A heavy heart today

86 years ago today my father was born. I miss him.

75 years ago today was the liberation of Auschwitz – the prime example of what happens when fear and hatred trump humanity.

Elie Wiesel indifferenceElie-Wiesel-no one surperior

1 day ago my son was devasted by the untimely passing of one of his sporting heroes, Kobe Bryant.

May his memory, and the memory of all those loved ones who have been lost, be and remain a blessing.

28 years

Mr Esther and I have been together for 28 years, it’s our get-together anniversary today!

We’re at the beach this afternoon with our daughter and also visiting the hotel where our son is doing his internship.

It’s a good day.

Uncle Vanya has opened!

I’m late to the party (been busy here) but this past Thursday Uncle Vanya, the new play Richard Armitage is in, has opened at the Harold Pinter Theatre in London. There was a press night and all. Leading up to the evening, Richard had posted this picture on his Instagram account:

2020 RA running in NYC

He was running to the press night, he said in the caption. I very much like this image! The handsomeness, the action, the jumping hair, the black and white, and even the plaid suit. He seems to quite like plaid now (see pics down below!).

Guylty has got RA net up and running after it’s recent move to another hosting platform (it’s looking great on first glimpse, Guylty, THANK YOU!) and has collected the reviews for the play there under the 24th January 2020 entry: http://richardarmitagenet.com/news/. Most reviews give the play 4 or 5 stars, and I saw one or two 3 star reviews. All around, this is sounding excellent!

2020-0123 Uncle Vanya opening night stage 01

After recently declaring he’s way past taking his shirt off in productions, Richard does take his shirt off in Uncle Vanya again after all! It does seem to be one of the highlight scenes of the play – not due to the shirtlessness, I understand, but due to the drunken mood in the scene that apparently contains a lot of humour (and yes, below I also cropped the image of Richard with his shirt off, couldn’t resist).

2020-0123 Uncle Vanya on stage2020-0123 Uncle Vanya on stage - RA no shirt cutout

Nope, I don’t quite see that dad bod you mentioned having, Mr Armitage! Joking aside, the play does seem to have a magic mix of drama and humour, which really makes me look forward to it even more.

There was an afterparty celebrating the play’s opening night with some nice images of the cast and Richard in another plaid suit.

2020-0123 Uncle Vanya opening night 012020-0123 Uncle Vanya opening night 03

I wasn’t too fond of it to begin with (I quite like the plaid but wasn’t sure about the green), but I admit that the suit has grown on me somewhat.

More pictures with cast members (click on images to enlarge)…

… with everyone looking very happy, as they should after such a successful night! In a month I will be able to see this for myself and I am already really looking forward to it. Not just because of Richard and the play sounding very good, but I’m really excited to see Ciarán Hinds and Toby Jones as well! I loved Ciarán in Persuasion and Miss Pettigrew Lives For a Day and some other things I have seen him in and Toby is forever planted in my heart because of his work in The Painted Veil. Just four more weeks to wait before I head off to London…

Mrs Maisel, The Stranger & Uncle Vanya

It’s been pretty busy here with little time for blogging this past week. Besides work and family I’ve been binge-watching The Marvelous Mrs Maisel which I liked not quite as much as I had anticipated but I still did really enjoy it. I love that it’s all set in Jewish families at the end of the 1950s/beginning 60s and I really enjoy the every day humor (more than the stand up routines). My fave characters are Susie Myerson (played so brilliantly by Alex Borstein, in the left picture on the left) and Abe Weissman (played by Tony Shalhoub) who is Midge Maisel’s (Rachel Brosnahan’s) dad.

But Mrs Maisel is really just a side note here. I didn’t start this post to talk about that show, I came to gush about the one and only Richard Armitage and his new projects!

Yesterday a more extended trailer for his Netflix series The Stranger dropped:

I’ve gotta say, it really does look good! After the Berlin Station hype (a show I never really enjoyed despite the hype) I have been cautious to get excited about this project. However, after seeing the trailer I have got to say, my expectations have really risen! The Netflix page is already there, looks like this for me:

Netflix The Stranger RA

Guess I know what I’ll be doing with my evenings in two weeks time. It’ll be the first thing I watch on Netflix after watching and re-watching Anne with an E (which still needs to get renewed! Come on, get with the program, Netflix!).

Not only The Stranger is looking good! Richard’s play Uncle Vanya has opened in London this week and the first whisperings are also sounding very good. It’s looking beautiful too.

2020-0117 Uncle Vanya 012020-0117 Uncle Vanya 03

And some really nice and beautifully dramatic stage stills were released today; I just love the look of that decor and the costumes. Here are the images Richard is in (click on images to enlarge)…

I am also very curious to see Toby Jones and Ciaran Hinds. I don’t know Rosalind Eleazar but she does look lovely here.

Servetus has already been to 3 performances of Uncle Vanya, she wrote about them here, here and here. Guylty has written about stage door experiences here and here. There has been some sharing on Twitter, among others by the lovely Linda Sechzig (one of my partners in crime when we saw Richard in Newcastle two years ago)…

And now more than ever I am looking forward to next month, when I get to see all this for myself in London! I will only be going to one show (yeah, just can’t do more, I have a family budget to consider) but one is far better than none, right? This Richard Armitage year is starting out really well. 🙂

Deadpool & Anne of Green Gables

Yeah, sounds weird but there’s a reason these two are mentioned together. A week ago actor Ryan Reynolds tweeted about Anne with an E needing to be renewed:

I’m not a fan but when I see Ryan Reynolds in something I like him, he’s a huge name and having his endorsement has made the Anne fandom giddy with excitement. What I loved best is all the Deadpool movie references that are being made in picture edits. I haven’t seen Ryan Reynolds in Deadpool yet, even though my son tells me I should, but I am planning to in time. Amybeth McNulty, who plays Anne, apparently enjoyed the endorsement as well…

And fans didn’t fail to respond. Some of my fave picture reactions:

There were also some final episode ones that I enjoyed, but I didn’t want to spoil those here.

Today singer Sam Smith tweeted about loving Anne with an E.

Will that result in Sam Smith / Anne fan videos? I’ll check out YouTube soon and see. 🙂