Author Topic: London Spy: Ben Whishaw, dreamy lover/genius Ed Holcroft and sage Jim Broadbent  (Read 183331 times)

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline Aloysius J. Gleek

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Ben Whishaw
Is Bewitchingly Good


Booo!

 :laugh:


I know. More than a few reviews were entitled  'Bewitched' or 'Bewitchingly'--including The New Yorker--  

Journalists. Or, rather, 'hed' writers. Their typing fingers aren't attached to their brains, just a loop to the spinal column and back.


 ::)
"Tu doives entendre je t'aime."
(and you know who I am...)


Cowboy Curtis (Laurence Fishburne)
and Pee-wee in the 1990 episode
"Camping Out"

Offline Aloysius J. Gleek

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However--re Ben Whishaw as a witch--or witchy--

Here's him in a production last year in London, at the Almeida Theatre, called Bakkhai  (The Bacchae is the Greek tragedy written by Euripides)

I Wish I May, I Wish I Might have seen THIS--talk about an apparition!   :laugh:








‘The most perfect portrayal of androgny’: Ben Whishaw, left, with Bertie Carvel, ‘all casual confidence’ in
Bakkhai at the Almeida.
Photograph: Marc Brenner




On the one hand Ben Whishaw. Wandlike – or thyrsos-like – swaying in a wispy beard and ankle-skimming yellow dress. On the other hand, Bertie Carvel. Crisp in a Cameron-like suit, and white shirt, hands in pockets, his stance is all casual confidence, but his face is ready to pucker into warring zones of anxiety.

(....)

Whishaw is better than I have ever seen him: insinuating and dangerous. As Dionysus he delivers his baroque autobiography – “son of Zeus, born by a lightning bolt” – in a measured tone, as if he were a politician telling his constituency not to panic. Tugging a strand of his shoulder-length hair, he swivels his shoulder blades (forget cheekbones: these are the new indicator of delicious delinquency), and seems to be on the cusp of changing into something else. But what would that be? This is the most perfect portrayal of androgyny, helicoptering over all sexual horizons. He could indeed be the person who “set all Asia dancing”.



http://www.theguardian.com/stage/2015/aug/02/bakkhai-review-almeida-ben-whishaw-bertie-carvel


Woah!! Now that's witchy!
« Last Edit: April 03, 2016, 09:20:55 pm by Aloysius J. Gleek »
"Tu doives entendre je t'aime."
(and you know who I am...)


Cowboy Curtis (Laurence Fishburne)
and Pee-wee in the 1990 episode
"Camping Out"

Offline Aloysius J. Gleek

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Back to The Crucible:  HERE'S a review worth reading--by a fan, after seeing the first night of previews (she was obviously sitting in the first row, at the center of the stage--that night I was first row mezzanine, hard left) and she took PHOTOS (I am SO JEALOUS!)--obviously we could be great friends!   :laugh: :laugh:




• i’ll catch you one day you frail waif

simonwolfgard:
Ben Whishaw and Saoirse Ronan during curtain call, first preview night of The Crucible on Broadway

Notes from The Crucible on Broadway first preview night



• big jail-like set
• non-time-specific wardrobe
• beardy Whishaw
• ten feet away from me
• life complete; may now ascend to next dimension
• plenty of people with non-American accents giving it a good attempt
• simmering energy between Ben and Saoirse
• quite a bit of Ben overpowering people to walls or the ground actually
• and unnerving school girl witchery
• everyone’s a witch
• i’m telling you
• you’re a witch
• a communist witch
• think you’re not? bam proof that you’re the devil
• damning poppets
• Sophie Okonedo killing it
• the king beyond the wall was there, he’ll tell you
• plenty of lil’ Proctor kisses with the missus
• Ben wiping away a runny nose that kind of kept on running through act two
• a giant light fell lots of sparky sparks as everything was being devil possessed
• Ben SANG
• musical words
• out his beardy mouth
• much of cast left through stage door, but Saoirse was hurriedly ushered away
• and Ben snuck away through some other exit smh
• i’ll catch you one day you frail waif
• so all in all three hours well spent

1 MONTH AGO   333 notes
#ben whishaw  #saoirse ronan  #saoirseedit  
#the crucible  #broadway  #sorry to spam these tags  
#just in case people want to know about the show  
#about me  #theatre  





http://simonwolfgard.tumblr.com/post/140319417294/notes-from-the-crucible-on-broadway-first-preview

carol / 24 / nyc / book designer
rebuilding my blog after the great accidental account deletion of 2015. (almost) always
taking gif requests from my infinite fandoms. formerly markrollins and thornsandwolves.
check out my instagram for not-very-exciting glimpses of me.





