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AgzyM does London or Ramblings of a textbook fat, white, middle-aged RA Fan

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This is a mammoth of a post, but I didn’t want to chop it up, but it definitely wins the award for most words AgzyM has ever tried to squeeze in at one time.

I make no apologies for the rambling nature of this post and understand completely if you skim it and get to the good stuff (meaning RA pics).

For that purpose I have separated the post into parts so you can just omit the sections that are yawn-inducing to you.

I just wanted to save as many thoughts on my stay in London in one place, therefore it’s quite emotionally masturbatory in it’s nature😉

I will also be focusing on the Armitage angle of the play which certainly DOES NOT mean that the other cast members were not phenomenal, especially the female leads.

If you follow me on Twitter (@AgzyM) you’ll have probably seen most of the pics before.

Obviously, any pictures from the play itself are not my own.

EDIT: The title of this post is a tongue-in-cheek nod to the reviewer who had described RA fans as fat, middle-aged white women.

Although I don’t necessarily feel I subscribe to that idea, nor do I agree that there is a common denominator for all RA fans other than admiring Richard Armitage, if that’s the way some people wish to describe me/us and being a proud Armitage admirer, so be it🙂

The Crucible Collage

I’ve been back from London for a couple of days now, nursing my feet back to health after walking thousands of miles, trying to sift through (and wrap my brain around) all the wonderful experiences I’ve been fortunate to accumulate.

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As many of you may know in April I was lucky enough to receive tickets for 2 consecutive performances of The Crucible at The Old Vic for my Name’s Day (see, it’s good to be Polish sometimes…).

Well actually I was asked what I’d like to get this year, I said I really can’t afford to see Richard on stage, but I really can’t afford not to and my family rallied around me to make it happen.

Because I was arranging the tickets pretty early on, I had my pick of seating and I must admit I chose pretty bloody well…but more about that later.

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I flew in to London on the 6th early morning so had the whole Sunday free from any Armitage onslaught, but I did decide to check out The Old Vic (as any good soldier preparing for battle would) and my commute to and from the venue.

I had scheduled to do my shopping that day (didn’t buy anything from my list), then made my obligatory visit to the National Portrait Gallery and slowly crossed the Thames and walked to Waterloo Station.

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Dunno about you, but I wouldn’t mind all cities being adorned by RA images (so if you’re a politician make it happen if you want my vote…).

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The mind boggles how many people have actually touched, fondles and licked these posters, just to be on the safe side I restrained myself and only snapped away at them😉

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I have to admit I did not encounter any Crucible posters around London, so seeing them proudly displayed around the theatre made my heart (and other parts of me…) swell.

We had stayed at a hotel just down the road from The Old Vic in December 2012 when we flew in to see The Hobbit: AUJ and every time we passed it I’d lose my fangirling shizz because it is the place of The 24-hour Play Richard had taken part in a few years prior (I’d also go all gooey when passing the Dorchester too, so I’m quite an embarrassment to be seen in public with ).

It was a mind trip to know I would actually be seeing the man himself in the flesh in the same place a year and a half later (see kids, dreams do come true!).

While I was checking out The Vic I also made a mental note of the stage door which looks harmless and innocent by daylight, but let me tell you the mood changes somewhat once Richard steps out of the door😉

Also, don’t you feel a tad jealous of that parking meter that gets to check out Richard 6 times a week, usually the back of him?

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Anyway, the following day I planned my museum/art gallery schedule so I could swing by the Vic to pick up my tickets earlier, so I first headed to Tate Modern for the Matisse Cut Out exhibition (which I highly recommend), then walked to The Cut.

I felt like a lucky bugger as I picked up my tickets, especially seeing that since the plan had been forged I was on the lookout for some catastrophe that would see everything go up in smoke- lost reservations, delayed/cancelled flights, understudy performing on the night etc.

I had become so superstitious in the days months leading up to my London trip I dared not do anything to mess up my juju.

When I got this baby in my grubby hands I didn’t want to let go… but then I did out of fear that my sweaty hands would smudge the ink😉

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As the nice lady was handing me my ticket, she told me that they were only just printing the Tuesday ones and they were on the letter “J” so I’d have to come back later to collect it.

Now, the ticket clearly asks you to make sure all the info is correct and everything is in order before you leave, which is easier said than done when you hold this precious in your grasp.

Long story short, turned out later that my Tuesday ticket had been printed out automatically and was attached to the other.

