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.

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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.

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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. 🙂

More, more, more! How d’you like it?

More Richard goodies today and this old disco song springs to mind…

There really is a song for everything, isn’t there?

Anyway, the morning in Richard-news started out nicely with fellow fan Young Veloce translating a Korean article where the South-Korean director Jo Sung-hee speaks about Richard who filmed with him last year.

Yes, this very much sounds like the Richard we have come to know. And best thing yet? Young-Veloce got a shout out from The Armitage himself for this! I bet she’s really excited about that. 😊

Next up, Servetus referenced an interview with Ciaran Hinds about Uncle Vanya here. I took screenshots of the section where he speaks about the play. It does pique my curiosity and I’m really excited that Hinds and Toby Jones are in this play as well.

CH interview 01CH interview 02CH interview 03CH interview 04

Servetus also dug up an interview with Conor McPherson, the paywright who has adapted Uncle Vanya. Again, I made screenshots of where Vanya is referenced:

The Stage UV 01The Stage UV 02

I suppose the adaptation won’t stray too much from the original but I have never seen the original (and can barely remember reading it), so I have nothing to compare it to.

And last, but not least, Amazing Grace on Twitter unearted another interview, this time in a publication called “Psychologies Magazine”.

Richard lives on a monthly cycle? Is that why so many women feel an affinitity with him? 😉 Sorry to relate this to Anne with an E again, but it makes me think of when Anne gets her first period and her freaking out over her cycle (the funniest bit and the part I thought of starts at 1 minute 30 seconds into this video)…

Guess cycles are not just a female thing anymore. Or maybe he’s secretly a werewolf? Hmm, now that is an intriguing thought… Ties back nicely to his Wolverine audioplays (which I still haven’t listened to).

RA Wolverine

I also get that Richard is all about peace and love and ‘let’s just get along’. So am I, I totally am a peacemaker type and a see-all-sides-to-everything kind of person, but goodness, does he come off a bit wishy-washy and preachy here, or is it just me? Maybe that has something to do with the type of magazine (it’s a mindfulness magazine, after all) and the kind of interview this was?  Oh well, at least we learned about the cycle thing and what he thinks about damaging truths. Knowing that makes me curious about what he’d think of the movie The Farewell, which I thought was really good when I saw it a while back. It’s all about not telling someone a damaging truth…

Is Richard Armitage secretly Chinese? I wonder…

Richard on a Monday morning…

I’m working from home today but it’s not that busy and I came across this article published today in The Telegraph that I just had to link to here. If you register you can read one article per week for free, so I registered and read the article. I liked it far more than the one from yesterday because it gave me quite some new information. Yay! I took screenshots, so I’ll just copy and paste the article here:

RA Telegraph 01RA Telegraph 02RA Telegraph 03RA Telegraph 04RA Telegraph 05RA Telegraph 06RA Telegraph 07RA Telegraph 08RA Telegraph 09RA Telegraph 10

Of course, there is the mandatory beefcake reference but there’s much more too, like how he uses his body to fit his roles (contradicting being ‘way past taking his shirt off’ with examples of how he still does take his shirt off – LOL!), talking about Uncle Vanya coming at the right time when he too is in a mid-life crisis, referencing a relationship he’s in and that’s it’s a good one which makes me very happy for him (I suspected as much after seeing this photo, although he doesn’t mention who he’s in a relationship with), and I was surprised that he’s been ‘based’ in a hotel for the past 5 years when I thought he had bought an apartment in New York. Also, he mentions optioning the Joy Ellis novels and working on a pilot for The Taking of Annie Thorne. I don’t know in what capacity he’s working on the projects but it’s interesting nonetheless. And reading his description of what The Stranger is about makes me more curious to watch it than I was before, it sounds quite good! Yes, this article is a nice mix of not so new and new information and I like it.

I just now saw a tweet from Richard referencing the article and finding the title misleading…

I think he may regret talking private life now, and creep back into his shell, but I kinda like getting that little glimpse in. This new year is starting well with all the Richard-content we are getting. 🙂

Richard on a Sunday morning

Richard Armitage in today’s Sunday Times:

2020-0105 RA Sunday Times

Is it me or is something off with this image? Richard looks a bit uncomfortable to me and something is off with his face, a little too smooth or too light or something? In any case, I do reallly dig the long hair and beard. 🙂

The article is behind a paywall, but if you have an account you can read an article for free every once in a while, which is what I did. I was going to screenshot it, but Servetus has already done that so nicely here.

Gotta say, I get a bit tired of reporters leading off with or emphasizing the “male totty, heartthrob” thing so much. Says more about the reporter than the actor, I feel. I’d never deny that Richard’s a heartthrob, I wouldn’t have been a fan for close to 14 years if I didn’t think he was a bit of a heartthrob, but I couldn’t love someone for so long just because he has a nice face. There are so many other tall, dark and handsome actors out there to love and yet he is the one I fangirl over. The man brings other qualities to his “male totty” moniker, qualities I still fail to understand completely myself, which is what keeps him interesting to me even when he does projects I don’t much enjoy. I wish that were more of a focus in articles, trying to understand what is beneath the surface that makes him so appealing. I guess this article is not that.

Other than that little gripe, I did enjoy reading this. There was a lot of not so new content, I felt, as we all know how he loves finding darkness in light and light in darkness and inhabiting flawed characters. I identify with the outsider-feeling and him enjoying his me-time, even though I already knew that about him. It was interesting to read that his grief informed his acting in My Zoe, and that apparently he has no designs anymore on Hollywood? For a little while there I felt like he did but his work seems to be taking him elsewhere and I really like that. Oh, and it’s sweet to read that he still seems to fanboy over Cate Blanchett.

My favourite part of the article is when he talks about playing Astrov in Uncle Vanya and doing theatre work, especially this part:

“Now I understand that people aren’t here to see their favourite actor doing something, showing off. That isn’t the point of it. The point is, I am there to help them feel something, so it’s all about them, not me. That makes it so much easier.”

I agree and disagree with that. I am, after all, solely traveling to London to see my favourite actor doing something! However, it is indeed not about the showing off for me, it is because he really is able to touch my soul and make me feel something. So, yes, fair point that he thinks it’s all about the audience but maybe he also needs to acknowledge that it is also about what he as a person brings to a performance. It’d be so interesting to delve into this more deeply with him.

Anyway, this Sunday is getting away from me and I have stuff to do! So, let me just end by saying I’m so glad to see some real Armitage content as that has been sparse of late. Here’s hoping Uncle Vanya will spark more!