FYI, just in case you hadn't known (I sort of didn't until light finally dawned)




• the king beyond the wall was there, he’ll tell you


is--


http://gameofthrones.wikia.com/wiki/King-Beyond-the-Wall

                                                 http://gameofthrones.wikia.com/wiki/Mance_Rayder



Ciarán Hinds (right) as Deputy Governor Danforth in this current production of The Crucible:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ciar%C3%A1n_Hinds


« Last Edit: April 03, 2016, 02:29:23 pm by Aloysius J. Gleek »
"Tu doives entendre je t'aime."
(and you know who I am...)


Cowboy Curtis (Laurence Fishburne)
and Pee-wee in the 1990 episode
"Camping Out"

Offline Aloysius J. Gleek

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   Hmmmmmm--


Ok, I just couldn't resist--now THAT'S 'bewitching'!!  :laugh: :laugh:
"Tu doives entendre je t'aime."
(and you know who I am...)


Cowboy Curtis (Laurence Fishburne)
and Pee-wee in the 1990 episode
"Camping Out"

Offline Aloysius J. Gleek

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THECRUCIBLEINTERVIEW_Ciarán Hinds_and_Jim Norton

http://www.theatermania.com/broadway/news/interview-ciaran-hinds-jim-norton-the-crucible_76251.html

The Fifth Time's a Charm for
The Crucible
Stars Ciarán Hinds and Jim Norton
After playing opposite Benedict Cumberbatch in Hamlet, these veteran
actors join Saoirse Ronan and Ben Whishaw in Arthur Miller's masterpiece.

by David Gordon
Mar 31, 2016



Ciarán Hinds and Jim Norton in Ivo van Hove's new Broadway revival of Arthur Miller's
The Crucible.
Photos by David Gordon





Among the New York stage regulars who populate Ivo van Hove's new Broadway revival of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible are a pair of boldfaced names who are becoming more and more synonymous with each other. They are the Irish actors Ciarán Hinds and Jim Norton who, with this production, mark the fifth time they've worked together.

In the past, they've acted in two plays and a film by Conor McPhersonThe Seafarer, The Night Alive, and The Eclipse — and, most recently, as Claudius and Polonius in a major West End revival of Hamlet starring Benedict Cumberbatch. In The Crucible, Hinds stars as Deputy Governor Danforth, whom he describes as having "a super belief in God and righteousness, but not a particularly bad human being," while Norton tackles the iconic role of Giles Corey, a "loose canon who seems to have escaped the conditioning process of the other characters."

According to Norton the secret to their partnership is "the fact that we take the work seriously, but we don't take ourselves very seriously." Hinds grins and agrees, "I think that's the way."





Ciarán Hinds (right) plays Deputy Governor Danforth opposite Ben Whishaw as John Proctor and
Tavi Gevinson as Mary Warren (center). (© Jan Versweyveld)




What was it that made you want to do The Crucible?

Jim Norton: Miller is fascinating. I've never been in one of his plays, although I've read all of his stuff and think it's amazing. It's a challenge and fun. And I love being in New York and working on Broadway. [turns to Ciarán] What's your excuse?

Ciarán Hinds: I think you brought me to see a show [directed by van Hove] when we were doing The Seafarer. It was a Molière. It was my first time seeing a play of [van Hove's]. He was going to war on Molière. There was food everywhere, there were cameras. It was Molière like I've never seen. It was very, very exciting. As we're finding in rehearsal, it's like no experience we've ever had. It's fascinating and bleak, [and we're] wondering where we're going to end up.