Oooppss, must pay closer attention in future…

Anyway, there I was thinking:

Willy Wonka, eat your heart out! I’ve got my golden tickets right here!

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 I proceeded to going down my exhibitions list for the day (Human Factor at the Hayward Gallery, you can give it a miss, Victoria & Albert Museum, which has a very interesting history of fashion display and my absolute favorite- Banksy The Unauthorised Retrospective at Sotheby’s which I highly recommend).

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I was to meet a fellow RA Admirer at the Pit Bar in the theatre before the play, so I took no chances of being late and headed that way around 6pm.

I ordered a glass of Merlot (hell, I was celebrating, right?!? although, in hindsight, a mixture of fangirl excitement, Richard Armitage and booze maybe wasn’t the smartest) and waited for Ms H, her daughter and a friend.

Unfortunately, as the crowds descended we missed each other and didn’t end up meeting until we were seated inside the theatre.

Let me just say that I truly regret not spending more time as Ms H is the type of person I could probably chat for 6 hours with without even making a dent in the topics we could cover.

I was extremely lucky to get an absolutely beautiful seat, first row, smack in the middle.

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The play started at 7.30 sharp, with the fog machine switched on and lights dimmed.

The stage (which isn’t a stage at all, just a large opening in the middle between seats) consisted of nothing but wooden chairs.

As the actors entered from the aisle opposite me, I was straining my eyes to see the bearded beauty.

He was one of the last members of cast to enter, but there was no mistaking that silhouette in the fog, I have after all spent a few hours of my life (Ok, maybe a bit more than a few…) paying close attention to images of Richard, so I felt quite well versed😉

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I’m not going to offer a play review, I feel there are many who can do the job much better than I, but I can in turn offer some random thoughts.

The man is HUGE on stage!

It’s like he takes up most of the space and towers over everyone, exuding a force that you can’t help but be both drawn to and frightened of.

Everything from his costume (a heavy coat with patched holes, very sexy boots and unfortunately baggy pants, then he strips to pants and a loose shirt) to his voice (which wasn’t as deep as I thought it would be for the first part of the play, which was probably due to some throat issues he had apparently been experiencing) screams strength.

Richard Armitage in The Crucible at the Old Vic

If ever there was a part suited for Armitage post Thorin, John Proctor is it.

What I found interesting was catching small glimpses of other RA characters in his performance.

The accent brought to mind John Standring, some scowls were very John Thornton and Thorin.

It was like tiny visits from old friends and I was joking that it’d make a great drinking game: a shot of vodka every time an RA character would pop up.

Let’s just say I’d leave the theatre well and truly sloshed😉

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BTW, I am in no way alluding that Proctor is anything but a well thought through independent Armitage character, it’s just when you’ve spent so much time watching various RA roles and certain mannerisms tend to creep up, a fan can’t help but notice.

Truth be told, because I was sitting in the first row with no barriers between me and the actors (seriously, I had to watch my feet so the cast wouldn’t step on them), it took a while for my brain to process that I’m actually not watching this on TV or on my laptop, that this was really happening then and there, mere meters from me.

The benefit of first row seats, especially the one I was parked in, is that you are less than a meter away from some of the most beautiful and powerful Proctor moments.

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As much as I was swept away by the story, I couldn’t help but register certain…hmmm… shall we say physical traits of Mr A…

Chest- very hairy, more so than I had ever imagined.

Actually, the biggest surprise for me was just how huge he was in the chest and especially the shoulders.

Somehow, apart from buff Porter, I hadn’t imagined that would be the case (but you learn something new everyday).

Let’s just say I wasn’t the only one who thought those shoulders and back would be a perfect place to press your head to😉

The stomach is flat as a board with an adorable roll of skin when he leans over (don’t judge me, he was kneeling two meters away, what else was I supposed to look at???).

I was also enchanted by how his middle finger are almost the same length as their neighbours, but that’s a quirk of mine😉

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Anyway, I was quite choked up by the time the actors were taking their bows and couldn’t help but leap up from my seat clapping as Richard stayed behind to take his final bows.

He has this adorable habit (as he repeated it the following night) of bowing one way, turning around and bowing the other and then he does this funny thing with his hands as he takes a bow towards the two sides.

Very thespian of you, Mr A (actually I typed it My A, but went back to correct it as, well, I should be so lucky…).

