In a world of deletions and paywalls, what’s your essential Richard Armitage?

The overwhelming theme of the last few days has been “now you see it, now you don’t.”

So what would you pick — if you could pick one tweet never to be deleted, or one piece of his work that would always be available for free to everyone, no matter what?

I’m not sure what my favorite tweet is — have to think about it.

However, the piece of work I would definitely want to survive, free of access, is The Crucible.

Richard Armitage’s entry into the scene as John Proctor in Act One of The Crucible, June 2014. Photo by Geraint Lewis.

From the second I saw him on stage, I felt my life changing. And it’s simply fantastic work — the at that point long-awaited evidence that he could stand without shame among the great English actors of his generation.

~ by Servetus on August 28, 2017.

46 Responses to “In a world of deletions and paywalls, what’s your essential Richard Armitage?”

  1. I haven’t seen the Crucible in any form so that would be the one for me.

    As for tweets, I don’t remember any to really care about

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  2. I do wonder if their is a reason or another agenda seems too strong willed to be a wimp is it because it is what is expected now now has become a bit of a weird publicity

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  3. I don’t really care about the tweets either. I think if it had to be just one piece of work I’m going to go all romantic and say North & South. My first exposure and still devastating.

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  4. My favorite tweet would possibly be the one where he looks like George Michael.

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    • the one from the movie that sadly didn’t happen? i liked that one too.. have to say haven’t bothered to look back and see if anything is left on the account from any of the tweets with pics… suspect none left.

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  5. Great question – and I am very curious to see how this discussion will unfold.
    There is no question for me on this one: It is way more valuable and beneficial if an outstanding piece of his excellent work was to be freely accessible for everyone at every time. It would allow new audiences to discover him; fans to repeatedly enjoy his work; and industry professionals to check the high standard of his delivery. In short, it would speak for him/itself and would act as a showcase. (My choice would be The Crucible, too – although I actually found his performance as Dolarhyde even stronger. But Hannibal is too much of a niche product and he was “only” a supporting character in that one. And The Crucible is part of the canon, Proctor a lead character, the production of high value and with plenty of favourable reviews, and the performance was on stage, proving his versatility as an actor.)
    A tweet preserved for posterity? That is – frankly – a bad idea. Social Media is nothing but a fleeting snapshot. It’s written now, to be forgotten tomorrow. Unlike a classic theatre performance it is not timeless, but strongly anchored in the context of the present. Moreover, a tweet gives only insight in the person, but not his abilities as an actor, so it serves as little else than celebrity insight. Plus – a tweet comes with and preserves reactions of all kinds, which on SM always contain trolling elements. So, no, definitely not a tweet.
    (The choice would have been harder for me if you had given one of his early, written fan messages as an option. But even though I love those, they are also more about him as a person than his capabilities as an actor…)

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    • I can see I put this badly — my reason for stating it should be free and available to everyone wasn’t so much that this was going to be the performance by which he’d be remembered so much as a response to the current frustrating context in which some fans can see some things at some times. I was only speaking in terms of what would be most important for me to be able to see, and by extension, if it’s important for me to be able to see it, it’s important for me for others to be able to see it. I hate the current situation in which any effort to help out friends technically turns me into a criminal. I did, however, pick Proctor because I think it is by miles his best performance to date, as much as I love some other stuff. Not because the role is significant but because on TV and on screen we always see him in edited clips, but Proctor is a(n attempt at) a seamless presentation. Admittedy, that’s impacted by the editing of the video but I did see him on stage and I think the video is a fair representation of what he did live. So it’s a true demonstration of skill in a very different way than a TV performance usually is (although if I were looking for a demonstration of skill as an actor I’d pick Spooks 9).

      same with tweets — I wasn’t asking which tweets should be preserved for posterity (my answer to that question would be all of them, and if that were not possible, the most representative), but simply if I could only have one, which would I would have (and again it was asked in the context of the situation we’re in, in which content that might be important to some of us is regularly deleted). That said, I can’t really follow your argument. No source is more authentic than any other; every source has source critique problems. A tweet is not inherently a less significant piece of evidence than a performance; it simply answers different questions. But I also disagree that every single tweet is nothing more than celebrity insight. They are also that. But not only. (I’m thinking in particularly of the refugee related tweets. I don’t think that was solely marketing of an image).

      The reason I didn’t put the messages as an option is that they’re in no danger of being disappeared by forces beyond fan control.

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      • Oh, I got the wrong end of the stick then. I would not have chosen Crucible then, although you are making a compelling argument (in terms of unedited representation).
        As for which one tweet – I don’t think there is any tweet that is more memorable for me than others. That says it all. I’d probably choose one of the tweets where he tagged on a screen shot letter. But that’s cheating.

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  6. Irgendwie wird dieses Tweet’n’delete von ihm hier langsam zu einer Kunstform erhoben. Und wie das oft so ist, stellt sich dem geneigten Zuschauer vulgo Fan die drängende Frage: was will uns der Künstler damit sagen? 🙄

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  7. The Crucible would be my first choice too. But then how can I live without Thornton, my love from the first sight? And without Thorin? And John Porter? … Don’t make me! And I don’t care much about the tweets or why he deletes some of them. I just accept him as he is ❤️

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    • Well, technically, everyone accepts him as he is, since we have no influence over his behavior. So the choice is: accept him as he is, or go. All of us accept him as he is. But I’d like to think that we’re allowed some responses to what he does. Otherwise, why is there a fandom?

      I’m not making anyone pick anything — but I am curious about what we would not want to see go behind a paywell or become inaccessible in some other way, and why.