Much has been said about his rehearsal process, and how he likes actors to come in off-book on the first day. How did you find it?

Jim: It's different, but all directors are different. It's been very laid back and he gives the actors a great deal of freedom to offer him their performance. Then he decides what he wants and what he doesn't want.

Ciarán: He doesn't say very much until I think he feels the need to say something. I think he's looking for the human connection between people rather than the performance. He's looking for it in a real way, which could be difficult with the poetic lyricism Miller offers sometimes. It's a very interesting, engaging, scary process.

Jim: He's also interested to know what we're offering. There's a great sense of freedom in the rehearsal room.




Jim Norton (rear) takes on the role of Giles Corey. (© Jan Versweyveld)



He's famous for his stark stage concepts. Is this a Crucible without the trappings of 1600s Salem?

Ciarán: You know, why break the habit of a lifetime? [laughs] It's quite pure and sometimes it's quite empty. There's not a lot of furniture around, or if there is some, it's stashed in the corner.

Jim: Which puts a lot of attention on the performers in that space.

Ciarán: It's about absolutely listening to the language and not paying attention to the contours of geographical disposition. The way he works with Jan, his partner, who does the production design and the lighting and the [live] camerawork, it's almost like interior decorating, in a way, but with a theatrical bent. It's very interesting.



This is your fifth show together. Are you a package deal at this point?

Jim: We usually confer and say, "If you'll do it, I'll do it." We just did Hamlet, and that's what happened. They offered it to us, and we conferred, and said let's do it.




Jim Norton as Polonius and  Ciarán Hinds in Lyndsey Turner's Hamlet's 2015 production of  at London's
Barbican Centre.(© Johan Persson)



What was that Hamlet experience like? You were both working with Benedict Cumberbatch in that production.

Ciarán: That was a mighty adventure.

Jim: It was a huge event because of Benedict. There were maybe a thousand people every night at the stage door. People from all over the world, all over the planet, from Korea, Russia, the West Indies, Australia. A lot of very young people were coming to maybe see Hamlet for the first time, or even seeing a play for the first time.

Ciarán: It was hugely vibrant. And Benedict was magnificent. The pitch that he was getting to [by the end of the run]. To get stuff into your bones deeply takes a while, no matter how much work you do in rehearsal. Towards the end there, wasn't he thrilling?

Jim: Oh, he was wonderful.

Ciarán: And he was still going on an upward trajectory. You'd think, "Wow, if we were to start this again at the place you are now, God knows where you will be."



Your current cast is made up with a lot of New York stage regulars, you and Jason Butler Harner, and Thomas Jay Ryan, but it's also got a mix of star power with Saoirse Ronan and Ben Whishaw. Besides each other, how many of your colleagues did you already know?

Ciarán: I got to meet a lot of them for the first time.

Jim: I played Jason's father in Juno and The Paycock. Tom Ryan was in that.

Ciarán: [And] it's [Saoirse's] first theater job. She's an extreme talent and decided to do her first play and moved to New York. That's very exciting. And then Ben Whishaw, he's always done stage in between films.

Jim: For me, one of the other great things is that Philip Glass has written the music. And he's in the room writing the music. He's one of my heroes, and to get to work with him is terrific. He's great fun.

Ciarán: It's a lovely company of people to go to war with.




Jim Norton, Sean Mahon, Conleth Hill, David Morse, and Ciarán Hinds in the 2007 Broadway production
of Conor McPherson's The Seafarer. (© Joan Marcus)


"Tu doives entendre je t'aime."
(and you know who I am...)


Cowboy Curtis (Laurence Fishburne)
and Pee-wee in the 1990 episode
"Camping Out"

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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  • "He somebody you cowboy'd with?"
However--re Ben Whishaw as a witch--or witchy--

Here's him in a production last year in London, at the Almeida Theatre, called Bakkhai (The Bacchae is the Greek tragedy written by Euripides)

I Wish I May, I Wish I Might have seen THIS--talk about an apparition!   :laugh:








‘The most perfect portrayal of androgny’: Ben Whishaw, left, with Bertie Carvel, ‘all casual confidence’ in
Bakkhai at the Almeida.
Photograph: Marc Brenner




On the one hand Ben Whishaw. Wandlike – or thyrsos-like – swaying in a wispy beard and ankle-skimming yellow dress. On the other hand, Bertie Carvel. Crisp in a Cameron-like suit, and white shirt, hands in pockets, his stance is all casual confidence, but his face is ready to pucker into warring zones of anxiety.

