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Operation Crucible

From 94 member  reviews
Members say: Great acting, Absorbing, Intense, Intelligent, Great staging

About the show

After a successful run as part of 59E59's 2018 'Brits Off Broadway' series, this drama about four ordinary men who survive the Sheffield Blitz of World War II, returns Off Broadway. More…

"Operation Crucible" (code named by the Germans referring to its unique 18th century steelmaking) is based on the true story of the December 12, 1940 bombing of the Marples Hotel in the industrial city of Sheffield. It took only one German bomb to decimate the seven-story hotel into mere rubble. Unbelievably, four men survived the attack, only to be trapped in one of the hotel’s remaining and intact cellars. "Operation Crucible" is their story.

Member Reviews (94)


Great acting, Absorbing, Intense, Intelligent, Great staging
Avg Score

Clever, Well-tuned, Absorbing

See it if Lovely snapshot of specific lives at a particular time in history, which winds you deeper into emotional stories. Well deployed flashbacks

Don't see it if Can't understand heavy Yorkshire/Sheffield/Irish accents (and if you go anyway, do NOT spend the whole time hissing, "What'd he say?"!!!)

Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging, Resonant

See it if you are interested in WWII, great British theatre, new plays, nontraditional storytelling. The powerful story of four steel workers.

Don't see it if You are uninterested in history, intimate black box theatres, small casts, non-linear storytelling.

Dated, Epic

See it if you like war plays

Don't see it if you dont need scenery

Absorbing, Intense

See it if you like WWII dramas that are sparsely staged, gritty, and mesmerizing

Don't see it if experience of Sheffield steelworks in WWII is a tad too far removed to feel relevant

Ernest, Well-intentioned, Disappointing

See it if you appreciated vigorous ensemble acting

Don't see it if you were hoping to care more about each character and achieve a sense of closure

Also While the setting and the characters are certainly unique, I recommend... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Must see, Riveting

See it if You want to see a well written and extremely well acted small play featuring 4 talented actors. Beautifully done and inspiring true story

Don't see it if Prefer large splashy productions or don’t like small cast intimate dramas. Or only want to see Plays on Broadway.

Also This was a terrific play - almost poetic in the writing. The men are u... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Riveting, Intense, Intelligent

See it if you will enjoy a ww2 story that is well written and will take you on a journey with 4 young men trying to cope with wartime Sheffield.

Don't see it if you don't like tragedy and drama, not an evening of light hearted theatre, but pensive tragedy and a wartime story.

Banal, Confusing, Great acting, Disappointing, Indulgent

See it if you like intimate period pieces on WWII, if you're interested in Ireland's history, if you are ok with minimalist setting

Don't see it if If you don't respond well to banalities. The show, while cleverly staged and beautifully played out, essentially is quite trite.

Moderately interesting, well acted

See it if you'll delight in men who take great, patriotic and intensely joyous pride in making steel. Set during the blitz of Sheffield.

Don't see it if You can't relate to the somewhat trite problems of working class men concerned with measuring up to standards of bravery and masculinity.

Also Rises in spots, wherever individuality shines through. Noisy. Accents ... Read more Read less

Funny, Great acting, Resonant, Bittersweet

See it if You like plays about history, accents, and monologues.

Don't see it if If you can't understand accents of Ireland and the British Isles, plays involving war, or a happy ending.

Ambitious, Intense, Intelligent

See it if You like play is based on actual events.

