! I can see him as Odysseus, Orestes, Menelaus, and a few years down the road, Agamemnon. Your Hubby is a gem. He reminds me of my own Long Suffering One 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • jholland · March 8, 2015

      I’ll take your word for it… woefully un-familiar with the Greeks. LOL. And yes, Hubby is a gem. It made me so happy to share it with him, and especially when he genuinely liked it. Not just being polite to his obsessed wife! =)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hariclea · March 8, 2015

    i loved reading your thoughts 🙂 And am happy you feel they have done it justice, i felt exactly the same after i saw it and am even happier for it in light of so many people you will now finally get to see it. The physical presence element may be something that just can’t be replicated but i think it is a sign of how well it is done that the emotional impact is very much the same or very very close to what we experienced in the theatre.

    Your hubby’s reactions is very much like many i saw around me 🙂 It seemed to always make people silent, pensative, i think emotional in many ways that are not easy to express openly.
    How nice you were finally able to enjoy it together 🙂
    And yes, every time i think about it it is still awe-inspiring 🙂 I don’t think that reaction will ever wear off in time 🙂

    Like

    • jholland · March 8, 2015

      Yes… as always, after watching it, I felt like I’d been put through the emotional ringer, hence the need for a glass of wine. Yet, at the same time, it was so wonderful to actually see it again, after months of making do with memories and reading others’ impressions… it was just amazing. I do hope that any future theatre work in RA’s career will be captured by DT.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Servetus · March 8, 2015

    Forget Richard Armitage, I think I love your husband. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  5. suzy · March 8, 2015

    What a wonderful husband!!! And I love your two double-pictures, 😉

    Like

    • jholland · March 8, 2015

      Yes, they’re a couple of my favorite pictures, too. Hubby is a keeper. I’m relieved he enjoyed it. He even said he’d stick around and watch it again when I invite Mom over for a viewing 2 weeks from now. =)

      Like

      • Perry · March 11, 2015

        Thanks for this. Can’t wait until next week. Fingers crossed all sorts of tech issues will be easy to work. ( They have been, with DT, in the past).

        Like

        • jholland · March 11, 2015

          I can’t wait to hear your impressions. Planning to troubleshoot at home this weekend. Download the app on the new smart TV and then maybe see what DT has in the way of David Tennant and give it a try. (Been a bit preoccupied with Tennant lately!)

          Like

        • Perry · March 11, 2015

          Much Ado about Nothing with David Tennant. Amusing and fun.

          Like

        • jholland · March 11, 2015

          Thank you! I’ll plan on that, then!

          Like

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