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  8. Maybe I should change my Twitter name from Teasing Armitage to Magician Armitage they way he keeps making things disappear.

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  9. Tweets are off my radar so I have to pick a performance. I saw TC live,but never digitally, so I can’t honestly pick that one. I hate to say it, because it came so early in his career and he has surpassed his early work admirably, but I think North and South. It is my “go to” piece I have viewed the most often. So judging by that, have to go with the grouchy mill owner. I don’t think it is critically his best work, but it shows him to great advantage and we get the whole package: little violence, little angst, little family drama, little romance and a happy ending. N and S would be very hard for me to give up permanently.

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    • Good point — it’s really accessible and it was the gateway drug that attracted fans, really for years (and remains so).

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  10. I don’t think at this point i care about anything on twitter apart from the odd nice photo; But it’s even in that case more photos people posted of him in work related things, like him recording the audio books for example. In terms of things that came of his hand i think i’d rather keep his old written messages… but… i doubt any of that has any relevance today anymore.
    Bottom line i think it is overall best when his work speaks for him. And from that perspective my choice is the same as yours, without the shadow of a doubt! I there was a piece of his work i would show anybody who doesn’t know him at all it would be the Crucible. I think i will always feel very proud of his performance in it. So the Crucible it is. I am really sad with the whole DT thing that is under threat, i was so certain and happy that this would always be available… Fingers crossed it still will.

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  11. I agree about The Crucible being perhaps his finest work, but for me, I couldn’t stand to never again see North and South. I need to have Thornton accessible and at the ready more than Proctor. I no longer care much about his tweets, which is handy since they disappear regularly. LOL

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    • Yeah, in line with CRAmerry’s question above — what the artist wants to tell is not to care too much about his tweets.

      This is more the kind of answer I thought I might get: the sort of moments I can’t live without and which would crush me if they disappeared. I would (e.g.) put Thorin’s death in BOTFA on that list.

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  12. I would choose North and South, too, because this is the performance which is most important to me. Like many of you, I saw this several times and I am still entranced by the story and his character. Hopelessly romantic, as I am…
    And I would miss some interviews showing a faint glimpse of himself and his personality.

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    • that would have been a great question, too, as those are vulnerable too loss. Just there are sooooo many of them.

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  13. His next work because I always hope an indisputable consecration available for free for everyone everywhere.

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  14. I too would choose North and South. The first scene when he is looking down on the factory got me hooked many years ago. I have watched it the most of any of his work and I have seen all that is available including a trip to NY to see the play. Tweets are unimportant to me and can live without any of his.

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    • That is an amazing moment. I definitely feel like it’s a comforting go to.

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      • I remember thinking who is this man and why haven’t I ever seen him before and why isn’t he a big star. I still wonder why he isn’t a bigger star. I just think he is so much better than most actors. Could be I am a tad bit prejudice.

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  15. North and South for me! John Thornton started it all and I could never live with that one. But I am bitter about The Crucible….I loved that too and paid to download it in HD….now I can’t even access it and I am not happy.

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  16. Spooks for me – Lucas is my favourite. Although I do love a bit of Robin Hood and dastardly Guy as well.

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  17. I do not pay attention anymore to the tweets but his acting is another story.
    There are scenes in everything I have watched that I just go wow!..His “silver necklace” scene as Guy in RH, N&S have watched so many times- this is the story that “hooked” me into this amazingly handsome man who could “really act!”. A beautiful story that flowed along with his amazing portrayal of JT. I was mesmerized. Thorin? ah what a character and the ending is heartbreakingly beautiful. I lose it every time.I have not seen The Crucible, but the few scenes I have watched his intensity comes across. I believe this role was magic for him and I envy those who saw him in it, especially on stage. There are scenes as Lucas and as Porter where he shines …I am just glad that I have the DVD’s and hopefully I can watch for a long time. So mine is just a mixture of scenes that I never want to lose. Looking forward to and hoping his creativity continues for all of us to see and enjoy for as long as we want. It is a gift when it becomes available for all to see.

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    • Maybe I should re-ask this question with the one essential scene. I used to ask it a lot when I was doing fan showcases (with the stipulation that the interviewee couldn’t pick the tea scene — b/c otherwise everyone would have).

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  18. For me it would have to be North and South. It would be really hard not to be able to get my fix. “You’re coming home with me!?” with just that astonishment and humility.
    But The Crucible is just amazing work and also so moving. And I love Guy too, in all his majesty and tragedy.
    But if I could only choose one, it would be N&S.

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  19. He says that he is a moody actor. So, what may seem funny to him one day may seem silly to him the next. My only hope is that I catch his tweets before he changes his mind!

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    • Someone else will, usually. Someone is always watching. Maybe not as many people as were about a year ago but nonetheless.

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  20. The Crucible was an amazing performance by him and should be available free forever (unlike the current situation where those of us who bought it now can’t see it – grrrrr) but I’d also include the possibly never to be seen again (unless it goes the dvd route) Urban and the Shed Crew. I was one of the lucky few to see it in Leeds. RA was wonderful in it, in a powerful performance that was so different to The Crucible.

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    • I don’t know if I’d rather see Urban more or Sleepwalker but I definitely want to see it. There must be a way.

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  21. I have chosen Harry Kennedy (the vicar of Dibley) and francis/red dragon (Hannibal)

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    • Harry Kennedy love used to be much more dominant than it is now — but he was a gateway role for so many people. I can see why it would be essential.

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  22. Yeah, don’t know about the tweets either, don’t think I’m particularly attached to any tweet. And I totally agree with you on The Crucible! Which is why this DT issue irks me so much…

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