Don't see it if You want some typical Broadway story. This is stark very well acted and has some emotional parts. Very moving

Clever, Great acting, Great writing

See it if Great story, very clever approach to the story telling. Excellent ensemble

Don't see it if You won’t like it if you struggle with heavy English accents

Great acting, Dizzying, Intense

See it if tight ensemble delivering at breakneck intense pace, keeping you on edge of seat

Don't see it if done in their British accents so requires attention

Ambitious, Great acting, Intense, Clever, Dated

See it if Well acted small stage play of Sheffield factory workers their factory friendships are put to test when stuck in bombed basement

Don't see it if Small stage plays pertaining to WWII don't interest you

Great acting, Intense, Great writing, Riveting, Thought-provoking

See it if You want to see an intense and gripping play with outstanding acting - i liked it a lot

Don't see it if You can’t handle a performance relating to WW2 or war

Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent

See it if you enjoy interesting stories based on important historical events

Don't see it if you only like musical comedies

Great acting, Intelligent, Absorbing

See it if strong ensemble acting and well staged "slice of life" drama appeals. Touching story and insights into a. back corner or WWII.

Don't see it if you prefer very contemporary writing or staging. Was not "conventional" but wasn't edgy either.

Ambitious, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if You like serious stories with strong acting, and accept minimal (really minimal) set design.

Don't see it if You need big production values, prefer comedies, have an aversion to dimly lit stages (portions of the show are in near darkness).

Clever, Enchanting, Exquisite, Great acting, Masterful

See it if like excellent well performed British imports from the UK. Really tight production places you right in Sheffield UK.

Don't see it if if you are looking for a comedy because it is a tragedy.

Riveting, Intense, Intelligent, Great acting, Original

See it if Simple staging, terrific acting, and heartfelt writing are a draw.

Don't see it if Flashy production values are important to you.

Absorbing, Great acting

See it if You can relate to the human experience; You seek brilliance in acting and smart directing. Characters so similar on paper are each unique.

Don't see it if You’re unprepared or unwilling to allow yourself to be emotionally swept away for 80 minutes.

During previews
Strong ensemble, Well-staged, Creaky story, Loud/dark, Absorbing

See it if polished, precision theater appeals. OC is creatively, cleverly staged. Actors are strong. You'll feel the impact of the major WWII event.

Don't see it if you want new insights beyond "war is hell." Offered ending "this made us stronger" rang hollow. Why was OC written/performed in 2018?

During previews
Ambitious, Edgy, Great acting, Masterful

See it if If you like war plays with a good story, great characters that you get to know during the play.

Don't see it if If you do not plays about war. The accents get heavy at times.

During previews
Intense, Thrilling, Aborbing, Narrowly focused, Sad

See it if you’re interested in the bonds that blue-collar workers make among themselves, & the strain an extreme situation can put on those bonds.

Don't see it if your constitution is too weak to negotiate 80 minutes of intense drama, only to have to endure an unexpectedly sad ending.

Also “Operation: Crucible” owes much of its power to its narrow range. 4 Sh... Read more Read less

During previews
Ambitious, Intense, Intelligent, Great acting, Resonant

See it if You want a view of WWII from an unique angle. You enjoy stylized staging & dialogue.

Don't see it if You prefer more contemporary stories. You don't like stories about wars. You prefer traditional dialogue & staging.

November 17th, 2018
“Knowles has molded and formed a fine piece of theater that shares with its audience not only this moment in time, but a doorway into the lives of the people who inhabited it. Delivered staccato, but melding together into musicality, the wonderfully crafted dialogue of the play reflects friendshi...
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November 14th, 2018
“The cast are superb individually and as a team. Their ensemble work is brilliant. Bryony Shanahan’s tight direction adds much to the production. The simple set and costumes by Sophia Simensky are apt. Seth Rook Williams’s low lighting is effective and Daniel Foxsmith’s sound design is appropriat...
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May 15th, 2018
for a previous production “Powerfully directed with a machine-tooled precision of its own by Shanahan, limits its point of view to that of four people...Captures so efficiently the dividing of war’s devastation. And it is all accomplished on a single simple set, with a cast of four and 80 minutes of stage time...Research ...
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May 15th, 2018
for a previous production “In this period of physical and spiritual darkness, the show's direction shines. Shanahan isn't afraid of murk any more than she is of silence...The ingenuity of the designers, director, and script is heightened by the cast. All convince as working-class Englishmen while remaining distinct person...
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