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Anna Mackmin's Sheffield Theatres (2004) production of The Crucible

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Anna Mackmin's Sheffield Theatres (2004) production of The Crucible The first area to assess is the use of setting and scenery concerning this production of the play. The set of the play produces a very surreal and segregated atmosphere that appears to be very striking and unsettling for the audience. This was achieved in the opening scene primarily through the use of floorboards placed on a ploughed field, as Anna Mackmin, the Director stated "We wanted a space that was iconic… we needed to take into account the idea that this is a tiny world in the midst of a wilderness… so we have put wooden planks into a ploughed field.". Since the floorboards always seemed somewhat out of place compared to the soil around it, it created a sense of unnaturalness being imposed upon this previously unblemished world; much like the "pious, devout settlement at the edge of a white civilization" that Arthur Miller himself had described in an interview. While he was writing the play, one of Arthur Miller's key purposes was to produce a piece of writing that would articulate and expose the foolish and twisted ways of McCarthyism. "I was in opposition to McCarthyism… the playwriting part of me was drawn to what I felt was a tragic process of underlying the political manifestation". This was achieved by emphasizing how hysterical and absurd this fantasy world that he created was: "Husbands and wives turned into stony enemies, loving parents into indifferent supervisors". Then, once he had shown the audience that this place was unconventional, he changed his portrayal of this primitive world into a metaphor of the current world, i.e. its resem... ... middle of paper ... ...d to send was ingeniously conveyed. Even though the play was only a mere two and a half hours, I was highly impressed with the amount of detail that was illustrated from the book. In particular, some of the key lines from various characters which had a significant effect on me were vividly presented by the excellent actors and actresses. The setting was very vivid, the costumes were simple yet highly creative, the characters in general were presented very uniquely and the didactic message Arthur Miller wished to depict was carried out clearly. Despite the fact that some areas of the play were underplayed as mentioned earlier, they were compensated by highlighting the significance of other areas. This is an excellent reproduction and unique interpretation of Arthur Miller's original work and I absolutely loved it.
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