(....)

Whishaw is better than I have ever seen him: insinuating and dangerous. As Dionysus he delivers his baroque autobiography – “son of Zeus, born by a lightning bolt” – in a measured tone, as if he were a politician telling his constituency not to panic. Tugging a strand of his shoulder-length hair, he swivels his shoulder blades (forget cheekbones: these are the new indicator of delicious delinquency), and seems to be on the cusp of changing into something else. But what would that be? This is the most perfect portrayal of androgyny, helicoptering over all sexual horizons. He could indeed be the person who “set all Asia dancing”.



http://www.theguardian.com/stage/2015/aug/02/bakkhai-review-almeida-ben-whishaw-bertie-carvel


Woah!! Now that's witchy!

Actually, in the photos where you can't see he's wearing a dress, I think he looks like Jesus.
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline Aloysius J. Gleek

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Actually, in the photos where you can't see he's wearing a dress, I think he looks like Jesus.



Sermon-on-the-Mount Whishaw?   :) ;D
"Tu doives entendre je t'aime."
(and you know who I am...)


Cowboy Curtis (Laurence Fishburne)
and Pee-wee in the 1990 episode
"Camping Out"

Offline Aloysius J. Gleek

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“I never really feel as if I know what I’m doing. I don’t feel any great sort of confidence in my ability,” he says. “But I’ve sort of reached the point where I think it’s OK. It’s OK not to know.”




http://www.theguardian.com/stage/2016/apr/03/ben-whishaw-damaged-sexuality-privacy-troubled-heroes-broadway-crucible-interview

Stage
The G2 interview


'I'm not damaged'
Ben Whishaw
on sexuality, privacy and
playing troubled heroes

With his troubled air and tousled hair, the actor has made his name
with anguished characters – from Hamlet to Danny in London Spy.
Now on Broadway in The Crucible, he talks about coming out and
why actors need to keep their private lives mysterious.


By Alexis Soloski
Sunday 3 April 2016 09.00 EDT



Ben Wishaw in The Crucible, with Sophie Okonedo: ‘I don’t have a sense of parts as hurdles that you must jump
over in some Olympic event.’
Photograph: Jan Versweyveld




“I’m not damaged,” says Ben Whishaw. “Not more than anybody else.”

Whishaw is resting in his dressing room at the Walter Kerr theatre on Broadway; it is a few hours before the evening’s performance of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, directed by the brainy Belgian artist Ivo van Hove. Starring opposite Sophie Okonedo as his wife and Saoirse Ronan as his former mistress, Whishaw plays the anguished hero John Proctor, a just though morally compromised man, ensnared by the witch trials in colonial Salem.

Anguished heroes are what Whishaw does best. He played Hamlet at 23, months after graduating from Rada, in a career-defining performance that the Telegraph described as “the kind of evening of which legends are made”. Now 35, he has made a speciality of the damaged, the doomed, the beautiful and damned: from Sebastian Flyte of Brideshead Revisited  to John Keats of Bright Star to Danny Holt of the recent London Spy and now John Proctor, too. (Q, the geek-chic genius of the James Bond franchise, is a “happy and fun” departure. So, it seems, is Paddington Bear.) And, much as he might like to deny it, they are what he is drawn to.

“It’s weird, isn’t it?” Whishaw says. “Because I don’t see myself that way and I’m not that way. But I agree that obviously I’ve played a lot of people like that. I don’t know why it’s come about to be like that.” Interviews have often described Whishaw as sharing the qualities he projects on screen and on stage – a vulnerability, an unworldliness, a not-quite-human mingling of limpid eyes and tousled hair and innocence, as though some tremulous fawn or wood sprite had somehow carved out a successful acting career.