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Ms H had already pointed the best exit that would lead me straight to the stage door and into the queue, so I dashed out of my seat to procure my place.

If you’re wondering, it’s the exit to the left closest to the stage😉

Much has been said of the stage door experience in the past week or so, so let me share with you my thoughts.

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Firstly, it’s orderly and well behaved which is a bloody blessing, but it’s also quite a stressful experience.

We waited about 15 minutes before Richard came out, flagged by two Old Vic security men.

Please keep in mind that the man had just spent almost 4 hours performing in a very challenging play and the queue went all the way down the street, so that no doubt impacts the interaction Richard has with the people waiting.

It’s extremely rushed and I think RA makes his way down the line in under 20 minutes, which tells you plenty about the tempo.

On top of that, on Monday there were at least 2 groups of autograph hunters (one were standing right behind me, that’s how I know who they were), so I would imagine that puts a damper on the experience.

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The best advice I can offer anyone who’s planning on going is: BE PREPARED and TAKE A PIC FIRST.

I’ve heard of someone who pressed the off button on their camera instead of taking a pic, I took a rather disturbing selfie of Richard although I have no idea how to (believe me, that picture is a catastrophe!).

From what I’ve observed and, unfortunately, experienced, the moment Richard signs your poster/program he moves on to the next person.

It goes by so unbelievably fast that I before could even ask for a pic, he was gone.

Picture first, then an autograph!

Numerous people (me included) had to join the back of the queue again which makes me wonder that if the tempo wasn’t so severe the stage door would actually go much faster in the long run if he’d slow down a tad.

My one huge regret was that neither I nor anyone within earshot actually had the time to congratulate Richard or thank him for being…well, him!

In some regards I feel like we were there in line asking yet more of him after experiencing that brilliant performance without offering as much as a Thank You, but to say that the environment wasn’t conducive to any form of verbal exchange is a staggering understatement.

The chances are, had I started speaking not only would I have not got Richard’s attention anyway, but I wouldn’t have an autograph or pic either.

As to more Richard details, he doesn’t come off quite as huge as he does on stage, but definitely not gaunt.

He was wearing a checkered red and white shirt and a jacket which made him look rather smart.

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The only crack in his clear focus to sign/take pictures/move on came when he encountered the autograph hunters behind me.

As I was waiting for Richard I actually thought they seemed a bit out of place- young men dressed very casually, but figured they may be Tolkien fans drawn to the play by the allure of Thorin.

It seems Richard is much more savvy than little ol’ naive me.

He took one look at them as they clutch the 8×10 glossy pics of Richard, gave them a sideways glance (which was quite sexy), gave them a smirk (also sexy…) and said: I’m not signing that! and moved on.

I think this image is the one that’s lodged in my memory the most from the stage door experience- firstly because I felt it was the only time Richard had broken from the “fan interaction” persona but also because it made me realise what issues he has to deal with now that his career has entered yet another stage.

Oh, and I’d be pissed off too if someone was trying to make a quick buck off me.

Actually, as a fan who had flown in to see the play against many odds and for whom meeting Richard was a dream come true, I was/am pissed off of people trying to take advantage!

May this be a lesson to all of those who are tempted to buy an RA autograph on ebay, they aren’t really obtained in the best manner and having Richard sign something right next to you is much more valuable.

Anyway, the tally from my Monday Crucible experience was meeting the adorable Ms H, seeing a bloody great play, one signed poster, one very bad Richard and I selfie.

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I had arranged to meet Ms Sally_Boots on Tuesday afternoon, so I had enough time to pop into The National Gallery to pay a traditional visit to Holbein’s The Ambassadors and all the other brilliant art on display, while (traditionally) avoiding the Medieval Art rooms (what can I say, not my cup of tea…).

The plan for that afternoon was to meet close to The Old Vic, grab a bite to eat, maybe get lucky and see Richard on his way to the theatre (long story short, we failed on all accounts and ended up having a quick Sainsbury’s sandwich standing in the rain next to an RA Crucible poster, we’re classy that way…).

It was a pleasure to meet Sally_Boots, you may recognise her from Twitter and she had written a few posts on this blog for Fanstra4.

I knew she’d be lovely and she didn’t disappoint🙂

As we were waiting, we spotted a familiar face scoping out The Old Vic.

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We recognised the Anglophile lady with her family walking around and, I can’t lie, we were more than a little jealous, convinced she was probably there to interview Richard.

