Roundabout Theater Company reveals art for Love, Love, Love #richardarmitage


~ by Servetus on July 19, 2016.

38 Responses to “Roundabout Theater Company reveals art for Love, Love, Love #richardarmitage”

  1. Well I just can’t get excited about that artwork. I feel as if something is missing.

  2. I can’t get excited about this artwork – I feel as if something is missing.

  3. I can feel the fan art creativity stirring!

    • I agree although my impression is that parts of the fandom still think this is a love story …

  4. i think it could of been better. maybe, a red backdrop and the love, love, love all in black letters, or a white backdrop and love, love, love all in the British colors.

    • Interestingly, red, black and white is the color scheme on the first English edition of the script.

  5. I would hope that the theater would offer a poster with RA’s photo on it. I am sure many of his “well wishers” probably will feel this way. More money maker for them.

  6. They will if they know what’s good for them, but it’s not the same as The Crucible where the play was really about the one character. At the very least they’d have to have a poster with both the male and female leads.

  7. Hm it’s and interesting interpretation with the colours moving from bright to black and white. I think it captures the line of the play but very subtley so. Doesn’t feel like the most creative graphic interpretation of it though Will be interesting to see how fans capture it.

  8. Oops, I am the minority here. I really like this artwork – precisely because there are no photos of the leads in there. It’s the sort of thing I would hang on my wall – and not attract any questions 😉

    • No I think you’re right … if you look at the photos on there you can see a crowd of 1960’s screaming girls and the title itself is from The Beatles hit single All You Need is Love … and as much as I admire the fella, he’s not the only one in the play and it would be wrong to put him above all the other just as excellent actors …. #scuttlesovertothecornerandwaitsforabusivereplies

  9. i agree about Mr. Richard Armitage appearing on the poster, but what would be better is him on the poster showing the different ages he will playing.

  10. Am I the only one who thinks it looks like someone tore it into pieces and tried to put it back together?

  11. sorry meant to say he will be playing

    • it wouldn’t be representative of the content of the play, though — it’s more about generational conflict than the development (or in this case, the non-development) of the character.

  12. This piece does basically what Roundabout needs it to do. It has as a graphic representation for each act with the “ripping” effect representing the family and societal tensions of the play. Not thrilling, but it gets the job done – the job being to position the production to the typical Roundabout ticket-buyer.

    Since it is a limited run (and unlikely to transfer to Broadway) and is essentially an ensemble piece, this play is likely on Roundabout’s season as a sort of “theater for the people who love theater” offering. It’s not a classic. Not a splashy musical. Not a world premiere or new play. Not intended to be a wild money-maker. It’s five years old. In all press releases and on the website the cast is listed in alphabetical order (per custom). In fact, thus far their marketing copy has made the stars of the production Mike Bartlett’s words and Michael Mayer’s directing – and for good reason, as avid theater-goers know and respect their names as real theater brands.

    And in terms of that theater-for-theater-lovers focus, Amy Ryan has more theater cred than anyone in the cast and is a popular name with her Tony noms some years back.

    As a piece of marketing imagery, this does what it needs to do – gives a general feeling of the play and reinforces the title of the show. Sometimes that’s just the nature of the marketing and publicity beast.

    Tangentially –

    Doing a piece where he isn’t the exclusive tentpole to the production is a good thing for Richard, imo. It allows him to breathe a bit since selling tickets isn’t just up to his name and the name of the theater. It also allows audiences to see him within the context of other actors – as someone other than “that Hobbit/tv actor”. Because the focus isn’t entirely on him, he can take the time to work his craft without having to fully carry the load.

    • Also, sorry for the dissertation. . . (Sometimes I think I need my own RA blog, but I can’t keep up my other ones so it all goes into the comments. :-\ )

    • You articulated what I already thought. The Crucible had a central character in John Proctor and of course, his face would go front and centre. As for breathing…I thought I heard a ‘whoosh’. 😉

    • well, it’s a non-profit theater, so none of what they do is really intended to make money, except the Broadway plays (presumably — although I don’t see The Cherry Orchard as the big money generator, maybe I am wrong). If you look at their operating budget for 2014, I think they ran at a $1-2M deficit in 2014. Their profile is “revival of classics” and their usual audience is described in more than one place as “geriatric.” They also don’t have many public grantors (from what I could see). Mostly individuals and private foundations.