‘A happy and fun departure’ … As Q in Skyfall. Photograph: Allstar/Sony Pictures



Despite what his fansites might suggest, Whishaw is no forest creature, at least not this afternoon. He is shy, which he readily admits, and has a tendency to look off and away while chatting. But he is also gracious and friendly, offering wheels of strawberry liquorice and laughing often (a cheeky little “heh heh” sound). Throughout, he eats oranges and sucks on lozenges and sips herbal tea, in an effort to protect his throat. (Van Hove’s production requires plenty of yelling.) He has grown a shaggy beard for the role, and he is wearing clothes a modish Hamlet might approve of – an inky blazer and sweater, loose charcoal trousers – yet that is pretty much where any resemblance to the Dane ends.

Still, he is the actor directors call upon when they need someone to project an awesome emotional volatility and candour. Even when his face is seemingly at rest, you can see the thoughts and feelings flickering and flaring just under the surface. Trevor Nunn, who directed his Hamlet, remarked on his “extraordinary sensitivity – sort of one skin less than most people around him”. It is fitting that he has played Keats because in his work he strives toward what Keats called “negative capability”, a comfort with human mystery and uncertainty.

His dressing room, where he spends most of his time when he’s not at home in the West Village, is cramped and featureless, but he has cheered it up with a pink hyacinth atop the air conditioner; photos of his husband, the composer Mark Bradshaw, and his family; and a volume of Emily Dickinson poems to help put him in the Puritan mindset. There is a bright purple yoga mat, though little space to unroll it, and a large chunk of smoky quartz, which has a nicely witchy look to it and which Whishaw sometimes clasps. “It’s my rock,” he says. “I just have it around.”

The Crucible marks Whishaw’s Broadway debut, but it isn’t his first crack at the play or at the part of Proctor. He played the role in secondary school, at the same time that he began working with a youth theatre troupe near his Bedfordshire home. His father had brought him to the group, perhaps as a way of counteracting Whishaw’s introversion, which it didn’t exactly cure.





As Danny in London Spy. Photograph: Joss Barratt/BBC/WTTV Limited



Until then, he hadn’t had much exposure to the theatre. His mother sold cosmetics, his father worked in IT, his non-identical twin doesn’t seem to have shared his interest in the arts. But he took to it immediately. “It was like an addiction,” he said. “I couldn’t wait to be back there.” The troupe, an early and profound influence, didn’t go in for light fare. They adapted a Primo Levi novel; they did Hamlet, in which Whishaw starred at 16.

Whishaw doesn’t remember much about that earlier Crucible. “I’m not sure what I must have understood at the time, really,” he says. But he recalls finding it “powerful even then. I do think actually it’s a good play for teenagers. It is somehow accessible.”

He wasn’t necessarily interested in revisiting it. When he was sent the script, he thought: “Oh, The Crucible, has it not been done a lot?” (It has.) But he read it again, and decided that if a production could correct “some of the things that are problematic or old-fashioned and attempt to restore it or to rediscover the power it must have had when he wrote it in 1953, it could be really amazing”. When Van Hove signed on as director, Whishaw, who had recently seen his astonishing production of Miller’s A View from the Bridge, signed on too.

He finds resonance in the play, in this production particularly, with its suggestion that a version of hysteria could rear up anywhere, at any moment. Petty resentments can still birth great crises; catastrophes can arise when the private and the social aren’t allowed their separate spheres. “The vengefulness in the play, the vengeance that is at work, is something I very much feel in the world at the moment,” he says.

He thought of the play while reading about recent terrorist attacks, noting how individuals still use the veneer of religion to unleash incredible violence. “With the attacks that happened in Brussels, it’s like, what is a God that can sanction these barbaric things?” He feels some of Proctor’s confusion when he encounters such stories. “Everything is switched upside down, turned topsy-turvy,” he says. “Bad is become good. Good is become bad. What do any of these things mean?” (In fairness, this sounds a little like Hamlet, too, his insistence that: “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”)





As Sebastian Flyte in Brideshead Revisited. Photograph: Allstar/BBC Films/Sportsphoto Ltd



Before each performance of The Crucible, he says, he simply tries to step out “and have a go and hope for the best. That’s really what I do.” (And the best is usually what he gives. As his costar Ronan recently told the New York Times: “I’m a bit in awe of how brilliant he is, I really am.”) For an actor as obviously skilled as Whishaw, a statement like this seems almost perverse. But there is no sign that he means it facetiously or with deliberate self-deprecation.

