A Richard Armitage happy new year!

For me 2017 is starting out quite well! We’ve just been away for a week with the family to our little cottage in the north of The Netherlands that belongs to my parents. The week was lovely; we went to a speed skating competition (national Dutch championships), my brother visited us at the cottage for a few days and helped welcome the new year with us, a very good friend of ours came by and spent a night and we had some rest and relaxation as well. The downside for the kids was the lack of good wifi, but they (and we) survived well nonetheless. 🙂

When we got home Thursday evening there was a note from the post office, letting me know I could pick up a package. I was giddy with anticipation, because I knew what it was going to be – I had, after all, won a Christmas bauble in Guylty’s 2016 Christmas raffle! I never win anything, so I was very excited for this. I picked up the package yesterday and it did not only contain the bauble but many other goodies!

When I opened up the package it looked like I was receiving some caramel sweets…

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…. but I knew that little box would contain this…

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Such a gorgeous little thing (the bauble and RA)! We packed away all our Christmas decorations yesterday but this item will not be packed away… I am finding a nice little spot somewhere so I can look at it year round. 🙂 The package did not only contain the bauble, but several other lovely small goodies as well!

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The package also contained a “Summer of Love” Crucible postcard, Thornton’s chocolate with pistachio (I’ve never had pistachio chocolate before, but I love pistachios and pistachio ice cream, so I’m guessing it will taste great!), some small RA stickers and a Love Love Love playbill because I haven’t been able to make it to NYC for Richard’s play. How thrilling is all that!! Last summer I bought this little case/hatbox at a flea market for next to nothing….

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… and have decided that that is the place to keep the few playbills I already have, including my upside down signed The Crucible one…

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The Love Love Love playbill will find its home here as well. 🙂

Just before Christmas I also received another Richard Armitage gift from fellow fan Suzy. We met up at the beginning of 2016 and she came to spend a weekend with me and my family at my home last fall. Her very unexpected but wonderful gift also made me very happy…

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… a Richard Armitage as Daniel Miller puzzle!! Such a lovely surprise! And yes, in the near future I do actually plan to sit down and make it, I love this.

Thank you so very very much Suzy and Guylty for your generosity and kindness and warmth!!!

The new year has also started with Richard Armitage announcing a new project he will be doing, a movie called Miles

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… inspired by this proof-of-concept film:

I do wonder what Richard’s role will be in this. Will he voice the robot or play a scientist? He’s been biking for Berlin Station and has played a youth in Love Love Love but I don’t expect him to be a dirtbiking youth in this one…

In any case, Richard Armitage related news but especially the Richard Armitage gifts I received help make this year 2017 start out well for me. Let’s hope it’s a good omen for the rest of the year! I say this even as I already feel the dark clouds gathering with a deeply depressing US presidential inaugurarion coming up (not to mention other depressing news items about shootings and attacks)… Still, I wish everyone a Happy New Year and that even in dark times we will be able to find some light and hope that goodness is still possible!!

Richard’s ‘Love’ play opens well!

So, the Love Love Love play that I won’t be able to go see myself (weep!) opened officially last week in New York! There are some lovely shots from the curtain call…

And some shots from the after party event…

Is it me or does that jacket seem short? Not sure I like that or the way the tie looks with that shirt and jacket, but hey, the man can’t always be perfect… What I do like, love even, are beautiful profile shots of Richard…

And the first reviews are in, the big ones are collected here on Playbill. Most of them are good too! My summary:

  • According to Deadline Richard Armitage is “annoyingly disarming”;
  • Entertainment Weekly hates the play but concedes that “Armitage and Ryan even make their energetic egotists pretty likable”;
  • The Guardian says that Richard makes “a captivating New York debut” and says “Armitage uses his grin and long, bendy limbs to show how Kenneth often sidesteps responsibility”, giving the play 4 stars;
  • The Hollywood Reporter loves the play too: “Superb acting enlivens this scathing theatrical examination of the baby boomer generation” and thinks Richard is excellent;
  • NBC New York likes it too and says about Richard, “Armitage is charming as a slacker just a shade more self-aware than his wife”;
  • The New York Times likes the play too and has dedicated a whole paragraph on Richard: “Mr. Armitage is just as good, capturing the passivity of a man who both resents and enjoys being led by a streamlined bulldozer. Best known as the mighty Thorin Oakenshield in the “Hobbit” movies, this English actor was also the best John Proctor I have ever seen, in Yael Farber’s production of Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible” at the Old Vic in London. Here he tones down his natural intensity to remind us that the seemingly soft, spineless and charming can be as damaging, in their way, as two-fisted bullies.”;
  • Time Out New York also gives the play 4 stars and says: “Armitage, a fantasy-film icon from his lead role in the Hobbit trilogy, is superb as the charming yet craven Kenneth.”;
  • Variety seems to give more of a summary than a review, allthough at the beginning they do say it’s a “snappy satire” and the play gives”searing insight” and is “mocking wit in a flawless production”. That’s good, right?
  • The Vulture apparently hates it, finds the characters are like “cardboard people” and says of Richard, “Ryan and Armitage, though never convincingly any age but their own, give deft comic performances that resist as long as possible the material’s push toward overstatement.” So, at least the actors aren’t half bad according to them…
  • The Washington Post likes it too and says, “Richard Armitage is joyfully boyish” and “Armitage sheds some of the charm as Ken becomes a clueless dad, awkwardly trying to communicate with his children while blithely ignoring signals of deep trouble.”
  • The Wrap really likes it too and says of Richard, “Armitage (…) is utterly convincing at each age in each act” and “Armitage makes his New York stage debut, and he’s spectacular.”

