Archive by Author | Richard Armitage US

Remembering Urban and the Shed Crew’s Urban – Lee Kirton – on the Anniversary of the Film’s World Premiere

Author Bernie Hare and Lee Kirton (Urban) enjoy a match of speed chess.

On November 7, 2015, at Chapel FM – in the Leeds neighborhood where Chop, Greta, Urban and his Shed Crew lived – a  feature film based on these lives made its world premiere to packed houses. In light of these two compelling, sold-out screenings, The Leeds International Film Festival added an extra screening of the film – directed by Candida Brady and based on Bernard Hare’s memoir – the next day, at a larger venue, the historic Hyde Park Picture House. Most of the cast, and many of the actual – now adult – Crew attended, including Lee Kirton, Urban himself.

But the journey of the members of the Shed Crew was never an easy one. And in June, Lee/Urban himself lost his nearly life-long battle with addiction. It happened as playwright Kevin Fegan finished his verse version of The Crew’s story, and staging was being prepped in Leeds.

Don’t mourn him too much. (Lee) did what he had to do and now he’s gone. “Deal with it,” to quote Kev. “We did.”‘ says Hare, who officially adopted Lee, and unofficially adopted the Crew and their families. ‘We’ve had to do a bit of speed-grieving around here because of the strange and unique circumstances. Still, I’ll never get used to losing my right arm.’

So the show – as it must – went on, and proved to be a powerful and emotional experience for all who knew, and who knew about, The Crew. With the permission of the playwright, here are his cathartic and striking Prologue and his final scene.

 

EXCERPTED FROM “THE SHED CREW” BY KEVIN FEGAN.

PROLOGUE

  1. A WAREHOUSE IN LEEDS. THE AUDIENCE ARE BROUGHT INTO A HOLDING BAY. URBAN IS ON HIGH. CHOP IS DOWN BELOW WITH THE AUDIENCE.

URBAN

Hey, Chop, it’s great up here –

come and see the sights.

CHOP

You know I’m feared of heights.

Who’s is this warehouse?

URBAN

Since when did we care?

We’re two infamous outlaws, us.

CHOP

Urban, come down will you, one last time?

URBAN

Why, what did you have in mind?

CHOP

Good place to tell our story?

I know it’s 2017

and things have changed –

URBAN

Never be the same again.

CHOP

I know what you mean.

URBAN

Who’s gunna start, me or you?

CHOP

You kick off, while we wait

for the rest of the Shed Crew.

URBAN

When we first met Chop, he became

some kind of fat bastard spirit guide:

some of us were ten, some of us were fifteen,

some of us were mental, some of us were mean;

we were walking on the wild side,

feral,

not like mowgli in the jungle

befriended by kindly animals,

more like Lord of the Flies,

abandoned on some desert island

in the inner city of Leeds.

We were totally off the lead,

we took care of our own needs

and we grew like rampant weeds

in the financial flower-bed of the North.

Yes, we were Thatcher’s illegitimate bastards

but we didn’t need saving,

we were children of the rave scene

and we knew how to party

in the graveyard of Leeds.

CHOP

They’re all my family.

URBAN

Yeah, dysfunctional.

CHOP

Especially Urban, who I adopted from day one.

URBAN

Why did you do that, Chop,

when I’ve been in and out of prison

since the day I was born?

CHOP

You’ve been like a son to me.

URBAN

Shut up, you nonce, you’re embarrassing me.

CHOP

Listen to me for once.

There’s something about you, Urban,

I knew it from the start.

URBAN

Told you before, Chop, you’re all heart,

it’ll get you nowhere.

CHOP

You were twelve years old in 1995,

a cheeky little gobshite,

who couldn’t read nor write –

THE SHUTTERS OPEN TO THE WAREHOUSE AND
CHOP LEADS THE AUDIENCE INTO THE MAIN SPACE.

One thing you should know

about the downtrodden and the poor:

in every slum, there’s a natural

conspiracy against law and order.

There’s give for those who can give

and there’s take for those who take.

You see, when the stakes are high

some people would rather turn to crime

than live with the leftovers of life.

As for me, I see every little crime as a dead rat

in the Tories’ water tank;

some of us are just waiting for a chance

to smash and grab, pillage and burn,

turn society upside down

and shake the coins from its pockets,

put a rocket under its arse

and shoot it to the moon

to the thumping beat of an old-school choon.