As I’m not what you would call shy, as we passed I asked her whether she was the Anglophile lady (yup, it was a rhetorical question).

Turns out Marlise was incredibly friendly and we stood there chatting away while I was discreetly checking out her hair (which is gorgeous by the way).

We had ourselves a good ol’ chinwag about Richard (who else?) and I can confirm that Marlise is one of us- a proud Armitage Admirer excited about seeing the play the following night.

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After downing a bag of salt and vinegar crisps,bought the obligatory posters (trust me, you can’t choose just one out of the three available) it was time to go to Salem.

As we were taking our seats I was curious what it would be like to see the play from a different angle.

The picture of The Old Vic seating isn’t very accurate- there’s no stage per se and there’s an aisle running down the centre on the other side, which meant the actors would enter and exit right next to me.

My seat was a mirror reflection of the one from the night before and I was wondering whether the actors/play favoured any side in particular (nope, both sides are brilliant in their own way).

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I actually have a confession to make.

As I was booking my tickets in April in somewhat of a fevered state (I’m a fangirl damn it, I cannot keep calm!), I knew I had booked a fab ticket for Monday but thought I had screwed up with Tuesday’s seat.

I was sure I had accidentally booked a balcony seat and had spent a good 2 months secretly tormenting myself that with my pick of seats I had chosen such a bad one.

Turns out all of the online plans I had checked out were from The Old Vic prior to the removal of the official stage, therefore creating “the circle” and the addition of seats from the back.

When I realised that all was well I felt so much relief, but it’s a lesson learned that I need to focus more even where Richard Armitage is concerned.

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By the way, the Lilian Baylis Circle was so high up it gave me vertigo just looking at it, so bear that in mind when booking tickets.

Talking about seating, Sally_Boots was in for a shock as she could have sworn she purchase a first row seat to the side, but it turned out there were actually two or three rows in front of her.

A quick online research confirms that they did end up adding a few rows on both sides, no doubt figuring that they didn’t need the side space for the play, so they plonked a few more rows there.

Brilliant if you were lucky to buy tickets late and scored first row, not so brilliant if you bought first row months beforehand only to be shoved back.

As the fogs distended and the play started, this time around I was much more savvy as I knew what to expect, where RA would pop out from, when to tuck my feet in so they wouldn’t be trampled etc.

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Anyway, I was so thrilled to see that play from a different angle.

If you have front seats you will at some point have your view blocked by an actor, so anything I may have missed the first time around, I more than made up for the second.

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I was particularly intrigued by the now famous shirtless washing scene (don’t you dare judge me!).

On Monday I got a full frontal view from a few meters away, on Tuesday I got to see it from the back, and let me tell you, that is my favorite angle😉

I felt the play had gone even smoother this time and Richard’s voice was much stronger which makes me think he’d been doing his best drinking tea with lemon and honey to sooth his throat from all the yelling (and much yelling there is, believe me, I’ve developed a new fetish for it!).

Having seen the play twice I marvel at the fitness level of the actors.

This is an incredibly demanding play, beautifully choreographed and I image they go home each night with fresh new bumps and bruises.

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As I failed at obtaining a decent pic with Richard the night before, I vowed to do better this time around.

I was standing in line at the stage door with Ms Sally_Boots and we were joined by Ms Nina, a resident of London who sometimes comes to the stage door to meet other RA Admirers and always gives Richard an adorable card🙂

Without going into too much detail, this was also the night of the now infamous “Richard is so rude but I’ll post a picture with him and me grinning like a maniac” lady.

Let me just say, she was not there for the play that night, nor is she an RA fan.

She was there with a specific aim (which she didn’t achieve) and I’m much annoyed to learn she’s the one who interrupted my pic with Richard and the reason it came out blurry.

A plague on both your houses madam, that wasn’t cool!

The stage door was just as hectic, but after experiencing non-RA fans with an agenda clearly other than to have the pleasure of meeting Richard, I’m a little less surprised at the rushed attitude he adopts.

Long story short, I didn’t get my perfect pic, but what I did get makes me exceedingly happy and grateful.

One pic came out fuzzy, but my grin says it all…

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Here’s the other:

AgzyM Richard

A huge thank you to both Sally_Boots and Nina for trying to make my dream of a good picture of Richard and I come true!

