Enemy of the People
16th February 2010
Joy of joys – the Crucible fully reopened with its first major production! And Anthony Sher in Ibsen’s totally topical Enemy Of the People too, what a treat! I’m again an avid member of the £1 first night public dress rehearsal queue again – to get tickets for my adult students for many of whom it’s a first trip to the theatre. Great that this still exists, (but now we have to queue in the cold). Great that the Crucible is now part of a national scheme for free nights for under 26’s!
Second thought – what took so long? Of course most of the changes are backstage, and also access is quite rightly improved – but that convivial community meeting place atmosphere of the foyer plus cafe has been much diminished. Only 1/3 the seating area, (including 2 partially charred benches – clearly an art statement in their place, but hereinsulting), so designed for the standing room only bar crush cognoscenti, no cafe area, nothing for kids. Traded in for a ‘corporate function room’, and the adjacent glitzy bar in Ruskin’s. (Ruskin wouldn’t be pleased.)
The performance was really great, and Ibsen was removed from heritage solemnity and allowed to ask all its bitingly satirical questions with huge pace, elan and humour, aided by a brilliant cast including the wonderful community cast. It was breathtakingly topical and easy to get, even for those of my group without first language English. Anthony Sher delivered a completely virtuoso performance in his role as whistleblowing idealist, far sighted optimist, touchingly silly husband and model of a modest egotist, thwarted by greed, and politicking (rather like all of us then?) Thank you all so much. But how many of us can afford the £12 up normal tickets – so does the Crucible become even more exclusive or has it got inclusive plans under its new artistic direction?