This unknowing might make other actors anxious. But Whishaw is nervous in his life, not in his art. “I am shy,” Whishaw says. “I accept that.” You can hear that in his naughty, nervous laugh, and see it in his sometimes reluctance to maintain eye contact.

But this natural timidity disappears the minute he steps on stage. “I don’t really even feel nerves,” he says. “I don’t have any shyness or any inhibition and never have when I’m acting. It all falls away. I feel quite extrovert when I’m in that place. It’s funny, isn’t it?”

This is not to say that this role and this production haven’t challenged him. Van Hove, he says, “doesn’t explain himself”. His actors learn by trial and error, by experiment and exploration. The hardest thing for Whishaw to grasp, though in some ways the most liberating, is Van Hove’s unconcern with what Whishaw calls “the psychological, naturalistic stuff”.

“I’ve never really worked with a director who is less interested in that,” he says. Van Hove wanted the work to feel real, to feel immediate, to feel emotionally urgent, but not stagey. “He’s, like, take out all of the psychological pauses,” says Whishaw.

If this is a fresh approach for Whishaw, that shouldn’t suggest that he has ever really found a consistent practice or a way to articulate his work as an actor, nor does he want to. “I never really feel as if I know what I’m doing. I don’t feel any great sort of confidence in my ability,” he says. “But I’ve sort of reached the point where I think it’s OK. It’s OK not to know.”





As Freddie Lyon in The Hour. Photograph: Joe Martin/BBC/Kudos



This doesn’t mean, however, that he has reconciled himself to every aspect of the business. At the beginning of his career, he preferred not to discuss his personal life in interviews at all. “And that just made it worse,” he says. “Because then people assume you’ve got some really juicy, awful thing that you’re keeping from them.” After an intrusive journalist exposed his civil partnership with Bradshaw, he was forced to speak more openly, and he found this something of a relief. “Because now people aren’t that interested, because now there’s nothing being concealed,” he says.

So far, there don’t seem to have been consequences for his career, such as the limits that openly gay actors such as Rupert Everett have complained of. Whishaw gives stirring performances in straight roles (The Crucible, The Hour) and in gay ones, too, such as London Spy. He is capable of androgynous parts, such as his portrayal of the god Dionysus in Bakkhai, and of those in which his love object is androgynous, as in The Danish Girl.

He tries not to think about how others might consider him or perceive his sexuality. “If you don’t let it be a weight upon you, it won’t manifest as one in your life,” he says. “I just try to give it little space in my brain. It’s not interesting to me.”





As Hamlet, with Imogen Stubbs as Gertrude. Photograph: Tristram Kenton for the Guardian



Yet he would prefer to maintain more privacy, and believes that knowing too much about an actor’s life does no favours to his or her work. “It’s completely shooting yourself in the foot,” he says. “It’s not helpful.” When he goes to see a play or a film: “I don’t want to watch the thing with a cloud of what I’ve read about people in the way. I want to get immersed in the thing. Don’t you? Wouldn’t anybody?”

And he doesn’t like to think that the roles he has played previously – all those serious, suffering, lost young men – might delimit his career as it progresses. He has little interest in repeating roles – not those he has played as an adult, anyway. Not even Hamlet. “I don’t feel any need to go back and re-examine it,” he says. “Which is not to say that I felt like I did a good job or got anywhere near the bottom of it, because I don’t feel that, but I would never want to return to anything I’ve done.”

He is not even especially eager to return to Shakespeare. “I don’t really think that way,” he says. “I don’t have a sense of parts as hurdles that you must jump over in some Olympic event. I don’t have that thing at all.” He would rather be sent a new play – or at least a play new to him; something fresh, something different, something that stretches him, such as Bakkhai, or the revival of Jez Butterworth’s Mojo, in which he appeared as a psychotic gangster.

