EXCLUSIVE: House of the Dragon star Milly Alcock tells me that she will make her professional theater debut for London’s National Theatre playing the vengeful Abigail Williams in Arthur Miller’s powerful drama The Crucible.
The 22-year-old admits that she’s “mortified” at the prospect of treading the boards at the Cameron Mackintosh-owned Gielgud Theatre for a strictly limited season from June 7-September 2.
Lyndsey Turner, who directed what became referred to as the Benedict Cumberbatch Hamlet at the Barbican eight years ago, staged Miller’s revival at the National last fall with Erin Doherty — who played Princess Anne in The Crown — as Abigail.
Alcock is the first cast member booked for the West End transfer. “These were the only ones who offered me a job, you know what I mean?” she laughed.
It’s the first role she’s signed for since playing the younger Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen in the first five episodes of HBO’s Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon.
“It changed my life very quicklym and it will never be the same again,” the Sydney-born actress says of being cast in the series.
“Now I get to do all of the wonderful, amazing things that I really want to do, and I’m still figuring out what that is. Your dreams shouldn’t be coming true at 21 and 22.
“It shouldn’t be allowed,” she insists.
“I still need to f*ck up a bit more — like, I shouldn’t even be unsupervised this young on a day-to-day level” she adds.
Breaking Baz asks if any of the rumors are true that she’ll return in Season 2 of House of the Dragon in flashback scenes “No. It’s done,” she says adamantly.
Alcock says that Miller’s play about the Salem witch trials and hangings, first staged on Broadway 70 years ago, remains relevant in the social media age. “It’s like a cockfight for our times,” she says. “People are fearful of what they don’t know and understand, I think.”
Her assessment of how The Crucible connects to our culture of confrontation? “It’s almost like we all interact with this ungoverned courtroom which is the internet and we’re constantly clouding each other’s judgment with misinformation.”
The theater will “knock me into shape,” she says.
It’s one heck of a part for a stage novice to take on. She starred in a production of Little Red Rocking Hood “when I was like 7. I haven’t done a proper play. You do plays in high school and all that, but I’ve not professionally done a play before,” she explains.
For her the opportunity to star in a National Theatre production is “all very exciting and surreal, a mega dream come true.”
However, Alcock confesses that she’s “mortified” at the prospect of being in an acclaimed production of a masterpiece. ”But I think that’s kinda good. This is throwing me right into it.”
Lyndsey Turner is now in final auditions for the rest of the company.
Once again Turner collaborates with scenic designer Es Devlin, following their work together on the Benedict Cumberbatch Hamlet and A Number at the Old Vic.
Devlin’s also represented in the West End for her award-winning sets for director Sam Mendes’ production of The Lehman Trilogy, now at the Gillian Lynne Theatre. It originated at the National and is a co-production with Neal Street Productions founded by Mendes, Pippa Harris and Caro Newling.
Here are the production credits for The Crucible at the Gielgud: costume designer, Catherine Fay; lighting designer, Tim Lutkin; sound designer, Tingying Dong (content design); sound designer, Christopher Shutt (system design); composer and arranger, Caroline Shaw; music director and arranger, Osnat Schmool with casting by Alastair Coomer and Naomi Downham; associate director, Blythe Stewart; associate set designer, Ellie Wintour; associate lighting designer, Max Narula; fight director, Bret Yount; intimacy directors, Ita O’Brien and Louise Kempton; dialect coaches, Danièle Lydon and Hazel Holder; assistant music director, Alice Grant