By Tim Masters
Arts and entertainment correspondent, BBC News
July 3, 2014
After 12 years away from the stage, making his name in Spooks and The Hobbit, Richard Armitage is back in a "visceral" new production of Arthur Miller's The Crucible at the Old Vic.
Three days before starting rehearsals, Armitage drove from his home in New York to Danvers, Massachusetts,
Originally known as Salem Village, Danvers is most associated with the famous witch trials of 1692 - the inspiration for Miller's classic play that draws parallels with McCarthy's anti-communist investigations in postwar America.
Armitage, in his dressing room before a preview performance at the Old Vic, explains that the trip was useful preparation for his role as the Puritan tragic hero John Proctor.
"I got this sense that they were real people who had experienced this terrible contagion. These were a tough frontier people who had very little concept of what was beyond their small realm. Because of their staunch religious nature they truly believed it was the Devil that would come for them."
Armitage first encountered Proctor when he played a scene from The Crucible at drama school some 20 years ago.
"I had no idea it was a three-hour 'opera'... it resonates now and it will resonate in 10 years."
The Crucible, directed by Yael Farber, is the latest play to be presented in the round at the Old Vic.
READ MORE HERE: http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-28104957