An Embarrassment of Riches

Update: Don’t think i’ve shared this bit of my Crucible experience so far… I’d never seen RA before live or otherwise bar a 1 time viewing of DOS from which i didn’t remember all too much (especially since i hadn’t seen anything Hobbit related either before seeing DOS that one time). I was aware from comments that there would be a shirtless scene in the play, but as you can gather from previous posts the play itself had a much larger impact on me.

The first time i saw it i sat in the circle and it was all a lot to take in. I remember one of many comments i made to a friend after seeing it was around being puzzled why so many people thought RA was handsome/attractive as i didn’t quite get it although i was after this 1st experience thoroughly impressed by him as an actor. I told her i thought the power of the look in his eyes was amazing as it reached me all across the theatre. But that i was surprised at people describing him as handsome. I thought it was a matter of personal taste and that was that. But i loved the play a lot and was intrigued enough that i wanted to experience it from closer up to see what impression that would leave on me. So, i went looking for another ticket since that had been my only one and was lucky enough to still find one on the right hand side next to what used to be the edge of the stage before the ‘in-the-round’ set up. I also realised i would probably be looking mostly at his back as it was quite far on the right hand side.

I won’t go into all the detail of how being this close to the stage felt like being part of it, starting with the scary sensation of being looked at eye to eye by the actors in the intro to the play. What i wanted to say was that being this close i was suddenly able to see RA’s face while he was acting and look at his body, his shape. Ahaaaaa, interesting, there is suddenly something there. I really like that nose! And he really is tall… The eyes are mesmerising! (All this was running almost like secondary commentary in my mind while the play captured my full attention, as before).

By act two i had forgotten about the upcoming scene and was fully immersed in the plot. I could smell the stew and almost feel the warmth from the fire when suddenly Proctor appeared deeply breathing from the dark, an almost intimidating, dangerous figure! he put gun and whip away, took his coat off, came to warm himself by the fire, adjusted the stew for salt and then took his shirt off to wash. He turned away from me as i was almost at the end of the table and i had a full view of his shoulders and back in the golden light of the fire. I remember thinking how very much like a farmer he looked, he appeared to be both slim and strong at the same time. I was completely surprised by how soft, immaculate and smooth his skin looked and then he turned around and stood there fully facing me for a few seconds. And i stopped thinking, or breathing, or swallowing or blinking… I lost track of time and didn’t snap back until his voice rang out softly talking to Elizabeth.

I got it then. Yes, he is indeed beautiful. No doubt about that in my mind now and very satisfying to have that puzzle resolved. 🙂

…..

Too busy to clock on that there was a new discussion going on. Always amazes me how much time people have to get bothered about stuff that actually was never taken out of context, is perfectly artistic and well thought of in terms of the play itself. It is/was beautiful and made total sense and was great to look at, as was the rest of 99% of the play. Farmers wash after hard work, get over it! I can’t believe in this day and age still think we shouldn’t look or talk about this but it’s ok to look at the news for example.. Besides, a play is a reflection of an artistic concept and it is put on stage to be watched, heard and talked about! That is what all good stage work aspires to, it is there because it has meaning, because it was intended to be presented and make us watch and think. Don’t like the play or any of its parts or the way it represented John Proctor, don’t watch it. But make the choice for yourself, not for others.

And now i’m going to see if i can make it to any of the 2,3 re-runs of this in the cinema still available around me which continue to remind me that i am undeservedly and incredibly lucky to experience this! 🙂

FunkyBlueDandelion

I’m not sure where they came from but screen caps from the Digital Theatre production of The Crucible hit the fandom sometime over the weekend (no, I generally don’t pay attention, why do you ask?) followed shortly by a predictable dust-up about them. A fan page that posted them to Twitter had to explain themselves on Facebook yesterday because, gasp, the screen caps were of a half nekkid Richard Armitage and didn’t they know that was “objectification” and “disrespectful”?

Uh…come again?

You do realize that he took his shirt off approximately 101 times during the run of The Crucible, right? And you further realize that HE’S AWARE he took his shirt off approximately 101 times during the run of The Crucible, right? And you further realize that HE WAS AWARE that he was being filmed, right? He was also aware that he was baring his assets during Spooks, Strike Back, and Between the Sheets, AND…

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6 thoughts on “An Embarrassment of Riches

  1. Love your description of how you were initially puzzled about RA’s attractiveness, and then found yourself mesmerized at the next performance. There’s just something about him, especially when he’s intensely “into” his performance, that does that. Oftentimes, in interviews, he doesn’t strike me as terribly magnetic, though I still enjoy him- his voice, his smiles- in his more casual persona. It’s when he is performing that his attractiveness grips me. I guess what I’m saying is, I think he knows how to dial it up, and dial it down…

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    • So this is the story of how i stepped into the spider’s net: 🙂

      You are right about the dialling it up and down part. That’s something i realised later on. At that stage it was even the idea of him being handsome that i was questioning. I just didn’t see it to be honest. The one thing that did amaze me was how i could feel the look in his eyes at such a distance as i couldn’t really see his eyes! All i saw was a fairly tall bloke with a beard and a deep raspy voice. I guess you could say that only seeing the detail close up did the idea of good-looking RA start making sense. When the detail recomposed in my mind i felt very different about the whole. The more i saw of him, ie pictures of other roles, etc the more it made sense 🙂

      The charisma thing is another layer on top of that! Having said that i felt his own personal charm had little to do with the varying type of vibes that his characters exude. I didn’t like Proctor to begin with but he grew on me and yes the strong, farmer type with beliefs and failures and courage is very attractive and moreover his weaknesses endear him to us.
      None of that was present at stage door the one time i went nor was any of the attractiveness mentioned! But there was the extremely pleasant, calm and engaging person, yet another wonderful surprise and facet of him.
      And then there was the ‘in conversation’ where he was more alert, aware of the audience and vibrant and had certainly turned ‘on’ his personal charm, whether consciously or not 😉 Yet another layer added and it was interesting to see him let his flirty charm show, quite the experience 😉 Mind you a lot of it came from seeing and hearing his mind buzz full of energy and thoughts. That was for me his most attractive incarnation to date.
      And recently i’ve been watching Guy and i’m still processing the fact that he can turn up the dial to boiling point LOL

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    • it is a bit strange in many ways as it all started with the Crucible and i am going back in time for any pieces of work and it is interesting to discover how much of his acting chops was already there a long looong time ago. (And yeah that skin is a bit unfair on a man 😉
      By the way i have ordered a certain BBC Persuasion DVD ;-)))) Amazon says it is on its way 🙂

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