DANCE MUSIC.


SCENE 14 (Final Scene)

THEY ARRIVE AT THE LAKE DISTRICT IN THEIR STOLEN

CAR AND MAKE CAMP.

SHED CREW

They park up at Lake Windermere

and recky the lie of the land.

They camp in the woods nearby

and sit around a warm fire making plans.

The pitch has good voodoo.

CHOP

Right, you all know what we have to do.

THEY PUT ON BALACLAVAS AND GLOVES. URBAN

CARRIES EXCALIBUR, CHOP CARRIES THE

BOLT-CROPPERS, SAM A PETROL CAN AND PIXIE AN OLD

RAG AND MATCHES.

SHED CREW

At midnight, they return to the lake.

CHOP

Me and Urb will nick a rowing boat;

you guys be quick torching the car.

SAM POURS PETROL OVER THE CAR AND PIXIE LIGHTS

THE RAG AND THROWS IT IN. THERE IS A WHOOSH AS IT

CATCHES FIRE. CHOP CUTS THE CHAIN TO A ROWING

BOAT AND JUMPS IN WITH URBAN.

URBAN

Let’s row to the island

and watch the fire engines.

THEY ROW.

CHOP

It’s time, Urban: throw Excalibur

into the lake while the flames burn.

THE BOAT WOBBLES AS URBAN STANDS UP.

It’s a real shame, Urbie,

I was hoping you’d change the world for me.

URBAN THROWS THE MACHETE INTO THE WATER.

URBAN

Chop, man, that’s your job;

you’re the only one can read and write properly;

you’re the teacher, not me.

CHOP

What exactly have I showed you?

How to get locked-up and knocked-up?

How to get twatted on drugs?

Stuff like that?

URBAN

Yeah. And how to be decent

with each other, and kind;

how to chill out and not be

fucking lunatics all the time.

You have to tell our story:

get in touch with that Fergal Keane,

tell him how it is for real.

CHOP

Maybe I will; what the fuck,

maybe I’ll write him a letter,

maybe I’ll write him a book.

REST OF THE SHED CREW JOIN THEM.

SHED CREW

We lived it, we couldn’t care less;

most of us are still here to tell the tale:

some of us are addicts

and some run our own business,

some of us are in jail

and some are as straight as a vicar’s dick

and some are completely off the rails.

But look at us: we’re all in a book.

Deal with it, we did; this is for real.

A STORM BREAKS. THUNDER AND LIGHTNING.

URBAN

What about me, Chop? What became of me?

CHOP

What can I say? It’s 2017, Urbie,

you’ve left the scene.

URBAN

But we’ll always have our story.

CHOP

Some things can’t be undone;

I’m gunna miss you, son.

URBAN STARTS TO LEAVE.

All that energy has to go somewhere:

you’ll always be in the “ch’i” –

the energy blazing through every living thing.

I’ll not mourn;

but instead, when it thunders and lightning

and kicks up a storm,

I’ll think of you, Urban, kickin’-off up there

without a care in the world.

URBAN HAS GONE.

###

Director Candida Brady is hoping to release her film of Urban and the Shed Crew globally online. At this point, nothing official has been announced. For updates, please check Ms. Brady’s Twitter account, as well as the Twitter and Facebook accounts for the film.

Chop (Richard Armitage) and Urban (Fraser Kelly) on the last day of filming 'Urban and the Shed Crew'.

Chop (Richard Armitage) and Urban (Fraser Kelly) on the last day of filming ‘Urban and the Shed Crew’.

 

Ah, Berlin Station, your international and US casting staff deserve an Emmy

Berlin Station S2 continues S1’s tradition of blending its superb US cast with equally gifted international actors to create a talented, tight ensemble. The series airs in the US on EPIX Sunday nights at 9/8C, and on a slight delay in territories worldwide.

Let’s keep working on the UK, shall we, Paramount TV?

Richard Armitage as Daniel Miller (aka Trevor Price).

Richard Armitage as Daniel Miller (aka Trevor Price).

Leland Orser as Berlin Station Deputy Chief Robert Kirsch.

Leland Orser as Berlin Station Deputy Chief Robert Kirsch.

Mina Tander as Esther Krug.

Mina Tander as Esther Krug.

