The #RA50Auctions afterparty

The charity auctions for Richard Armitage’s 50th birthday ended almost two weeks ago and Guylty has already apprised us of the overwhelmingly wonderful result. The funds have been transferred to LOROS Hospice and all was long done and dusted when I arrived home from my holiday last Sunday. Once I walked through the door and glanced at the accumulated mail, I found that the fun wasn’t over by any means as my own haul from the auctions had already arrived! All bills and boring mail were thrown to one side as I unwrapped my little treasures.

I was extremely happy to receive the The Martian Invasion Of Earth cd from Nokisuu that I had won in the auction, accompanied by a very lovely hand-crafted card. I think it’s the first time I have ever received mail from Finland.

I had another envelope waiting for me from Guylty, which contained a lovely Richard Armitage special delivery tag from Kate that I had bought and plan to use as a bookmark and other small goodies were included as well, such as a few stickers and a lovely Urban and the Shed Crew shrine card…

I had also bought a textile collage with a quote from Uncle Vanya from Guylty’s fixed-price sale and I had bought that for a very specific reason. For about a year and a half I’ve treasured my Uncle Vanya programme booklet that most of the cast had signed for me at the stage door last year. It was sitting in a case and what I really wanted to do was frame those two pages with signatures. However, framing just the pictures with signatures seemed meaningless without mention of what play it is from. So, I had already planned to cut up the booklet and also use the title page but as it’s not that easy to find an (affordable) elongated narrow picture frame to fit 3 pages side by side, I knew I had to use something bigger in a standard size. This meant that I would have a huge gap in my planned picture frame and what to fill that with? Then the auctions came and when I saw the fixed-price items I finally knew what to do with that gap.

Today I found an old wooden frame in the attic with a background I had once painted dark red way back in the 1990s. I finally cut up the booklet and, in addition to the signed pages, I used the title page, my own ticket to the play and that textile quote collage to fill the frame. This is the end result and I’m quite pleased…

I may yet decide to get another frame because this one, along with the red background, looks a bit dated, but then again Dr. Astrov is all about wood, so it does seem somewhat fitting in a way. In any case, I’m very pleased to have that quote collage to complete my little framed Uncle Vanya collection! Now finally those signatures are not hidden away anymore.

So, yes, I’ve been having my own private #RA50Auctions afterparty and it’s been fun. I’m also already getting ideas for the Christmas auction, if there is to be one…

Party on seems a fitting sentimemt.

Armitage DistRAction Challenge #2

Continuing on from here, this is part two of Guylty’s Armitage distraction challenge.


Doing all the rest of the questions (14 – 25) in one go.

14. Most annoying character?
Gosh, wrecking my brain here but not many characters annoy me. I like them or I don’t like them (for instance I hated that awful Percy guy in Marie Lloyd) but annoy? Had to think on that and then came up with Richard’s most recent character, Dr. Astrov in Uncle Vanya. I was very annoyed with his treatment of Sonya in the play, where he was leading her on and then pulling away. There were even gasps in the audience at one point at how he treated her. Yeah, annoying as hell!

15. Favourite quote of a character?
I suck at remembering quotes but after a little digging in my brain, one does spring to mind by Harry from The Vicar of Dibley:
“My visit here tonight could actually constitute a third date and therefore you would in fact owe me the sum of one kiss… with tongues…”

16. Saddest character death?
Thorin Oakenshield. Broke my heart.

17. Favourite century?
19th or the present… both are fine for me…

18. Your consolation show, i.e. the go-to show when you need distraction?
North and South for yearning romance, The Vicar of Dibley for a laugh.

19. Theatre or small/big screen?
Tough pick. What I want more than anything is a good project and the medium matters less to me. I do want access to that medium, though!
I adore Richard’s presence in the theatre, but such a performance, and the feeling of actually being there and witnessing his abilities live, is so fleeting. Fascinating and almost overwhelming, but fleeting.
I love the big screen to get a good close-up view of a huge Richard but that too is fleeting.
The small screen projects tend to be longer term and are great for seeing Richard develop a character over time.
So, I’ll happily partake in any (visual) medium on offer but in the end I guess I want everything on the small screen in my own possession for endless rewinding and studying over and over again.

