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.
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: Teaser; First Interview; Second interview; Third Interview; Silly bits.
“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.
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 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.
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.
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!)
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!
So: 1980s poverty-stricken Leeds; 1300s-1400s Denmark; 17th century Salem, Massachusetts… what was next for RA?
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…)”
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!
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 …
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!
Today’s North & South 10th Anniversary Celebration launched with a BIG BANG as RA tweeted twice about the anniversary. In the first (see below) he displayed his usual RA humor. But in the second (above) he used the opportunity to reach out to his audience and request our support for one of his chosen charities, YoungMinds:
What exactly is the organization RA is asking you to support? “YoungMinds is the UK’s leading charity committed to improving the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young people. Driven by their experiences we campaign, research and influence policy and practice.” A perfectly wonderful charity that certainly deserves our support. If the links in the photo captions don’t work, here they are again:
To donate to YoungMinds, 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
Of course, the #NS10 celebration of the 10th Anniversary of the premiere of North & South on the BBC continues through December 7 (the series aired Nov. 14-Dec.5.
Let’s see if we can create TREND on Twitter and FB,
by adding #NS10 on ALL your posts about the anniversary.
Here are the basics for joining in this celebration:
1. Watch N&S, beginning this weekend…
2. Take a photo: a selfie, or your TV screen, the DVD cover, even pick a photo of your favorite character (in costume!): be creative (but PG-13!)… Like this:
3. Tell us where you live, the characters you love AND be sure to add #NS10 (so we can track all responses and compile them)…
4. POST IT EVERYWHERE YOU USE SOCIAL MEDIA, and on the event’s FB (http://bit.ly/NS10th) and Twitter (NS10 @NandS10th) pages!
Since the series ran from November 14 through December 5, we’ll be keeping the pages open for photos through December 7 (and perhaps longer)
Discussions are already under way on the FB page (http://bit.ly/NS10th) and on the Twitter page (NS10 @NandS10th), so join in now!
Finally – saving the most fun for last – here is RA’s first tweet, with that RA sense of humor.
I LOVE him in those hats! Every time I watch the show, I think: “THAT man can WEAR a hat!” Examples:
And, again, there’s Ozzy:
An Online Celebration of the 10th Anniversary of the Premiere of North & South… Interested? Read More Below…
SPEAKING ONLY ON BEHALF OF MEMBERS OF THE RICHARD ARMITAGE US FACEBOOK PAGE (carefully trying not to step on any toes, but truly hoping to lure others who might want to come out and and play…)
On the aforementioned Richard Armitage US Facebook page, our members (aka people who have “LIKE”d the page) have been playing around with ways to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the premiere of North & South this November.
Like most RA well-wisher groups, RA US has a diversity of members. Ours, for example, represent over 43 countries and 47 languages – including Pirate English, which will come in handy if ever RA should star in a remake of Pirates of Penzance or Captain Blood.
SO, N&S premiered on November 14, 2004. Here in the States, November 14, 2014 is a Friday. I’m not good at any kind of math – especially global time/day conversion – so I talked with an Aussie member and she says it is also a Friday on her side of the world. (Our folks liked the idea of this event/celebration/par-tay happening on a weekend.)
Suddenly, RA US peeps are kinda getting jazzed about doing this online “North & South 10th Anniversary Worldwide Celebration” (aka Par-tay) with other RA well-wishers from other groups and individuals, and so are extending the invitation to everyone in the RA Universe to come out and play.
We’ve kept The <Proposed> Plan simple:
- Everyone (who can and wants to pparticipate) watches N&S wherever you live in the world on November 14, 2014 – the 10th anniversary of its premiere. THEN…
- On Saturday, November 15, we gather electronically — all go to one place on the web — and talk about the film, RA, the impact it’s had and continues to have on us, RA, DANIELA, BRENDAN(!), RA, Sinéad, Tim, Anna, Jo, Pauline … Well, basically, all things North & South!
BUT, here’s the question for everyone who thinks this might be fun:
Where should that one place BE????
The more the merrier, but what web venue would be most convenient to the most people?
Feel free to comment here!
Right now, we’re thinkin’ it might be fun to do it on Twitter. We wonder if we could crash Twitter on November 15 with the #RANS hashtag…? Wouldn’t that be a HOOT!?!?!?!
Cheers, ever’body! Hope you’ll join us!
And 1,000 thanks to RA US Special Correspondent Chrissy Lampard, for reminding us that THIS is the YEAR!
The Internet Movie Database (IMDB.com) page has been updated. RA has been added as Chop, and two more cast members have been named:
Thanks to RA US Special Correspondent Chrissy Lampard for the IMDB tip!
Happy Valentines Day from RA US to YOU! Theme #1: photos to be viewed while listening to Mary-Chapin Carpenter’s “Shut Up and Kiss Me…”.
I have to laugh, truly. There is another Chrissy Lampard video from Thursday night! Yes, I know we said the last one was… well… the last one, but she has more!!!
We think it would be a shame not to share this, just because we said there were no more, wouldn’t it? Criminal, in fact!
So, enjoy Chrissy’s latest, and thanks again to Chrissy Lampard, by far our favorite RA US Special RA Correspondent!!!
And, please: Chrissy has generously allowed us to share her content with the RA Universe, so we hope, when others share any of her original images or when linking to any of the her other videos – all previously posted on this blog – that she will be appropriately credited.
RA US Facebook member turned RA US Special RA Correspondent Chrissy Lampard attended the reading of Pinter’s version of Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past on Thursday, January 16 at the 92nd Street Y in Manhattan.
Chrissy has generously allowed us to share her content with the RA Universe, so we hope, when others share any of these three new images or linking to any of the three videos, she will be appropriately credited.