Ashley Judd as BB Yates, the new Berlin Station Chief.

Ashley Judd as BB Yates, the new Berlin Station Chief.

Thomas Kretschmann as Otto Ganz.

Thomas Kretschmann as Otto Ganz.

Heino Ferch as Joseph Emmerich. with S1's divine Michelle Forbes as Valerie Edwards.

Heino Ferch as Joseph Emmerich. with S1’s divine Michelle Forbes as Valerie Edwards.

New Berlin Station recruit Keke Palmer as April Lewis.

New Berlin Station recruit Keke Palmer as April Lewis.

Emilia Schüle as Otto's daughter, Lena Ganz.

Emilia Schüle as Otto’s daughter, Lena Ganz.

Longtime - now former -colleagues, Valerie (Michelle Forbes) and Steven Frost (Richard Jenkins).

Longtime – now former -colleagues, Valerie (Michelle Forbes) and Steven Frost (Richard Jenkins).

Natalia Wörner as Katerina Gerhardt.

Natalia Wörner as Katerina Gerhardt.

And, burying the lead... OR saving the best for last: Rhys Ifans as Hector DeJean. Welcome back!

And, burying the lead… OR saving the best for last: Rhys Ifans as Hector DeJean. Welcome back!

Best Actor (and Person) + Generous Fandom + Super Cause = RA Birthday Cybersmile Fundraising Triumph!

He's so modest, he'll never admit he was the on-going inspiration, but we all know he was!

He’s so modest, he’ll never admit he was the absent, but ever-present  inspiration, but we all know he was!

On the heels of a massive, collaborative social media fundraising campaign – to honor RA’s birthday – The Man Himself took to Twitter with personal thanks. RA, I think may I say, the pleasure was ours!

<HUGE, THRILLED GRIN> And drumroooollllllllllll, please!

The Cybersmile Foundation fundraising total at just after 8 PM US Eastern time: a GARGANTUAN… waaaait for it:
*   £10,142
*  
(which is $15,908 US)
*   raised by 448 donations!

So we not only exceeded the £10,000 Dream Goal, but also the 444 donations (to mark RA’s 44th birthday)! And, still, people are giving.

With all my heart, I believe RA’s ‘troops’ are the best fandom/Army any actor could imagine, and the most fabulous community of people to have as pals! At your core, you have kind and generous hearts, and when RA asks for your help – and he rarely does – you step forward and volunteer like the loyal, devoted, compassionate, unselfish people who are this fandom. Even fans like Jade – who wrote that she’s on the brink of homelessness – and others on fixed incomes and tight, tight budgets, contributed. All of you are sensational!

Cut to the chase… RA!

With apologies to Joshua Horowitz, who did a “Happy, Sad, Confused” photo with the Hannibal gang at Comic Con, I hope THIS was RA’s face HAPPY face today when he heard the news:

RA's HAPPY face for MTV's Joshua Horowitz's Happy, Sad, Confused Collection. Taken at ComicCon15

RA’s HAPPY face for MTV’s Joshua Horowitz’s “Happy, Sad, Confused” Photo Collection.
~ Taken at ComicCon15

(And maybe he’ll give us a Thrilled-Beyond-Words selfie later!)

This, I think, is a great moment for the RArmy… and you insubordinate fans who gave generously, but won’t call yourselves part of the Army <heh> (And yes, I’m talking about you, Yvonne Lustenberger, m’dear Twitter pal!)

So we did it, troops! Raise a glass of pinot noir, vodka, a Red Dragon Tini, your favorite tipple, or just grab a bowl of chocolate ice-cream. You all deserve it.

I file this post with great affection for you all, and am proud to be a part of this community more than I can express.

Cheers, Marcia

You may also follow Richard Armitage US
on FacebookTwitter and Tumblr.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, RA! We Cherish You, Each Other & Want to Help Make the Web A Kinder Place!

It's your BIRTHAY, RA!

It’s your BIRTHDAY, RA! August 22 at last!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, RA!

But we all know – that to you – your birthday is much more than chocolate ice cream and loads of cupcakes: your birthday is an opportunity for your “well-wishers” – aka the RArmy – to demonstrate how much we care. And this year, on the anniversary of your debut on Twitter, your cause is making the web a kinder place.

In a post on Weibo, RA said: “Let us in the online world, cherish each other, care about each other.”