20. Best costume/look?
I actually loved his John Proctor look in The Crucible.

21. Imagine your favourite character – assign them a colour, a scent and a chocolate flavor?
Who to pick because I really like Harry and the three Johns (Thornton, Porter and Proctor) but in the end I guess I’ll pick John Thornton because he was my first love.
Colour: grey, as Milton is a grey, industrial city and John’s life seems a bit dull and grey until Margaret comes into his life.

Scent: roses (yellow, for obvious reasons).

Chocolate: as long as it is heart-shaped and in a red wrapper, the flavour doesn’t matter so much. It’s all about the deep love John feels for Margaret.

heart shaped chocolate

22. Your favourite audiobook?
Audiobooks, not for me. But I did really enjoy what was more of an audio play called The Martian Invasion of Earth. Richard just voices that one character (one thing I don’t like about audiobooks is one actor doing all the characters in different voices) and can play off his co-stars. That sounded awesome to me and the story was exciting.

Martian Invasion Richard Armitage

23. Your favourite piece of fan art you own?
Yeah, said this before: the painting my mom once made for me of The Crucible. I made a phone cover that Richard even signed for me a few years ago in Newcastle! And the image graces the cover of my new phone now as well (plus it’s been the header for this blog for quite some time now).


24. If you had the opportunity to meet RA, what would you like to talk to him about?
Life. His youth, his relationship with his parents and brother & family, his true feelings about the work he does and the people he works with, difference between living and working in the US and the UK, his home life, books, movies, music, social issues and maybe even touch on politics. We could talk for days, make sure we laugh a lot too and drink loads of red wine.

25. Anything you dislike about the fandom?
Hero-worship (seriously, he’s just a guy) and drama which has always been around and always will be, I guess. I try to keep away from drama (so far I’ve been pretty successful with that) and just stick to my thing.

And voilà, the Armitage DistRAction Challenge 2020 is complete! Thanks for the fun, Guylty!

Martians – I did it! Wolverine next?

Anyone who has been reading this blog regularly may be aware that audiobooks and I don’t go together that well. I have listened to parts of Richard Armitage’s audiobooks and, even though I love his voice, I just can’t enjoy them and so have given up on them. It’s not Richard’s fault, it’s audiobooks in general. I don’t enjoy the reader making up all sorts of voices that often don’t quite gel with what I have in my head; I prefer to read the books myself, with my own tone in my head. I like to skip through bits if necessary or linger on bits that touch me or make me think, all at my own pace. Even as a child, I didn’t that much enjoy being read to, I have always wanted to read myself and savour a story in my own way. So, I prefer reading the books myself or seeing movies of them (sometimes) as opposed to only hearing them.

Cut to Richard and all that audiowork he’s been doing of late. I am skipping the Wanderlust audiobook and The Tattooist of Auschwitz as well. I’m definitely going to read The Tattooist, something I’d like to read anyhow whether Richard was involved or not, but I don’t think I’ll be able to bear the audiobook (for reasons mentioned above, especially with regards to this topic). However, two other audio projects of Richard’s have piqued my interest and I think the reason may be that they are audioplays rather than audiobooks. Richard only has to stick to voicing one character, which I prefer, and there is a bigger cast involved, which makes for greater diversity when listening.

So, I attempted the first audioplay, The Martian Invasion of Earth, which I finished this week. I listened to the first half while folding laundry and the second half during my commute to and from work yesterday. To actually stick to audiowork like this for more than 10 minutes is unique for me!

Verdict: I really enjoyed it! I love the Jeff Wayne rock musical War of the Worlds and thought I’d be comparing this to that all the time. To my surprise, I didn’t! I got caught up in this tale all on its own merit. I loved Richard as Herbert and I also loved Lucy Briggs-Owen as his wife Amy. They played off each other so well! The other characters in this were really good as well and I could see the story come to life in my mind’s eye. In fact, by the end it almost felt like I had seen this as a movie. Actually, come to think of it, I would quite enjoy seeing this as movie, with the same cast in it. 🙂

Despite this positive experience, I don’t think I’ll be listening to many more audioplays, I still prefer the visual form of film or reading. If it has Richard in it, however, I will give audioplays a go! So, next on the list is Wolverine, which I am curious about anyhow because I have previously enjoyed Hugh Jackman in the role of that tortured soul.

The first 2 episodes have been aired and I understand from Servetus’s blog (with spoilers!) and Perry’s blog (without spoilers) here and here, that it takes a while for Richard to appear in the episodes (and he only has 1 line in the first one). In gearing up to signing up to Stitcher and listening for myself, I came across this on my Twitter timeline this morning, where Richard speaks about recording Wolverine.

I find this little video absolutely wonderful! The way he speaks about the project, the gesturing, the concentration, the dedication and professionalism just shine through. And he looks good, too! I think I like this quiet, concentrated image best…

2018-03 RA reading Wolverine 01

… but then there’s also this…

2018-03 RA on Wolverine (8)2018-03 RA on Wolverine (7)

… and the talking with his hands…

… and these…

… and this little gem that someone on Twitter made a gif of!

2018-03 RA reading Wolverine
Source of GIF

If I weren’t already curious about this, I am now! Richard Armitage audioplays – I’m there!

Music to my ears… partially…

So, there’s lots of audiowork from Richard right now…

First off, he narrated a very iffy romance called Wanderlust by Lauren Blakely. When Richard speaks about this project, it does sound interesting in theory…

… but in practice I remain sceptical. Also, it’s an audiobook, which I’m generally not into anyhow. Perry was kind enough to listen to it so that I don’t have to and share her thoughts. Thank you for that! And yeah, I’m convinced more than ever that this is not for me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a sucker for a good romance but this doesn’t sound good to me at all… Sounds like more sex than plot & character, and while I don’t mind a graphic scene or two, I hate when there’s too much of it. It’s basically why I skipped through 80% of Fifty Shades of Grey and never bothered with the two sequels. I’m not sure I want to listen to some guy or girl masturbating on tape and, really, I mostly only like to hear dirty talk from my husband anyhow… So, yeah, I’m skipping this one, this project is not music to my ears.

The other project, the Wolverine one, IS music to my ears, as I already posted about here! It’s the first audio project of Richard’s that I am actually looking forward to! He’ll be on a panel at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Festival in Austin, Texas on March 11th, talking about Wolverine. Here’s also a press release about that. I’m looking forward to hearing more about what he says there, hope some fans can go and report back!

A third audio project that Richard narrated was released yesterday and is The Martian Invasion of Earth which I understand is a retelling of H.G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds. This could possibly be music to my ears, even though it is an audiobook! I don’t think I ever read the actual book and the movie with Tom Cruise was alright but not great. The adaptation I have always really loved of this book, however, is the rock musical Jeff Wayne made in 1978, narrated by none other than the late and great Richard Burton (that man had a great voice)!

Richard Burton

It’s the only audiobook of sorts that I’ve ever really enjoyed. What I love is the combination of Burton’s voice, the manner of narration and the great music that gives this an extra dramatic character.

So, I’m curious about the adaptation Richard A. has done and whether it can live up to the Jeff Wayne / Richard B. version. Richard A. is following into some big footsteps!

Martian Invasion Richard Armitage

The bits I have heard do sound promising, so I am going to try this despite it being an audiobook. Here’s hoping this will become music to my ears.

Yesterday news also came that Richard is filming again, this time a horror picture. “Noooo!”, was my first thought. Guess he changed his mind about not wanting to do horror. This is definitely no music to my ears. If there’s one genre I really can’t do, it’s horror. He’s filming something called The Lodge now.

Yeah, I can’t follow him there, I don’t think. I was only just about able to bear Hannibal, and admittedly, I think he did a great job there! However, it’s not something I can revisit and watching more horror is not something I can do… probably…

This horror movie and the sex book job sound like odd choices to me and it has me wondering whether he actually wanted to do these, or whether he was just obligated to do them, or whether he still feels like he can’t refuse stuff during down times even if they are iffy, or whether he finds them to be new challenges that somehow give him something, or whether he’s just a workaholic. I hope the answer is about new challenges and I hope he enjoys them…

Anyway, quickly shaking off this ice cold horror vibe that just ran down my spine from the horror movie choice, let me move on to another piece of audio. This time no Richard, but Hugh Jackman (yes, I know, him again). I was driving to work yesterday morning, listening to The Greatest Showman soundtrack yet again and having such a blast with it, I decided to film the experience on my way home from work. This is what came of it… It’s my current fave song from that soundtrack, called ‘From Now On’.

And while I have Richard and Hugh in one post yet again, here are two more pictures of these two dashing gentlemen. I saw this picture of Hugh…


…. which somehow made me think of this picture of Richard, one of my faves ever of him…


These are not music to my ears but a feast for my eyes to end this post on instead. 🙂