Old Vic Gala: Bookmarkings

Annette says the play Mr. Armitage was in was great. Her description does sound hilarious. Three great pictures of the man — all quite nice, though he looks a bit tired and wired at the same time. There’s a thread at C19. And I understand @kaprekar30 retweeted some significant tweets (I am not on twitter).

Sounds like a good time was had by all!

~ by Servetus on November 22, 2010.

77 Responses to “Old Vic Gala: Bookmarkings”

  1. Bless him, he looks gorgeous but tired . . . I would have loved to have seen “Dennis” getting his wish to look like Richard Armitage!! What fun that would have been to write and I’m sure RA had a fab time getting to slide down banisters, flex his pecs and pretend to be Lucas North . . . LOL Must have been nice to play a light, fun role for a change. Goodness knows he probably needs it.

    Thanks for putting this up, Servetus and thanks to Annette, too. I really HAVE to do some RL writing now and put aside the fun stuff for the night. Otherwise Monday will be a nightmare.

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  2. That post-performance high that hides exhaustion?

    Hope calexora got to shake his hand at least.

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    • You know, he looks really tired, he looks good, but really beat. Doesn’t he? Has @ Colexora posted an update anywhere? I wonder how it all went for her?

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  3. Well, from my limited performing experience in front of a live audience, I would guess yes. Lovely euphoria followed by the feeling you’ve smacked into a brick wall.
    He’s still filming CA apparently (which is making me hope they’ve ramped up that role, knowing what a fine actor they have & that people will be curious about the guy playing Thorin) and that has to be a grueling-though-satisfying experience at the Old Vic. I do hope he gets some R & R before journeying to Hobbit-Land.

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    • I know, I thought too that a bit part that was over in the first five minutes of the film would be done by now. But I don’t know anything about how feature films are made.

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  4. Sorry, blacksmithing on my mind. I also mean to say I truly hope Calexora did get to make some kind of contact with RA. At least she got to see him live on stage . . .

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    • Hi all,
      Just returned today from London. Thank you all for wondering how my experience was. It was a wonderful trip – each day was lived to the fullest. I have always loved that city and have been many times. I always feel so at home there and this trip was no different.

      RA was amazing and I also got to see his dress rehearsal. One of the best surprises was that we got to see him dance! I’m so very glad I went; it was better than I expected and I had loads of fun at the after-party too. Also, got a chance to see Birdsong last night and I highly recommend it. And ladies, he is more gorgeous up-close in person, if that’s at all possible and has a beautiful energy about him too. Also enjoyed seeing such an ensemble of talent, including some from the RA world – Miranda Raison (beautiful as usual), Tim Pigott-Smith, Lesley Manville (both wonderful!!), Richard Curtis, and Genevieve O’Reilly (in Birdsong), along with Paterson Joseph, Dan Stevens, Nathalie Dormer (also in the 24 Hour Plays) and Ben Barnes (lead in Birdsong).

      I’ve thought long and hard about this and I hope you understand but I’ve decided that I want to respect and honour the openness of those I spoke with at the after-party and not relay those conversations online. Meeting these talented individuals and getting a chance to share in this event with them and talk to them afterwards has put my interest in/curiosity of RA into perspective. But don’t get me wrong; I will of course continue to appreciate his art and take pleasure in his performances. And I look forward to also continuing to read your multi-layered analysis and perspectives on RA.

      Wishing you all the best and hopefully many many more years choc-full of wonderful RA performances!

      Calexora

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      • @calexora, I believe I may be proud of you fro taking this position.

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      • Hi calexora,
        Thank you so much for sharing your special evening at the Old Vic with us and seeing Richard Armitage perform on stage,and seeing the rehearsal as well!
        I am intrigued that seeing him in person seems to have totally changed your perspective of being a fan, or his fan. I think that’s always a factor when you see someone you admire but don’t know in “the flesh” as a real person.

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        • @ Calexora — So glad that you had a nice time!!! I can totally respect the fact that you don’t want to share all the deets. I like how you said,”he has a beautiful energy about him.”

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          • “A beautiful energy” . . . that makes me smile.
            One of the things I am thankful for this Thanksgiving is Richard Crispin Armitage.

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      • Thanks Calexora, I hope you at least got to speak with him and got your picture taken at the after party?

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      • Thank you, I understand your decision. However, could you tell us about your experience of watching the dress rehearsal?

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        • Of course – I’d be pleased to describe the dress rehearsal.

          So we were asked (ahead of time) to pick either the 3:30pm or 4:10pm timeslot and were asked to meet at the Waterloo Brasserie (where the pre-show party was also held) a few minutes before our timeslot.