RA on Weibo: "Let us in the online world, cherish each other, care about each other." Referencing Cybersmile? Yes, I think that's clear. Support them here: https://www.justgiving.com/richard-armitage17/

RA on Weibo: “Let us in the online world, cherish each other, care about each other.”
Referencing Cybersmile? Yes, I think that’s clear. Support them here:
https://www.justgiving.com/richard-armitage17/

That’s right, this year, The RA Birthday Cause is The Cybersmile Foundation, the anti-cyberbullying charity, working to put an end to cyberbullying, help its victims, and create positive attitudes and interactions and make the web a kinder place!

To add your support. visit Cybersmile on JustGiving here: https://www.justgiving.com/richard-armitage17/

To add your support. visit Cybersmile on JustGiving here: https://www.justgiving.com/richard-armitage17/

Since RA announced this birthday initiative, the RArmy has stormed the Cybersmile JustGiving website and has done so with kind, generous hearts (and open wallets!): TODAY – just after 5 PM US Eastern Time – RA’s troops have given £7,880 ($12,367 US) from 348 donors!

And it’s HOURS until Midnight of August 22! If you haven’t yet, again, here’s the link to donate.

Please, everyone, let’s do what we can to celebrate RA’s birthday
in a way that will make a difference to
thousands of people who need a hand.

If you’re feeling especially generous, all the organizations RA supports do incredible work with few resources. To also lend a helping hand to RA’s other causes, go to JustGiving for the rest of his listYoungMinds, Anthony Nolan,  Childline, Shelter, Barbado’s, and The Salvation Army, and give as generously as you can afford.

If you already know which cause you want to support, here are direct links to all:

Happy Birthday, RA!
We hope you spend it with those you love most and make you laugh loudest,
and that your celebration lasts alllll yeeeeear loooooong!

You may also follow Richard Armitage US
on FacebookTwitter and Tumblr.

Wish RA ‘Happy Birthday’: Support Cybersmile and Help End Cyberbullying!

Cybersmile: RA is the anti-cyberbullying organization's Official Ambassador!

Cybersmile: RA is the anti-cyberbullying organization ‘s Official Ambassador!

Richard Crispin Armitage couldn’t make his birthday wishes to us clearer than his two tweets today, and – through implication – his post on Weibo.

THIS year, we can let him know that we wish him a very Happy Birthday (which rolls around Saturday, August 22), by supporting the one cause upon which he has focused in these posts: Cybersmile!

The full link is https://www.justgiving.com/richard-armitage17/ to wish RA a happy birthday by donating to Cybersmile!

The full link is https://www.justgiving.com/richard-armitage17/
Wish RA a happy birthday by donating to Cybersmile!

(Sorry, I HAVE to add the “cupcake thing,” for nostalgia, if for no other reason. RA joined Twitter on his birthday last year and this shot was his very first tweet.. So RA: completely unexpected and adorable!)

On August 22, 2014, RA made his Twitter debut on his birthday. This shot was the tweet aka

On August 22, 2014, RA made his Twitter debut on his birthday. This shot was the tweet, or as RA called it: “the cupcake thing.”

And if you’re wondering about how he recommends we express our birthday wishes, via donating to Cybersmile, here’s his second tweet:

Multiples of 4! Got it? Easy! Not easy enough? Here's the direct link: https://www.justgiving.com/richard-armitage17/

Multiples of 4! Got it? Easy! Not easy enough? Here’s the direct link:
https://www.justgiving.com/richard-armitage17/

What’s more, there’s an RA WEIBO POST: “Let us in the online world, cherish each other, care about each other.”
Sounds like a clear Cybersmile reference, to me. Doesn’t it to you?

RA on Weibo: Referecing Cybersmile? Yeah, I think so. Support thm here : https://www.justgiving.com/richard-armitage17/

RA on Weibo: Referencing Cybersmile? Yes, I think so. Support RA and Cybersmile here:
https://www.justgiving.com/richard-armitage17/

Please, everyone, let’s do what we can to celebrate RA’s birthday in a way that will
make a difference to thousands of people who need a hand.
All the organizations RA supports do incredible work with few resources, like Cybersmile, whose RA page is here.