      See also my and harryslass’ comments above. That said, what I would add to this is that this is a really good step for him to make professionally in terms of the quality of the production that Roundabout is known for producing. Critics take their work really seriously; they are heavily nominated in the theater awards and they come off pretty well, too.

      However: i stand by what I said, based on what I observed in the lobby of the Old Vic in London — if they produced an item that had his face on it, it would sell extremely well.

      • Yeah, non-profits DO still have to maintain their operating budgets at some point. Operating at a deficit usually gets dicey after a few years. Roundabout’s Broadway transfers and musicals probably help with that load. Non-profit or for-profit, theater in the U.S. is very much a capitalist endeavor.

        As weird as it sounds, a classic with a readily recognizable title like “The Cherry Orchard” can often have greater sales than an unfamiliar contemporary title because Chekhov is almost as much of a name-brand as Shakespeare. Known quantities sell really well to the bluehairs.

        I certainly agree that selling posters and such to fans of the actors in their productions – including this one – could be an easy source of revenue – but probably a drop in the bucket, all things considered. It isn’t always something that theaters think of putting their staff and resources into. It depends upon the attitudes and culture of the institution. The Old Vic seems to have a knack for tapping into fan satisfaction.

        And a big YES on the “a good step for him to take professionally” thing. The Roundabout gets reviews and coverage by all the major outlets and is an incredibly influential institution. They’ve been on a roll the past few seasons. Definitely a good get for him.

        • My point is solely that The Cherry Orchard is no Hamilton. I’m sure it does fine or they wouldn’t put it on Broadway but it’s not going to earn them a huge surplus.

          re: Roundabout, I’m sure they don’t want to operate consistently at a deficit but they have a lot of assets including securities (if their budget statement is accurate). Their business model also relies heavily on subscriptions and at least a little bit (like most nonprofits) on the big angel who will pay $2500 just to be able to buy a few seats. That probably works better for them in NYC where theater is a “thing” than in some other cities in the US.

          re: Old Vic, oddly, although they obviously mount productions that people want to see, on the mdsing aspect they seemed quite lame. I pointed this out in an earlier joke post (What #LLL stuff do you want to buy?). Of the limited stuff they did have to buy (posters) they sold out of it twice before the production was even over and it was not available except in the theater until, I think halfway through the production. I think they didn’t realize that Armitage fans would buy over the internet even if they didn’t attend or perhaps because they didn’t attend. (Also, those were great posters.) Obviously an Armitage item isn’t going to cover the cost of mounting a production, and that wasn’t what I was saying. However, it is likely that whatever they make would sell out. I agree nonetheless that Armitage’s face isn’t the point of this production.

        • Another thing about that poster (iirc the only posters for sale to the public were ones with Armitage’s face — they did produce other images and posters but that was the only one you could buy), frankly, was that it was sooooo cheap. (And I’m sure that is why they thought no one would pay to have it shipped to them.) 3 pounds. They must have made it up in volume. If Roundabout had an item in that price range …

        • A little OT but can you elaborate a little further on why you think performing this play is a good professional move for Richard Armitage? Do you feel it will further his stage career and/ or film career in the United States? I like your thoughts on the poster – appropriate for an ensemble piece I think.

          • –as mentioned, Roundabout is a highly respected organization — chance for more work with them potentially in the kind of work that Armitage seems to like, i.e., important works of the theater canon
            –Roundabout’s productions are seen by all the critics and are heavily nominated for NYC theater awards (95 noms in the last season). This play doesn’t qualify for a Tony nom but there are other important competitions
            –if you subscribe to a google alert for Bartlett, the first thing you will discover is that he seems to be a playwright of the moment. His plays are being performed all over the English and Spanish-speaking worlds and in a few other places as well. it’s a good play to have on his CV, I think, and the contemporary quality of the work is a strong contrast to his other work, which is more classical (e.g., Miller is an American classic; Shakespeare, Duchess of Malfi, etc.)
            –director Michael Mayer is a huge deal. Multiple Tony Awards (eg., for Spring Awakening, which was a big deal in the US, and Hedwig and the Angry Inch) and awards for British productions as well.
            –Heather can say more about this, but the female lead has a lot of NYC theater cred, apparently
            –because the play is known and itself awardwinning, but not an American classic, he shouldn’t get picked to pieces just because of a hostile local critic (had Armitage appeared on Broadway as Proctor for his first time in “Miller’s city,” there would have been critics gunning for him — that is unlikely with this play)

            In short, you couldn’t pick a better series of preconditions for a successful show and the script, as was noted above, isn’t so heavily reliant on a single character, so it’s not all hanging from his shoulders. Great choice for his first appearance on a NYC stage and assuming it goes well, it should set him up with connections not just to NYC but also (via Mayer) to possibilities in London. Mayer just shot an indie with Annette Benning and Saoirse Ronan as well, so it could possibly be a step toward more “artistic” indies. I’ve always thought his first love was theater, and if he wants to work from home now in theater (instead of having to camp out in London), this is a super place to get started.