I very much appreciate it ladies🙂

Tally of Tuesday: Meeting Sally_Boots and Nina, two wonderful Armitage Admirers, getting to see the play from a different perspective, a signed Crucible program, and, f*cking hell, actually seeing Richard Armitage in the flesh!

Not bad for a quick visit to London, right?

All in all, this trip was one of the best moments for me, hands down.

Given half the chance (or if/when I win the lottery) I’d do it all over again with relish.

I enjoyed meeting fellow Armitage Admirers who are even nicer in person, the play is quite possibly one of the best I’ve ever seen (don’t get me started, we’ll be here all night), I came so close to the object of my fangirling affections (and didn’t lose my rag, which is important).

I feel very fortunate (the agnostic in me doesn’t want to say “blessed”) to have accumulated so many fab experiences and, subsequently, memories that shall last me a lifetime.

My dad picked me up from the airport and as I tried to put into words all that I had experienced he said something that made me teary: Seeing how much you enjoyed yourself and how you took advantage of this opportunity, that trip to London was worth every penny!

Ahhhh…. thanks dad🙂

I know that many would love to have the chance to go on this adventure and let me add insult to injury by saying that this is really worth begging, borrowing (NOT stealing though!) for.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed for everyone who’s still trying to figure out how the heck to get themselves to The Old Vic- stranger things can happen, or have happened if my adventure is anything to go by😉

About AgzyM

"I have measured out my life with coffee spoons". A fangirl through and through, anglophile, and admirer of beauty whereever I can find it. I love books and art, and spend too much time admiring Richard Armitage and other amazing British actors.

87 responses »

  1. Loved reading this story Agzy!! Amazing!! So glad you enjoyed the play and met Richard! Also, I agree that meeting fellow well-wishers in the fandom is a highlight of any such adventure.🙂

    What was the secret purpose of the rude lady with Richard?? #iMustKnow

    Reply
    • Thanks🙂 Either I’ve been really lucky of RA fans are the nicest people around!
      Regarding the woman, she tried to score an interview that had already been denied by RA’s people. So not the time or place for that…

      Reply
      • Oh, we ARE the best fans, I think!😀 99.9997% of us!

        Re the woman, WTF-ever…. not the time or the place I totally agree. And I think it’s unfair to wait by the stage door if you didn’t even see the play.

        Reply
        • Yup, agreed although I met quite a few fans who had seen the play before and got a fuzzy pic so returned the following night, those who stop by to wait in line to meet other RA fans (they are lovely as they end up playing photographer and take pictures) so I wouldn’t limit the stage door to only people who saw the play that night. It’s pretty easy to spot who the RA fans were and who was there to make everyone’s life harder😦

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  2. That was great, and Agzy, you are beautiful!

    And if anyone is judging you, they don’t know what they’re missing. : D

    Reply
    • Thanks so much, I’m just trying to capture as many moments of my London trip that shall keep me warm during long cold evenings when no new RA stuff comes in😉

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  3. Hey you’re sitting in my seat ma’am! (F34 where I hope to be in September fingers and toes crossed). Non RA fans with an agenda? I don’t even understand. Why would they want to waste their time???

    I’m so happy for you Agzy! Thanks for sharing your report; it felt like I was there. Actually got a little shiver of anticipation (I mean, my anti-fangurl did. Cough.)

    Reply
    • You were actually my inspiration when it comes to jetting off to London to see an actor I heart perform on stage. I remember reading about you seeing David Tennant on stage in London a few years back and fist-punching the air with glee s I read. You tested the waters, as it were and showed that anything is possible if you really want it and put your mind to it🙂

      Reply
      • Really?! Oh yes, that’s when I even had that little bastard, Winston, in tow. Well then I’m one hundred times happy for you. The memories you have make the splurging and madness all the more sweeter. It’s crazy but it’s a helluva shot in the arm! 🙂

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  4. So glad you made it happen. Thanks for spilling all the details – especially on which are the best shirtless angles.😉
    Lovely to actually see a picture of you. You look fab, not to mention glowing.

    Reply
    • Thank very much🙂 A silly beaming grin is what you get when you’re in close proximity to Mr A😉
      BTW, I could (and may still) write a post on the shirtless scene alone as I feel it’s worthy of a thorough analysis!