To also lend a helping hand to RA’s other causes, go to JustGiving for the rest of his list:
YoungMinds, Anthony Nolan, Shelter, Childline, Barbado’s, and
The Salvation Army, and give as generously as you can afford. 

If you already know which cause you want to support, here are direct links to all:

Oh, and Happy Birthday, RA!
We hope you spend it with those you love most and make you laugh loudest,
and that your celebration lasts alllll yeeeeear loooooong!

You may also follow Richard Armitage US
on FacebookTwitter and Tumblr.

Wish RA a Happy Birthday & Change Lives at the Same Time!

Once upon a time, not so very long ago, on Sunday, August 22, Richard Crispin Armitage made his world debut.

Last year, on his birthday – Friday, August 22 – Richard Crispin Armitage (aka @RCArmitage) made his Twitter debut, and the photo above was his first tweet.

What a whirlwind of a year it’s been!  And now it’s birthday time again!

RA’s birthday is coming up this Saturday, August 22.

Unlike last year when he was in The Crucible at the Old Vic, this year we won’t know where he’ll be on his birthday. So for this time around – like many times before – some will probably send special gifts or greetings to the offices of his representatives; some will also send birthday greetings on Twitter; and some – including many from both categories above – will also choose to wish RA a happy birthday by supporting one of his chosen charities. RA has made it clear that he appreciates his “well-wishers”/followers/admirers/fans/Army supporting his causes.

RA supports a number of organizations doing remarkable, much-needed good work. For his list, go to JustGiving, and – because it hadn’t been added to RA’s JustGiving page at this writing – you can also give directly to his latest cause, CyberSmile, through its JustGiving page (All individual groups’ JustGiving links are also below.)

Give as generously as you can afford. We know these causes mean much to RA, and – who knows? – he might even prefer that we spend our money there, rather than on snazzy fluorescent socks or tubs chocolate ice cream.

Classic Sassy Sox Tour shot. And you know, RA says the only thing he

Classic Sassy Sox Tour shot. And remember, RA admitted that the only thing he “stole” from the Hobbit set was socks! #CriminalMastermind

RA and ice cream: a true love affair! Photo by Sarah Dunn.

RA and ice cream: a true, life-long love affair!  Photo by Sarah Dunn.

Though he does look good with – and in – a sports car….

Image courtesy of Richard Armitage Net.

…we can’t afford to give him a sports car. But we can afford a little help for his friends…

Please, everyone, let’s do what we can to celebrate RA’s birthday in a way that will
make a difference to thousands of people who need a hand.
The organizations RA supports do incredible work with few resources.
Go to JustGiving for his listShelter, YoungMinds,
Childline, Anthony NolanBarbado’s,
CyberSmile and The Salvation Army – and give as generously as you can afford. 

If you already know which cause you want to support, here are direct links to all:

Oh, and Happy Birthday, RA!
We hope you spend it with those you love most and make you laugh loudest,
and that your celebration lasts alllll yeeeeear loooooong!

You may also follow Richard Armitage US
on FacebookTwitter and Tumblr.

What he says…

Thanks to RA for the kind spirit and to Richard Armitage Quotes on Facebook for capturing it in this image.

Thanks to RA for  his kind spirit, and to Richard Armitage Quotes on Facebook for capturing these words in this image.

 

Where’s the Holiday *and* RA Love? RIGHT HERE! Share!

Good, old-fashioned Suthrn neck-hugs to each and every one of you this holiday season!

Good, old-fashioned Suthrn neck-hugs to each and every one of you this holiday season!

To many of us, this time of year  can sometimes be rough. You get stressed, there are all these pressures: family gatherings, gifting, celebrations, parties… so many demands. The next thing you know, you’re grumpy! (Even good old RA US!) I’ve been frank about my struggle with depression, and this time of year could be, well, difficult. But I know that I have my own community, a community that embraces not only me, but also you – and others – as well: the Richard Armitage community!

Like the man himself, I believe our community epitomizes the spirit of this season, which is all about love, inclusion, hope, promises kept and kindness. When I look at the Richard Armitage fandom, I know I’m truly blessed to have you guys in my life. AND we are all blessed to have each other. (And RA, too, o’course. After all, we are a community because of his professional artistry and personal integrity and spirit!)

Share the love!

Share the love!

SHARE OUR VALUES OF LOVE,
INCLUSION AND KINDNESS!