          • All of the above from Servetus! Especially regarding the importance of the work at the Roundabout, it being a Bartlett play, and the connections with the director and cast. (I’d imagine RA is no slouch in the iPhone contacts, too.)

            Many casting directors, film and theater producers, etc. live and work in NYC and see theater often. Getting to see actors’ work live can help them think of an actor in a new way and consider them for projects they may not have before.

            Even getting the write up that is likely to happen in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, even possibly the LA Times and Variety gets his name and a serious consideration of his work in front of those people. The entertainment ecosystem still takes work in the theater very seriously, even if it isn’t seen by mass audiences.

            But putting the arts marketing part of my brain aside, I like to think he just grabbed at the chance to do some challenging acting he might really enjoy. Acting in the theater is a powerful draw!

            I’m not sure it was a strategic career move, per se (especially since he might have had to audition?), but it is a great opportunity either way.

            • All of what you and Serv said and for me especially the fact that he didn’t let too many years pass again before he did theater! i think he is a great theater actor, even with the long break he managed to stand out in London with all the local competition in terms of theater performances and there is nothing quite like seeing somebody act live on stage 🙂 At least for me it has an added level of excitment and energy compared to screen 🙂
              I am also glad he took on a more modern play although i really do hope he will do Shakespeare again. If i could wish for anything it would be a 50/50 balance of screen and stage 🙂 And stage in various parts of the world so more people can enjoy a live performance from him, although i recognise that is more difficult to achieve.
              I am glad he keeps theater relatively close as i think it is easy to drift away from the stage community if you don’t keep working on stage at least every couple of years.

              As to the poster i agree, perfectly serviceable and what most institutions would do. However, as an occasional collector of them myself fro things i have seen and have made an impact on me i find it graphically underwhelming. It’s not the kind of graphic art you’d want permanently on your wall, especially as my wall space is at a premium 😉 I don’t need images of the actors on them but i do like to have names of cast/director and so on as a reminder of the performance i have actually seen not just the play itself. But, i’ve raised this issue with the Royal Opera House for example as well who have also stopped doing posters for sale almost entirely. From a financial point of view it just doesn’t make sense, creating a good piece of artwork in a poster is actually very expensive and sale comes with copyright and usually the sales don’t justify the investment. Sad for collectors but in times of little money, all of it needs to be on stage and that makes sense 🙂

            • I looked for the general casting call and he wasn’t on it — it was for Rose and Jamie and the understudy to Kenneth. Which doesn’t mean he didn’t audition, just not in the general pool.

              Something else that occurred to me last night is that he’s playing an English character. The casting call specified “standard British” for all the auditioners, so they will definitely follow the script in that regard. Insofar as his US accents are still works in progress, that is also a big plus.

  13. […] that’s an idea that won’t become obvious until after the theater-goer sees the play. See, here, for a good and on-going discussion, but as it is, to me it’s truly an […]

  14. I can’t provide in-depth analysis but it looks warholian to me and probably someone with greater knowledge of colour theory will be able to say why the colours of purple, yellow, blue, green and orange predominate. The obvious colour missing is red. I’m intrigued by the tiny smidge of pink.

    The background of the lettering starts of as simple with monochromatic colouring and then becomes more complex/messy with blobs and splatters. The background of the pictures is pixelated. What is the second picture of? Fall of the Berlin Wall? Woodstock?

    It looks like it would cost a lot to produce – I’m assuming based on the number of colours and irregularity of design – so the decision to go with this poster would not be one that was made lightly.

    It’s an arty poster – you wouldn’t even know it’s for the play because no identifying info is given – not even mike Bartlett’s name. I can see hipsters buying and framing the poster as is.

  15. Mimi, maybe you solved one mystery, and what looks pixelated is channeling artist, Roy Lichtenstein.

  16. […] last week. Opinion on the design is divided, as seen on Armitage Agonistes and in the comments on me+r. I have to say that I actually quite like the design. The colour choices may seem unusual, […]

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