Richard Armitage and theater audiences: What made him want to go into the theater

Screen shot 2014-06-09 at 10.06.10 PMVivid Magazine, Spring 2005. Source: RichardArmitageOnline

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Interesting that Richard Armitage said in 2005 that the most important part of the theater-going experience for the audience and the cast is “having … a good time.”

There’s another quotation from an early radio interview that I need to look up again where he states that from time to time he had too much of hatchet-faced audiences while with the RSC. I’m sure the definition of “having … a good time” will be different for every theater-goer, and for every production (I can’t imagine the audience will be laughing at The Crucible as much as they might at a comedy). But this source suggests that the main thing for him is that the person who attends his work is entertained by their decision to be there, that his getting paid to do something he loves and entertaining people the whole while is the intrinsic reward for him.

And what’s exciting to him in this particular production and setting about the audience?

and our audience will sit and face themselves literally, they will look across the room and they will be able to see, you know, themselves in society and it’s incredibly exciting …

Seems like the most important thing to him might be the audience’s involvement in the drama being played out for them.

~ by Servetus on June 10, 2014.

12 Responses to “Richard Armitage and theater audiences: What made him want to go into the theater”

  1. To me, his comments in the video sounds like the result of a conversation with the director. It sounds like her vision that the audience experience the play in a certain way – facing themselves as being complicit in the actions they are watching portrayed – and that he finds that idea very exciting. I think perhaps it’s the challenge of transforming himself into this intense character that really excites him personally. The role he’s always wanted to play.

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  2. Well, I will be sitting in the front row, with my big wad of Kleenex, trying not to snuffle too loudly, and breathing through my mouth in what will probably be a futile attempt not to have to blow my nose. I hope he doesn’t take it the wrong way. I really WILL be having a good time!

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    • Thanks for the comment, and welcome. I think it must be tremendously flattering for an actor to witness the concrete evidence that he has moved his audience. Crying can also be a good time. That’s unless you’re referring to allergies, in which case, it doesn’t really matter all that much, I think.

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      • Nope. No allergies. Emotions only. I’m a blubberer, and I’ve bawled my way through this play more than once. I’m expecting that RA as JP is only going to toss fuel on the flame.

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  3. And I remember thinking the other night as I watched Hugh Jackman host the Tonys that this was what Richard did “not” want to do. Hugh does a little bit of everything and he does it very well. He does resemble Richard but that is where it ends. Richard has very definite ideas of what he wants to go now and I see that leaning way towards serious acting and with Hugh here is an actor who is open to every type of performance. He obviously loves getting up on stage and singing and dancing but he also seems to enjoy the movies he does and the variety therein.

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    • Interesting that you bring up Hugh J, who I also think is incredibly likeable and down to earth. While numerous people compare them as far as their looks, their personalities (or maybe temperaments?) seem almost polar opposite. Both are extremely talented performers / artists…. but this highlights how I find that serious, earnest, yet friendly, kind essence of Richard so endearing and unique.

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  4. With these statements it becomes clear to me the kind of actor RA is. He wants to engage his audience. He aspires to be the instrument by which we can see our own facets – good and bad.
    We shouldn’t merely be spectators, but become moved and engaged to the extent that we become introspective and able see ourselves in another light.
    If I’m right in my assessment of his statements, RA is a very unselfish and altruistic actor. He wants to give it his all.

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    • yeah, a lot of people seem to be worried about audience decorum issues at the moment and I honeslty don’t think he is. If it goes according to plan, people should be spellbound while the actors are on stage.

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