RA supports a number of charities doing superb,
much-needed good work.
Go to JustGiving for a list of them all,
and please give as generously as you can afford.

Open your heart: love, live and enjoy!

And special thanks to Marlise Boland and The Anglophile Channel –
@AnglophileTV on Twitter, on Facebook and OH!
those interviews on the YouTube Channel –
for the great RA images in this blog entry!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS, EVERYONE! 

And very best wishes for a happy and *playful* 2015!

And very best wishes for a happy and *playful* 2015!

You may also follow Richard Armitage US
on FacebookTwitter and Tumblr.

2014: A Great Year and So Many Gifts from RA! Let’s Give Back & Say Thanks Through JustGiving!

RA as Swann in Pinter/PROUST, January, 2014. Photo by Chrissy Lampard.

RA as Swann in Pinter/PROUST, January, 2014.
Photo by Chrissy Lampard.

What a great year 2014 has been for RA (and for us): I think it ALL began with The Anglophile Channel 2013 British Artist of the Year Award! That was followed by Pinter/PROUST in NYC in January; the The Anglophile Channel interviews on its YouTube Channel in February; then Urban and The Shed Crew and its regular updates. In May, we had the audiobook (#1 for the year for Audible, by the way) Hamlet: The Novel that overlapped with The Old Vic’s advance promotion for The Crucible. Once The Crucible opened, we had RA updates every day for three months, as he took the time after each evening performance to meet his followers at the Stage Door. And in the middle of ALL The Crucible’s well-deserved accolades, Into the Storm opened, and RA joined social media. The Crucible wrapped up and RA seemed to be in LA almost immediately for Sleepwalker… and now we have The Hobbit: THORIN (aka #BOFTA)!

RA and all of his followers have been immensely blessed this year; RA has brought us so many gifts of phenomenal performances and delightful appearances. Thank you, RA!

In return, we believe we should give something back.
RA supports a number of charities doing superb,
much-needed good work.
Go to JustGiving for a list of them all,
and give as generously as you can afford.
We know these causes mean much to RA, and he might even prefer
that we spend our money there, rather than a Ferrari.

RA as Swann with Lara Hillier in Pinter/PROUST. January 2014. Screen-grab by Fernanda Matias from Chrissy Lampard video.

RA as Swann with Lara Hillier in Pinter/PROUST. January 2014.
Screen-grab by Fernanda Matias from Chrissy Lampard video.

RA kicked off 2014 in January, with Pinter/PROUST, a reading in NYC,  directed by Pinter directing partner Di Trevis. Look for Chrissy’s videos here: AND our album of her photos here

Marlise Boland of The Anglophile Channel presents RA with the British Artist of 2013 Award. The interviews were released in February.

Marlise Boland of The Anglophile Channel presents RA with the British Artist of 2013 Award. The interviews were released in February.

Marlise Boland of The Anglophile Channel interviews if RA in February were a tremendous hit with fans: RA as you’d never seen him before!
The interviews here: TeaserFirst Interview; Second interview; Third InterviewSilly bits

RA as Chop in Urban and the Shed Crew. Filmed Spring, 2014. Thanks to Urban and the Shed Crew for the photo.

RA as Chop in Urban and the Shed Crew. Filmed Spring, 2014.
Thanks to Urban and the Shed Crew for the photo.

“Urban and the Shed Crew,” based on a true story by Bernard Hale. IMDb’s description:  It’s been described as a tale of heroin and cement, set in Britain’s underclass in the 90s.

Twelve-year old Urban Grimshaw (Fraser Kelly) is Britain’s most runaway child, he’s even been on TVs Crimewatch. His mother is a junkie and his father might as well be dead. He can’t read or write, and he doesn’t go to school. His average day is spent sitting around a bonfire with his mates smoking drugs and stealing cars. When he meets his mother’s new friend Chop (RA), a 37 year old, disillusioned, ex-social worker also living on society’s margins, on one of Leeds roughest estates, the two become firm friends. But even Chop with his own penchant for drink, drugs and hard living is shocked by the state of Urban’s life. After much soul searching he resolves to clean up his own act and save the kid. But as their friendship deepens, Urban introduces him to the Shed Crew the anarchic gang of kids aged between ten and fourteen years who spend their time joy-riding, thieving, and engaging in drugs and sex. It is only then that we see exactly how long the road to civilization really is.

