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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)

MEMBERS SAY:

Great acting, Absorbing, Intense, Intelligent, Great staging
80
Avg Score

During previews
88
Absorbing, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if About Four Lads during World War II stories of how they felt about life and the things they went through during the war.

Don't see it if It takes place in World War II, they do try to show you the darkest of life during that .

Also I loved it because I'm a World War II buff and what England went throu... Read more Read less

During previews
79
Fine ensemble work, Clever and beautiful staging, Absorbing, Solid storytelling

See it if Like seeing small group of good actors recreate tensions & camaraderie of a community involved in tragic circumstances. Taut and fine.

Don't see it if Don't want to face the fears/horrors of war, are triggered by loud sounds, darkness. Very heavy British accents may be a problem for some.

Also The show needs to tighten up a little and that's what previews are for... Read more Read less

During previews
78
Good story. good acting. well done.

See it if You appreciate good creative story telling theatre.

Don't see it if You want a tradional story told in a tradional way.

During previews
79
Absorbing, Great acting, Riveting, Intelligent, Relevant

See it if you enjoy intense drama which tells how ordinary people react to the tragedies of war; you don't mind dark, smokey staging used to intensify

Don't see it if you dislike intense drama, small ensembles, lots of chaos, smoke, darkness, heavy English/Irish accents, and war scenes describing death

During previews
74
Great acting, Intense, Simple set, half in semi-darkness

See it if Trapped in a WWII bomb shelter, four steel workers recount bits of their work life, friendship, and families.

Don't see it if You prefer a more elaborate production with a more traditionally structured script.

During previews
92
Great acting, Great writing, Riveting, Intense, Absorbing

See it if You want to see "men at work", a different time in Brit history. Like 'men in crisis' stories. Relate well to war stories. Want meaning.

Don't see it if You have difficulty with Brit accents. Diff with overlapping dialog. Need to be able to see everything. Need straightforward narrative.

Also The playwright is the grandson of one of these 4 characters. He actual... Read more Read less

During previews
90
Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging, Great writing, Must see

See it if you want to see what great ensemble acting is all about. Could not be improved upon.

Don't see it if you think that very heavy Sheffield accents might be hard to understand.

During previews
73
Absorbing, Great acting, Dizzying, Riveting

See it if If you are interested in a quartet of fine actors who recount a historical incident in northern England during WW II.

Don't see it if Do not see if you are uncomfortable with fairly heavy English accents and some gruesome details of war.

During previews
75
Confusing, Great staging, Clever, Dizzying

See it if you want to hear the stories of 4 survivors of a blitz bombing told through back & forth stories of their lives & survival.

Don't see it if you are not interested in the lives of ordinary workers surviving a blitz attack in England during WWll.

During previews
75
Gripping, Great staging, Great writing, Great acting, Intense

See it if you want a hard-hitting, tightly-written and staged play about steelworkers trapped in a hotel basement during the blitz in Britain in WWII.

Don't see it if you're not prepared for emotional intensity (with loud bombing sounds). Powerful, but it's good that it's only 80 gripping & tense minutes.

During previews
78
Absorbing, Intelligent, Good acting, Static

See it if you'll enjoy a historical drama in which the characters address the audience more than they interact with each other

Don't see it if you prefer plays in which the characters interact with one another and that interaction drives the plot of the play.

During previews
66
Style over substance

See it if Excellent acting, very well choreographed, staging, lighting, sound all top notch but...

Don't see it if Dull dialogue, predictable situations,stock characters.Felt like I was stuck in a bomb shelter w/4 boring guys for 80 mins-minus the drama.

Also Nothing original in this besides the presentation - which was brillian... Read more Read less

During previews
70
Great acting, Confusing, Disappointing, Slow

See it if You like British theater in an intimate no frills setting

Don't see it if You want a big production or a happy theme

During previews
72
Great acting, Disappointing

See it if You like good acting about English steel workers and the bombing in England.

Don't see it if You like comedies and musicals.

During previews
82
Terrific ensemble acting, Great writing, Emotionally draining final 7 minutes, Minimalist staging that actually works, Excellent lighting

See it if you're interested in WWII history and appreciate great ensemble acting.

Don't see it if you have difficulty with strong British accents, or are uncomfortable with explosive noises and complete darkness.

During previews
77
Ambitious, Intense

See it if You want to see fine ensemble acting and movement in a serious drama.

Don't see it if You have trouble with accents and very loud explosions. Sometimes confusing and difficult to follow in the dark.

During previews
71
Confusing, Dizzying, Great writing, Great acting, Intense

See it if you enjoy the serious, if you like male bonding stories, you are familiar with the British blitz by the Nazis, you like poetic dialogue

Don't see it if you are easily confused by characters all shouting at once, you have a problem bonding with blue collar workers, accents give you a problem

During previews
55
Cliched, Disappointing, Great acting

See it if Four talented actors in a play set during the WW II bombing are trapped in a basement hotel. The writing feels predictable and familiar.

Don't see it if Diming the lights on stage can put the audience to sleep if there is nothing exciting in the dark, no matter how engaging the actors are.

During previews
80
Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Intense, Great acting, Great staging

See it if for an original fast past interesting production- great acting, creative staging & intense play

Don't see it if for straight forward linear play. Can't understand accented dialogue .Brief periods not totally clear during very short play

During previews
85
Great acting, Great writing, Profound, Relevant, Absorbing

See it if You like great acting,in an historical drama that is still relavant today.Makes you feel the pain of war of simple life of 4 factory workers

Don't see it if You do not like Intense drama,pitch dark scenes,actors that are all talking at the same time, powerful noise that makes u jump,small ensembl

During previews
91
Tight ensemble, Great acting, Absorbing, Sheffield england, Entertaining

See it if U want 2 catch a slice of life in a 30s-50s Sheffield England steelworks factory w/4 men who work together. Their "metal" tested by tragedy~

Don't see it if These 4 wonderfully enact the factory-& tragedy which occurs. V tight ensemble. If u'd find the accent difficult to follow, r seeking big~

During previews
85
Absorbing, Great acting, Excellent direction, Excellent writing, Powerful

See it if Steel yourself for red-hot, riveting theater. Pure writng and a first-rate, exquisitely timed ensemble performance.

Don't see it if if you have trouble with regional British dialect, or have no interest in the dynamics of male groups.

During previews
85
Absorbing, Great staging, Riveting, Clever

See it if You appreciate shows that are physical and intimate with a deep respect for characters.

Don't see it if You don't want another British WWII blitz story, you have trouble with accents, or you dislike non-linear plots.

Also Kieran Knowles has written a very strong piece. At first, I wasn't sol... Read more Read less

During previews
55
Great acting, Confusing, Disappointing, Slow

See it if British historical dramas with little action and boring dialogue by 4 actors who try their best is your thing.

Don't see it if You value your time and would rather not be subjected to long periods of darkness and actors screaming at the tops of their lungs.

Also There is good acting in this piece, however most of the language and v... Read more Read less

During previews
78
Ambitious, Clever, Thought-provoking

See it if you are interested in learning and if you like minimal staging but great effects. These men carry off a powerful message with little staging

Don't see it if don't like sound effects and good acting!


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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