Would he consider something even more atypical – a light romantic comedy, say, or some harmless bit of fantasy – something bare of anguish, of torment? Probably not.

“I wonder if I’d find it that interesting,” he says. “I think I’d always need something that has a bit of, not necessarily suffering, but some resonance or that has a bigger pull. I don’t know. Something. Otherwise I think I’d be bored.”


"Tu doives entendre je t'aime."
(and you know who I am...)


Cowboy Curtis (Laurence Fishburne)
and Pee-wee in the 1990 episode
"Camping Out"

Offline Aloysius J. Gleek

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This is a faithful and compelling piece of work, sinister, claustrophobic, and frighteningly real. The McCarthyism that Miller filleted by using the Salem witch trials as a lens, inevitably leads us to contemporary rhetoric and paranoia based on ignorance and hate. The Trump Tower is only eight blocks north, after all.




http://www.irishtimes.com/culture/stage/saoirse-ronan-makes-a-malevolent-jump-from-screen-to-stage-in-the-crucible-1.2597614


Stage Reviews
Saoirse Ronan
makes a malevolent jump from screen to stage in
The Crucible
Ronan’s theatre debut is with
Ciarán Hinds and Ben Whishaw
in a formidable production
directed by Ivo van Hove


By Una Mullally
Monday 4 April 2016



Clockwise from left: Ciarán Hinds, Elizabeth Teeter, Ashlei Sharpe-Chestnut, Erin Wilhelmi and
Saoirse Ronan (foreground) in The Crucible at the Walter Kerr Theatre in New York

Photograph: Sara Krulwich/The New York Times



Walter Kerr Theatre, New York

****

Broadway took Ivo van Hove into its glittering heart for his production of A View From The Bridge, so returning to Arthur Miller feels like it should be a sure thing. It is. We are in Salem, and with potential witchcraft afoot, the play [The Crucible] opens with an unconscious child and accusations of summoning spirits and dancing in the woods ping-ponging around a paranoid town, where, as throughout the 20th century and now in a politically bizarre time, the answer to questions no one asked is fascism.

The cast almost trips over itself with talent. There’s Ben Whishaw’s wonderful John Proctor, vulnerable and willowy, a Snowden among the censors. Jim Norton plays his Giles Corey as naive with goodness. The prodigious Tavi Gevinson is excellent as Mary Warren. Jason Butler Harner presents a Rev Samuel Paris of two haves: the first with the bolshy arrogance of clergy; the second snivelling and disempowered. Sophie Okonedo is loaded with feeling as a resilient Elizabeth Proctor. Bill Camp is brilliant, conflicted and complex as Rev John Hale. Perhaps best of all is Ciarán Hinds, magnificent as the unwavering Thomas Danforth, utterly convinced of his own warped, yet commanding, righteousness.

But it’s Saoirse Ronan who monopolises the production’s marketing. Fresh off all the red carpets that matter, being part of a van Hove production of a Miller play in a cast of this strength should solidify her as both a smart and sparkling actor. With Ronan, it’s all in the eyes. She possesses a remarkable power to convey so much in the flick of a glance, something that is devastating on screen and utterly malevolent here. How can such micro expressions be simultaneously subtle yet plundering? Ronan moves around the stage like a chess piece. There’s a coldness to her performance that chimes with the character’s manipulating streak, but that also creates an Abigail that is ever so clipped.

Van Hove pairs stars with starkness. A minimal, brightly lit set occasionally bows to blockbuster flourishes: scrawls on a prominent chalkboard come alive with sinister projections; wind howls; lights crash. Philip Glass’s original score prowls underneath everything, a constant bed of tension and unease. This is a faithful and compelling piece of work, sinister, claustrophobic, and frighteningly real. The McCarthyism that Miller filleted by using the Salem witch trials as a lens, inevitably leads us to contemporary rhetoric and paranoia based on ignorance and hate. The Trump Tower is only eight blocks north, after all.

Until July 17th
"Tu doives entendre je t'aime."
(and you know who I am...)


Cowboy Curtis (Laurence Fishburne)
and Pee-wee in the 1990 episode
"Camping Out"