When ex-social worker Bernard Hare turned his startling experiences with a group of young delinquents into a novel it was described as one of the year’s most compelling and best selling books. Urban and the Shed Crew is a stunning piece of ethnography described by The Guardian as moving but never sanctimonious, another City of God, this time for Britain rather than Brazil.

Our album about the production – from photos to interviews with Author Bernard Hale and others – can be found here.

RA performs AJ Harley and David Hewson's Hamlet: A Novel. Released May, 2014.

RA performs AJ Harley and David Hewson’s Hamlet: A Novel.
Released May, 2014.

As Urban and the Shed Crew wrapped, RA released Hamlet, Prince of Denmark: A Novel, brilliantly written by AJ Hartley and David Hewson. Audible.com describes it as: “…a tale of ghosts, of madness, of revenge – of old alliances giving way to new intrigues. Denmark is changing, shaking off its medieval past. War with Norway is on the horizon. And Hamlet – son of the old king, nephew of the new – becomes increasingly entangled in a web of deception – and murder. Beautifully and compellingly performed by actor Richard Armitage  Hamlet, Prince of Denmark takes Shakespeare’s original into unexpected realms, reinventing a story we thought we knew.

For RA’s rendition, Audible named it its #1 Audiobook of the year! Listen and you’ll understand why!

RA and newcomer Samantha Colley rehearse Arthur Miller's The Crucible, directed by the great Yael Farber. Photo by Johan Persson.

RA and newcomer Samantha Colley rehearse Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, directed by the great Yael Farber.
Photo by Johan Persson.

RA signed on for an intense, “visceral” three-month gig on stage as John Proctor in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, directed by Yael Farber in-the-round at the Old Vic. Rehearsal photos began showing up early as part of the promotion. Then things got under way in June with the play’s previews, followed by Opening Night in July.

Richard Armitage in The Crucible. Photo by Jay Brooks.

Richard Armitage in The Crucible.
Photo by Jay Brooks.

The Crucible is powerful and complex – especially this interpretation – and received well-earned 5-star reviews across the board. Learn more about it on The Old Vic website and in our album here, and share your appreciation of RA and the The Crucible production on our Richard Armitage in THE CRUCIBLE Appreciation page.

RA behind-the-scenes in Into the Storm.

During alll the amazing publicity, accolades and sold-out shows of The Crucible, RA’s US film Into the Storm opened! Although it was, as RA called it, a “summer disaster film,” it performed well internationally. More here in our Into the Storm album. (RA US had a crew on the Black Carpet! What an honor!)

On August 22, 2014, Twiiterers awoke to discover RA had joined TWITTER!

On August 22, 2014, Twitterers awoke to discover RA had joined them!

AND, on his birthday – again, in the middle of The Crucible run – the very best thing of the 2014 happened: RA joined Twitter. For all his previous comments about not understanding social media (My Space, RA, really? ), he has taken to it like a pro, and seems to be enjoying himself (we certainly are!)! King of the Hashtags and Selfies! It is a welcome link to, and yet another gift to his fans!

Then, toward the end of the run of The Crucible came the news all those who hadn’t been able make the London trip – and, franly, all who’d seen it – had been hoping for: The Old Vic was allowing Digital Theatre to record the production! It would be released in theatres in the UK and Ireland in December, and then globally – except, due to copyright issues, in North America – in theaters in 2015. However, American and Canadian audiences will be able to download a production they never thought to see. What a lovely gift!

RA as John Proctor in the film version of The Crucible. Thanks to Digital Theatre Creative Director Robert Delamere for the screen-grab!

RA as John Proctor in the film version of The Crucible.
Thanks to Digital Theatre Creative Director Robert Delamere for the screen-grab!

So: 1980s poverty-stricken Leeds; 1300s-1400s Denmark; 17th century Salem, Massachusetts… what was next for RA?

RA is sleep therapist Dr. Scott White in Elliott Lester and Jack Olsen’s contemporary indie thriller.