          We had chosen the 3:30pm slot, not knowing of course which of the plays we would have a chance to see. When we arrived at the Brasserie, there was a film crew set up in front of the doors; we walked past and got in (it was a quite chilly afternoon and we’d been walking along the Thames). We were greeted by Old Vic staff who asked if we wanted anything to drink (anything we wanted).

          As we were cold, we opted for tea and headed to the bathroom downstairs while they were getting it ready. As we arrived downstairs (and were looking for the right door), I glanced to the room on my left and was greeted with the sight of Rupert Evans (the brother in North and South; later found out he was in the same play as Mr. Hale – Tim Pigott-Smith). Back upstairs we drank our teas while the other VIPs who had picked this timeslot arrived. 3:30pm rolled around and we were still waiting.

          By about 3:40-3:45pm one of the staff members from the Old Vic explained what the process would be – she also gave us a bit of an overview of what the participants had been going through up to this point.

          They had all met on Sat night around 10pm (following the last curtain call of Design for Living – currently playing at the Old Vic). Everyone was asked to bring one prop, one piece of costume and a special skill. The writers then went to a hotel nearby and set to the task of writing six new plays that had to be done by 6:30am. Most of the actors and directors – instead of going home – decided to stick around (I think she said they went for a drink or something).

          At 6:30am the directors read all the scripts and pitched to get the ones they wanted to direct. And then the fun for the actors started…learning their lines, rehearsing, etc. We were told that the 6 teams were spread all over to practice, some in the Old Vic, some elsewhere nearby (like Tim and Rupert downstairs). She told us we’d have to be quiet so we wouldn’t disturb them when we went over to the Old Vic.

          She then took us across the street and we went up to the top balcony. Passing the 2nd floor we saw Paterson Joseph and Lesley Manville (Mrs. Hale) rehearsing. I didn’t notice at this time that Natasha McElhone was also in this group (nor did I know she was participating at all). As we got upstairs and took some seats, my friend and I decided to sit at center stage, rather than the right side of the balcony – where most of the others had filed in. So, there I was sitting down (and looking down) when I heard one of the actors on stage below say (by the way – at this point it hadn’t registered who was on stage) “It’s Richard Armitage”. I looked up and there he was. (BIG SMILE – what a treat to see his rehearsal).

          Since this was a technical rehearsal, the actors were not running through all their lines; the production team was also lining up the lighting, confirming the position of the actors on stage, etc. Within a few seconds, there was RA and his co-star (Debbie Chazen, playing his wife) dancing on stage, up the staircase, RA sliding down the banister, sliding on his knees, being dipped by his wife. I was really happy as I had not seen him dance before (has anyone?) And the man moves well!! That’s also when I noticed that Miranda Raison was there (didn’t know that she was participating either at this point so it was a nice surprise). She played his sister-in-law. RA was reminded at one point that he should be stage right (and he said something like, yes right). When they were done their run-through, the lights went out and when they were back on, RA was lying on the sofa. So that was it. They were done. He left the stage, coming down the side stairs. He grabbed his coat and walked out. The whole thing (by the time we were there) took about 5-7 mins. The next team to rehearse was Lesley Manville’s team so I got to also see Mrs. Hale in a very different role, environment and playing an American accent. She was great.

          We were of course very happy that we got to see his rehearsal and be able to compare the performance with the preview we had had a chance to see. The play was great but we suspected that one of the actors (not RA) forgot some lines because the ending changed a bit, and the play seemed to rush through that part a bit. But it was very funny and we quite enjoyed it, along with the other five plays.

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          • Thanks for your very interesting and detailed account of the dress rehearsal. Boy, how lucky and what a treat it must have been to have seen Richard’s rehearsal as well ! I was at the show that night and thoroughly enjoyed the plays. Now I understand why Richard’s play was quite a bit shorter than the others. It was particularly wonderful to see him dance. 🙂 I thought Richard’s play was the funniest but Richard Curtis wrote the best play of the night. And I fully understand why you decided not to relay the details of the after-party. As someone who has met Richard several times over the years and have had conversations with him which are not acting-related, I feel the same way too.

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          • Thanks Calexora!! What was the original ending then?

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      • I think that’s a great decision, calexora. Everyone has to decide where her own line of privacy lies. Memories are often more special when not shared with an internet full of strangers. And if this trip helped you put your Armitage experiences in perspective, that alone made it worth the investment.

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        • This seems to have been a life-changing experience as well as a trip of a lifetime for Calexora.

          Maybe one day . . .

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        • Thanks for your understanding everyone; it’s one thing relaying the facts of the event, but I found (surprisingly) that I don’t feel comfortable sharing what I was told when they are not ‘working’ – when they are being themselves. I can’t imagine the loss of privacy they must feel just because they chose this field, this art form. And the line between fan and objectifying someone is no longer that clear to me. So – no judgement at all intended of anyone else’s perspective, interest, etc. – I know I am still a fan, but I think that this experience has resolutely put into perspective where I draw my line.

          I will add one thing, I have really had fun being a ‘fangirl’ these past few months…It’s what I needed to change my focus on what was happening in my life. But you are right Musa, meeting someone in person invariably changes our perspective…and in a good way I think.

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          • I can only reaffirm what I said above — if having this experience, doing this made things clearer for you, what an amazing gift.

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        • I agree with Servetus.

          Honorable decision, and thanks for sharing your memories of the event with us, calexora. 🙂

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  5. You can view the timeline of that Twitterer directly now @FeignedMischief

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  6. You don’t have to be on Twitter to view it

    http://www.twitter.com\FeignedMischief

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  7. @kaprekar,

    Thanks for posting this link!! What fun! I didn’t read through everything (I really do have to finish writing this magazine story), but enough to see what an exciting event it was and that apparently the man IS staggeringly handsome in person and quite unaware of it . . . amazing! Can’t wait to read her article about the event. Thanks again! ( :

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  8. Here’s the blogpost Feigned Mischief has written of her experience at the Old Vic http://feignedmischief.wordpress.com/2010/11/22/it-happened-one-night/ Enjoy 🙂

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  9. What a hoot! Fantastic opportunity for self-parody which he loves with a sideways snipe at suddenly changing identity. Love the irony.

    And what a comfortable environment to venture out onto the stage for the first time in quite a few years.

    Of course the main thing that concerns me is whether the lovely coat goes with the cap he was wearing a few weeks ago. Greys are so hard to match and men are usually incapable of seeing the subtles differences of tone!

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    • Love the irony too Pam – I wonder how much it was RA’s idea, and how much the writer’s? My guess is 80% RA’s – what an opportunity to distance him from his image.

      Sending yourself up is a fantastic way to defuse any envy or criticism. And RA does seem to worry about envy, judging by his comments on not wanting to be seen arriving at shoots in his sleek new convertible.

      I wonder if he got to talk to Kevin Spacey about playing Richard III (I know, I know, RA doesn’t want to do the Shakespeare Richard but even so, they’d have much to discuss).

      The lovely new coat does look surprisingly stylish and expensive – perhaps someone took him on a shopping trip? But it’s good that he’s getting a chance to spend some of his hard-earned cash at last.

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    • I was wondering about the coat too — loved it in the abstract and also thought it was a good choice for him / his body. I hope it’s a sign that he’s in the hands of a good SO.

      And the distancing from his image must have been so fun and liberating.

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    • I think it must have been such a delight, indeed, so liberating to poke fun at his image (and take a poke at Spooks, too?!)–I really do wish he could do some more comedy sometime over the next few years.
      He says he is so NOT funny, but he is SO wrong. RA is a very versatile fellow.

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  10. I loved reading feigned mischief’s account. For some odd reason it makes me happy that he is as lovely on the inside as he is on the outside. I also think that these encounters depict him more accurately than 100 publicity interviews. His warmth, his niceness radiate through. Lovely.

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    • Yeah, emphatically agree, even though the skeptic in me feels the need to point out that we are in roles all the time, and of course he has to know that stories of his encounters make it back to a much broader group of fans. Even so, even if “nice” is a role he plays it’s one that takes a lot more effort than “closed off celebrity” and I am grateful that he does it.

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      • The fact that he makes an effort and cares enough to appear nice to fans is a pretty good indicator that he’s probably a nice guy in general. It must be hard to do if you’re in a particular rotten mood one day and I know from experience that sometimes I just really want to be an ass to people (and I consider myself a nice person most of the time). I think if I happen to be in the public eye a lot for whatever reason I wouldn’t come off near as nice as Richard does! 😉

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      • He could indeed be one of those surlier celebs who refuses to sign autographs, pose for photos or take the time to chat with a fellow traveler on a bus–so I appreciate the effort he makes in this just as I do the effort he puts into his roles. An admirable fellow in many ways.

