My Armitage theatre wall

The other day I blogged about the Uncle Vanya framed collage I had made needing another frame. As I have other things hanging on that wall with black frames, I figured black would be the way to go. So, I bought a new black frame and decided to keep the red background of the old frame for the collage. The end result looks like this…

Not only does this look better than the old, thick, light wooden frame, suddenly everything hanging on that wall pulls together nicely and I now have a complete Richard Armitage theatre wall in our dining area. My mother’s The Crucible painting now replaces a (pretty standard) Audrey Hepburn canvas I had hanging above that window, and the Uncle Vanya collage now hangs on the The Crucible poster’s old spot. I really like my themed wall.

The extra bonus is that the red background in the Uncle Vanya collage actually matches very nicely with the antique old Dutch children’s chair we have standing there. As a child I actually sat in that chair to eat. It is now used to store the cats’ food and is the spot where our black cat eats.

I start work again on Monday and the best thing of my working day will be that I can look at that Richard Armitage theatre wall. 🙂

Thank you, Richard

I saw a Richard Armitage video clip on Servetus’s blog just now (thank you, Serv, for finding that!) that I just need to post here as well.  Richard, still with Uncle Vanya hair, speaking about working on Broadway, about how special that was for him, about the importance of theatre and about getting through this corona crisis.

It’s a short message, about his work but somehow also strangely comforting with his heartfelt words.

“The lights will come back on and we will be together again” and “For now be safe, be healthy and we’ll see you soon” were simple sentences that rounded off this little video perfectly. I wasn’t waiting or particularly hoping for a message from Richard during this corona crisis, but now that this message is here, I love it! This was exactly the balm I needed right now, today, this evening. Thank you, Richard, for cheering me up.

At the Victoria & Albert Museum

Before I go into a whole “Armitage fan experience in London” post, I’m first posting about something else I was able to do there. I had arrived in London last Sunday morning and spent a lovely day just hanging out and chatting with my brother and some with my niece.

Then on Monday I had the day to myself and I decided to finally visit the Victoria and Albert Museum in Kensington. I had never been there and had always meant to go there one day. It was a good day to pick that, as it was a cold, dreary and very wet day. Picture taken from the bus I was on; the window was wet, it almost looks like an impressionist painting.

20200224_124333I got to the museum and somehow it seemed much larger than I had thought. I mean, I knew it housed a very diverse collection but this was much bigger than I had expected.

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I wandered around on the ground floor a bit, particularly liking the statues gallery…

… and then went in search of the café for something to eat. The old café was beautiful, but alas there was no space for me to sit there…

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So, I sat in the more modern section and really enjoyed my scone and cup of tea.

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Even going to a bathroom at the café was a museum experience with old tiles and fawcets bearing Georg Vth initials, which indicates they were somewhere from the beginning of the 20th century.

Speaking of royalty, on my way to the medieval section I passed the car Harry and Meghan had used at the end of their wedding day

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It was basically an ad for the vintage cars exhibition that was also on at the V&A but that I didn’t end up visiting.

In the medieval section I was struck by this early 16th century tapestry from Brussels depicting Queen Esther (she after whom I have been named):

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I also love looking at old books, like this early printed book from 1521, not long after the printing press had been invented.

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Some more nice vistas as you walk through the museum:

I have seen lots of medieval art and statues and the like in many museums over the years, so for me the high point of the museum was something I have not seen that much of: an exhibition on early photography. Even just looking at all those cameras before you enter the room was fascinating.

I was in awe seeing an early heliograph image of Christ carrying the cross from 1827. You can barely see the image but it’s there (click to enlarge)…

… and an 1840’s daguerreotype image of a collage of famous faces.

I liked this 1850s image. Imagine keeping that little dog still enough for long enough to create this image!

An early camera was on display…

And there were more fascinating 19th century images, with one image also of Alice Liddell, who was the ‘real’ Alice in Wonderland.

Absolutely fascinating, including some early 3D imagery you could see through this viewer but that I couldn’t take pictures of.

The other section I was fascinated with was the theatre collection (with a little movie glam thrown in).  The horse for the War Horse production was there…

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And other theatre costumes…

There was the Henry V costume as worn by Richard Burton…

And a costume designed by Dior for Vivien Leigh in a movie…

Vivien Leigh seems to have bequeathed some of her memorabilia to the V&A. The Oscar she had won for A Streetcar Named Desire in the 1950s was on display…

… as was a telegram addressed to Laurence Olivier (Vivien Leigh’s husband at the time) from Lillian and Dorothy Gish, movie stars of mainly the silent movie era, congratulating Leigh on her brilliant acting performance in Streetcar.

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There were more awards on display from other actors for other performances:

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And some music related memorabilia of David Bowie…

and Madness…

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This is just a tiny impression of all there is to see at the V&A and I saw way more than I took pictures of. It’s a great museum, very diverse and I by far haven’t seen everything. I may have to return there again sometime.

By the time I finally emerged from the musem at the end of the afternoon, it had stopped raining. I again took a bus, this time to Piccadilly Circus, and the view was somewhat less impressionist:

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I was off to go and meet Hariclea for evening theatre shenanigans at the Harold Pinter Theatre. More on that in my next post. 🙂

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!

Fangirling Armitage slump lifting?

In my e-mail I receive regular “London Theatre” updates and this was in my inbox today:

London Theatre e-mail

That headline links to this article. Now, I know this news is a day or two old but this makes it extra official for me and it looks like I’ll have to plan another trip to London in January now! I think I read Uncle Vanya in high school but I can’t for the life of me remember what it’s about. Regardless, Richard back in the London theatre is something I can really look forward to! Finally something Richard-related for me to get really excited about again.

I know it can’t be helped due to the nature of the business but I don’t like getting excited over something that I’d really love to see Richard do and it then falling through. I recall that Edith Wharton Summer project that still hasn’t come to fruition (will it ever?), that musical that mysteriously was never to be and what happened to the priest project we heard of some months ago? I am sure I am missing more off the top of my head right now… and now there’s some mystery Korean scifi project he’ll be doing?

RA Korea Tweets

I wonder if that will really happen? I’m not holding my breath quite yet but I also don’t quite know how excited to be about this. I do like how totally different this project is and I do love how the man seems to be challenging himself in so many ways.

I so want to fangirl a new Richard project but The Lodge won’t be for me and I still can’t make myself do audiobooks. I thought the first Castlevania was alright but haven’t seen the second yet. Trevor is animation and not Rich in the flesh after all. I haven’t done the newest Wolverine audio play yet either – again, no visual Richard. I like to have audio and visual Richard combined. I’m curious about My Zoe and I’m curious about The Stranger, which he’s filming now, but even those don’t have me over-excited yet. That little dad-dance he posted on Instagram from the set of The Stranger was fun, though, so that at least was a little excitement there. 🙂

I will eventually attempt Castlevania and Wolverine and I will watch all the other  projects for him and I hope they’ll be really good, but none of these projects, nor even the Korean scifi, makes my heart beat extremely wildly in anticipation. Let me be clear, I don’t begrudge him any of these projects and in everything he does, he’s always good! Also, this all makes him develop as an actor and become even better. However, these just aren’t projects I enjoy that much, I only watch them for him and not because I’d enjoy them independently from Richard.

Yet I still hold out hope for projects I can love, because even though the recent few years of Armitage projects haven’t excited me wildly (Urban and the Shed Crew excepted and that one is dead in the water as far as DVD release goes), the man for some reason or other still remains my favourite! Now finally, for the first time in a long time, I am getting excited again because Richard Armitage is coming back live on stage and within reach for me to go and see him! He’s co-starring with Toby Jones who I really like as an actor, he too is always good. Richard in a quality play, that really lifts my fangirl heart today. Here a little reminder of how good he is on stage: The Armitage in The Crucible

Yes, I’m sure I’ll be there in January 2020 at the Harold Pinter Theatre in London.