The contemporary thriller Sleepwalker, with RA as Dr. Scott White. The Anglophile Channel blog describes it this way: “In a script written by Jack Olsen, Sleepwalker, centers around Sarah (Ahna O’Reilly, best known for her role in The Help) who’s trying to reconstruct her life following the apparent suicide of her novelist husband. After returning to university, to finish her dissertation, Sarah experiences frequent bouts of sleepwalking. She is sent to Dr. Scott White’s (Armitage) sleep research lab for treatment.  When Sarah’s life starts to alternate between her waking world and a nightmarish alternate reality, where no one recognizes that she has ever existed, she is plunged into chaos, confusion and terror.  The one constant in her shifting world is Scott, the man she’s been longing for all her life.  But does Sarah’s true love actually exist, or is it a figment of Sarah’s troubled imagination that derives from wishful thinking and longing? (I think I had a dream like this once…)”

Celebrating 10 years of N&S: To support Young Minds, you may go to RA’s Just Giving page here https://www.justgiving.com/Richard-Armitage13, and also send a note of thanks to RA and YM for all they do OR you may go directly to Young Minds’ donation page here: http://www.youngminds.org.uk/support_our_work/donate.

Celebrating 10 years of N&S: To support Young Minds, you may go to RA’s Just Giving page here https://www.justgiving.com/Richard-Armitage13, and also send a note of thanks to RA and YM for all they do OR you may go directly to Young Minds’ donation page here: http://www.youngminds.org.uk/support_our_work/donate.

And in November, RA celebrated the 10th anniversary of the iconic North & South, a role that really put him on (our) map, at least.

BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE!

RA in The Hobbit: THORIN, or BOTFA as some call it.

Already making its international box office power obvious, according to Deadline: The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies continues to roll out overseas, planet Earth is becoming dominated by Middle-earth. The finale to Peter Jackson’s big-footed trilogy opened in 17 markets Thursday with No. 1s across the board. Grossing a total $13.7M in 28 markets, the cume at Thursday’s close was $26.6M.”

And it doesn’t even hit the STATES until next week!

I’ve left out other RA projects: his narration of a terrific documentary, not to mention his promotion of the DOS DVD and then the DOS EE DVD, his marathon Hobbit: THORIN promotional tour , and a much-longed for reunion interview with Marlise & The Anglophile Channel; here’s the tease …

Marlise (The Anglophile Channel) and RA REUNITE in a special interview to be aired later... something MORE to anticipate! Thanks, The Anglophile Channel, for the screen-grab!

Marlise (The Anglophile Channel) and RA REUNITE in a special interview to be aired later… something MORE to anticipate!
Thanks, The Anglophile Channel, for the screen-grab!

 And I’ve surely missed some other things as well. TELL ME IN THE COMMENTS!

So BLESS YOU, our incredibly hard-working RA! Congratulations on an astonishing year! We can’t wait to see what’s to come!

And remember: See all he’s done for us this year! SO much Access!

Again, one last call-to-action:
Please, everyone, let’s all determine to give something back.
RA supports a number of charities doing incredible work with few resources.
Go to JustGiving for a list of them – Shelter, YoungMinds,
The Salvation Army, Childline, Anthony Nolan
and Barbado’s – and give as generously as you can afford. 

And we wish RA and all or his colleagues a lovely, restful, renewing holiday season! Then on to 2015!

Rest well, have a lovely holiday season and vacation, and return to us SOON!

Rest well, have a lovely holiday season and vacation, and return to us SOON!

You may also follow Richard Armitage US
on FacebookTwitter and Tumblr.

Sometimes His Beauty Hides his Playful Nature… But Not Always

Beautiful candid RA in Paris...

Beautiful candid RA in Paris working the eyebrow… Is There Mischief in Those Eyes?

RA's Official Shot for Paris Premiere...

RA’s Official Shot for Paris Premiere…

RA is ready to begin his Twitter Q&A...En français, je vous remercie beaucoup!

RA is ready to begin his Twitter Q&A…En français, je vous remercie beaucoup!

Showing off his Sassy Socks of the day on the RA International Sartorial Socks Adventure...

Showing off his Sassy Socks of the day on the RA International Sartorial Socks Adventure…

Selfie King!  Et donc, il complète le Q & A Français!

Selfie King!
Et donc, il complète le Q & A Français!

But what toll do these appearances take on our guys: RA, Sir Peter and Martin???

But what toll do these appearances take on our guys: RA, Sir Peter and Martin??? 🙂

You may also follow Richard Armitage US
on FacebookTwitter and Tumblr.

 

 

 

%d bloggers like this: