With another week of summer press nights, another week of dazzling reviews. Here are this week’s highlights from the Scott Marshall office:

The Crucible opened at The Old Vic to enormous critical acclaim and five star reviews across the board. Arthur Miller’s account of the 17th-century witch trials in Salem, Massachusetts originally paralleled the anti-communist fear instigated by Senator McCarthy in 1950s America. Yael Farber’s production however focusses on the present danger of religious-fundamentalism. Alongside Richard Armitage in the role of John Proctor, is our own brilliant Adrian Schiller playing Reverend Hale who has amassed equally glittering reviews. There is no doubt that this is an unmissable production.

“There’s superb support. The standout is Adrian Schiller, who vividly reimagines the role of John Hale”, Henry Hitchings, EVENING STANDARD, *****

Adrian Schiller movingly captures the crisis of conscience of the Rev John Hale.” Charles Spencer, THE TELEGRAPH, *****

Beth Steel’s dramatic exploration of the miner’s strike and its shaping of modern Britain, Wonderland, also opened last week at the Hampstead Theatre. Focussing on the political and physical actions of those involved in the strike both below and above ground, Steel manages a level-headed 360 degree overview with a unique take on a story which many believe they know. Our own Andrew Havill plays Energy Secretary Peter Walker who, despite his seemingly uncompromising political stance, cuts a surprisingly sympathetic figure in this all-male ensemble.

“This is a play and a production of rare power and theatrical flair.” Charles Spencer, THE TELEGRAPH, ****

“… the performances, from an impeccably unified ensemble, are riveting… Wonderland is theatre of grit and guts.” Sam Marlowe, THE TIMES, ***

 And finally, The Glass Supper brought roars of laughter to Hampstead Downstairs when it opened last week. Martyn Hesford’s domestic drama cleverly paints a stylised portrait of an evening spent in the countryside, lubricated by alcohol and unsettled by each character’s inner demons. Colin and Marcus’ twenty year relationship and quiet lives are unexpectedly interrupted by Steven and his teenage lover Jamie, holiday acquaintances from the previous year, along with their loud-mouth friend Wendy. With Colin being played tremendously by our own Owen Sharpe, The Glass Supper is a cutting examination of “the chasm between public and private, the mask versus the reality”.

“Abbey Wright’s rich production…  is performed with lip smacking relish by a cast who are spiky and flamboyant, desperate and desirable.” Honour Bayes, THE STAGE, ****

“Good play, good cast [and] numerous laugh-out-loud moments.” Miriam Zendle, WHAT’S ON STAGE, ****

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