Richard Armitage, currently playing John Proctor in The Crucible at London’s Olc Vic theatre, says he approaches John from the inside. He says he is not a character who can be ‘put on’ from the outside. The fact that he draws from within himself is displayed for all to see on stage. It is a raw and honest portrayal of a man exposed for all the wrong reasons; John Proctor is a beacon of truth in a society ravaged by its own paranoia and eaten up by its abuse of religion.
It is fitting that Armitage is so willing and able to act this part from the inside, as the play’s subject matter is that of a society being attacked from its inner core; the values it thinks it lives by are the very values which are responsible for its destruction.
As with all Arthur Miller’s plays, we should learn from this.