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  11. What a lovely evening for everyone there and so wonderful of all in attendance to share with the rest of us. Thank you so much!
    His sense of humor is one of the things I love the most about him. Heartwarming to confirm he’s beautiful in every way, inside and out. I did notice in some of the photos that he seems to have a new briefcase, at least from the strap around his shoulder and the side view? Maybe he read all the comments about his well worn one that he was taking around on recent interviews and bought a new one?

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    • Maybe his old briefcase left him ? 🙂

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      • Probably not seeing enough of him because of his busy schedule!

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        • Well, you know, a long term briefcase has expectations about how it should be treated in return for its loyalty and for not springing a leak or falling apart. Or maybe the briefcase decided it didn’t want to get all dolled up for the after party and decided to stay home with a bowl of popcorn in its jammies.

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  12. Ladies, it does make me smile that all the outpourings of love for this man on this blog would probably make him either blush or run away, bless him!

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    • Thanks for posting the link to the twitter stream, kaprekar.

      I am sure he’d run away from this blog — but I’m not writing for him, after all: and we are all commenting more as a means of letting off steam than directing it at him, I assume. When I only ponder what it would be like to sit next to him in a bus for ten or fifteen minutes my face turns red and my blood starts to churn. Squeeing here is an outlet for all that sort of energy that is highly inappropriate in other venues. If he didn’t understand that at the beginning of his career, he must be starting too, now.

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  13. Those lucky girls! I am impressed that they were able to keep their witts about them and put words together to form actual sentences. Not sure I could do it!

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  14. And, they made sense!!! Wow! They arrived. They saw. They drooled. They smiled. They lived thru it. They wrote. They made sentences. They were coherent. THEY RULE!! Way to go gals..we’re absolutely green. Thanks for sharing the moment.

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  15. I will have to check this out, never heard old vic gala

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  16. I know this slightly off topic but just had to share this with you all.

    Last night I went to see “Deathtrap” with some friends and when we got on the tube,one of them asked who was in it and I said Simon Russell Beale, the current Home Secretary in Spooks. Then one of the others piped up with “Oh I had a Spooks encounter in the summer.”

    She had been meeting her husband in London after work one day in June and was wandering around Bedford Square trying to find her way, on her mobile to hubby asking directions, when she nearly walked into a tall man wearing dark clothes also on his mobile! The man grimaced and turned on his heal and then she realised there were cameras and crew all around. She was too embarassed to hang around. Within inches of the loveley one! Clearly he was deep in character (or characters probably in that context). If that happened to me, hubby would have had to have waited a few minutes while I had a good stare.

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    • Thanks for the story. To just be walking and bump into him, I’d probably stand there with wide eyes, I wouldn’t be able to realize there are cameras, lol.

      Ohh, I wish I lived in London, so there would be the chance(in a million) to at least sight-see him 😛

      OML 🙂

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    • He has said when he gets into the character he really doesn’t like to break out of it unlike some of his co-stars, so I imagine he did grimace quite fiercely LOL I agree, if I lived in London I could at least hope for a chance encounter with the TDHBEW–even if I ended up standing there gaping like an unattractive fish.

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    • Great story. 🙂 I am pretty sure I’d drop dead on the spot if accidentally stepped on by Richard Armitage.

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  17. @ Pam. that’s a great story …lol!! Chance encounters would have to be the best ones! 🙂

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  18. Marvellous descriptions of this gala. Thank you, all for posting and referencing. It does appear that, in England, at least, the talent of Richard Armitage is acknowledged. (And the supporters of other countries are becoming legion.)

    Reading Globish presently. Recommended. The English language is utterly absurd. And I love it.

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    • I am thrilled his amazing, versatile talent, and not just his amazing looks, are being recognized and celebrated. And that recognition is definitely spreading here in America, hooray!!
      Will have to check out “Globish” @fitzg–am fascinated by language in general and yes, our absurd language specifically.

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  19. This clip was posted on RA Online:
    http://www.richardarmitageonline.com/Richard-Armitage-Flash/old-vic-gala.html

    He looks like he is having so much fun. Love it! Love the smile!

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  20. […] Though I’m jealous of the people who got to see him dance on stage approximately a year ago, that’s not precisely what I mean. And, yes, I’ve see the Cats rehearsal videos, and while those make inspiring testaments to his artistic talent and physical control, that’s not quite what I mean, either. Not the impromptu dancing with friends from his late adolescence, either. (And: For those who think I’m dreaming of seeing him doing a strip tease, get your minds out of the gutter!) […]

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  21. […] the midst of that came a reappearance of Annabel Capper at the 2010 Old Vic Gala, and she was a test case for where exactly I placed the boundaries of my fan relationship to […]

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