So, out of these 11 reviews, only 2 didn’t like the play and even they had some positive things to say about Richard. To me, this sounds like a very successful New York theatre debut! Well done, Richard! I’d say the “Congratulations Roundabout –  Love Love Love” billboard you can see in the picture below (from Richard’s Instagram at the opening night after party venue) is well deserved.

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Now, if only there’s a way I could see this play as well, through live streaming or ‘Digital Theatre’ or winning the lottery to pay for plane fare & hotel or something, I would be completely happy!

Richard, Berlin, Love & Muse

So many Richard Armitage goodies these days, I can barely keep up! I skip through and read and watch videos (THANK YOU, Servetus and Perry for your constant updates!) but don’t get around to commenting or writing much…until now. I’ve just got to share my highlights of the past week or so or else I’ll burst…

8 days ago there was Berlin Station press in New York, with Richard again in (more casual) blue and grey. They really are his colours, aren’t they? I do really love him in that! Also loved the grey shoes and the shade of blue of his coat is absolutely gorgeous! I really enjoyed the expressive shots taken of Richard during that interview he did…

There were also pics of him with Michelle Forbes which were fun (although I do admit to Michelle feeling a little scary to me, I don’t quite know why…)

From the Love, Love, Love play there is even video footage, with great glimpses into the play! You can watch it HERE. I already hate, hate, hate that I won’t be able to go to New York to see this – I so hope a filmed version of the play will be viewable sometime!

There was an interview with TV Guide about Berlin Station which I enjoyed more than the other interviews I have seen… including the charming way in which Richard corrected the pronunciation of his name:

And a few days ago this image surfaced, which I absolutely love, love, love! It’s already right up there with some of my fave shots of him ever.

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But this interview with Richard Armitage had me squee!! OK, I already knew he liked Cate Blanchett, and Love in an Elevator in the shower I seem to recall having heard of before as well, he has mentioned The Goldfinch before but that was quite a while ago, and House of Cards as well, I totally agree on bigotry (which may be my biggest allergy as well), I too love Rome (in part due to the movie Roman Holiday, I even visited locations from that movie when I last was in Rome a few years ago), I had never heard of ‘Angel Delight’ before (not that I recall anyway) and it’s a pity that he prefers coffee over tea (I just don’t like coffee myself), but what made me squee was this:

Who is your favorite musician or favorite song? At the moment my favorite band is Muse. I am just maybe into them and I don’t know why, and there is a song called Butterflies and Hurricanes which is really cool.”

To regular blog readers, you may already know that I love Muse, that they are my absolute favourite band! When Richard referenced Muse in a tweet on his birthday I already shared my giddy happiness over him sharing a Muse song. I have since wondered whether sharing a link to the Starlight song was just a one-time thing. Did he just like that one song or does he just like a few Muse songs or could be possibly even be a Muse fan? Well, I got my answer here! Muse is Richard’s favourite band too! Squeeeee! I don’t quite know what he means by “I am just maybe into them” but Muse seems like a recent discovery for him. He may not stick to them in the long run but for now he has mentioned them as his favourite band and I am so psyched about that! So, it’s not just the one song, he’s pretty serious about Muse… for now. That’s my man. 🙂 Oh, and Butterflies and Hurricanes really is a very cool song… Richard has good taste!

Should he ever wish to see them live I would more than gladly take him to a concert! I have seen Muse live three times already, they are at their very best live and they are totally worth it. Wouldn’t that be a cool date? 😉