      Reply
  5. Thank you so much for sharing your experience. There is absolutely no way I can attend (multiple reasons) so hearing from you and others who have attended is the next best thing. I will be re-reading this again and again🙂

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    • Thanks so much, I’ve been in your shoes so many times, but I always found that reading about other people’s encounters made it much easier to bear, so I hope I’ve done my bit. Before you know it I’ll be once again on the other side of these stories, glued to my laptop reading😉

      Reply
  6. I feel a bit like a fairy godmother here as it was my humble self who helped Ms H get in touch with you prior to theatre date (by giving her your email addy..)!!😀 So glad you had such a great time!! Thank you for sharing!! Hugs!

    Reply
    • You did a lovely thing giving Ms H my email, she really was lovely🙂 I’ve been so fortunate to meet so many wonderful fellow RA admirers, yourself included! Hugs!

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      • Aww thank you you’re so kind!!! *blushes*

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        • Wot’s going on here?? Am I acquiring my own fan base???

          Let me tell you, and everybody else, that the pleasure of meeting you, Agzy, was entirely mine and I thank Judit hugely for putting us in touch.

          And for those of you who’ve commented, you’re correct: Agzy is quite beautiful in the flesh; tall, slender, drop-dead gorgeous, elegant… And she’s funny, witty and quirky to boot.

          And, yes, Agz, I will be delighted to take you up on your offer of an evening out when you are next over.

          Thrilled you had such a wonderful time and really happy that I shared some of it with you.

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          • Ahhh see, just when Judit and I think we’re done gushing and girlcrushing on you, you turn around and say such lovely things🙂
            BTW, the fact that you and I (and other RA fans) enjoyed the play is one thing, but it was wonderful to see how your teenagers reacted to it. At first they were trying to be cool about the experience, by the time the night was over, they were well and truly Armitaged! Just adorable!

  7. Pingback: A Pin-up Shares her Crucible Experience -Agzy Tells All | Stories - Photos - Encounters - Reviews - Thoughts by Fans for Fans

  8. Sounds like the perfect excursion -everything fell into place. A great story to read.

    Reply
  9. This was a great read, Agzy- I enjoyed all your thoughts and observations, and I felt like I was right there with you at the Old Vic. Thanks for sharing your photos as well- I agree with others, by the way- you look fabulous!

    Reply
    • Thanks so much, we tried our best😉
      I actually think the Anglophile Old Vic vid was very good at capturing the mood of the play and I didn’t have the courage to take any pictures inside the theatre, no to mention filming any clips as those Vic employees seemed very professional😉
      I hope based on that video and descriptions of fan experiences, those who won’t be able to attend will get at least a taste of what it was like!

      Reply
  10. That’s a fabulous report! You give all the important details😉, and precious insight for fans coming to see the play. Glad you had such a good time! Pics are great – two pretty faces & one brilliant smile.

    Reply
    • Ah, thanks very much, I tried to squeeze out as much as I could remember of the stuff I felt RA admirers would find interesting, hence no real play review- others do it so much better and I know quite a few people who have yet to see the play, so I tried to avoid spoilers😉

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  11. Loved hearing about your experiences! So glad that you had a lovely time! Cheers!

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  12. armitagebesotted

    Aw, Agzy, thank you so much for writing this up and letting me live it vicariously with you. Your report is perfect — full of fangirl details we all crave. And if you feel inspired to write more about the shirtless scene later, go to it, girl.

    Reply
    • Well, now I feel obligated!!! to write more about the shirtless scene as clearly it is an integral scene necessary to interpret the complex mechanics governing The Crucible😉 Without a detailed description of Richard washing his armpits I feel many would not quite grasp the complex socioeconomic aspect of the community of Salemn as well as the metaphors that Miller strives to encode in his play.
      In other words, a post on shirtless Proctor it is then!

      Reply
  13. Mammoth post? Mammothly fabulous in every way! I loved reading it all, and since I am one of the fortunate ones who have actually met you in the flesh, I felt I was so completely with you there. I loved the photo of you and RA – it’s fabulous and both of you look amazing! The details you put into your report are really helpful for anyone who’s yet going to the play.
    I am so glad you had these amazing two nights at the theatre. The play sounds seriously amazing, and you got the encounter you had been hoping for. The universe is good!!!

    Reply
    • Hiya Guylty –

      It’s possible I’ve misunderstood what Agzy has written in terms of getting the ‘encounter’ she had been hoping for, but my impression is that the Stage Door process has altered significantly since the earlier, pre-press night Stage Door encounters.

      I make this statement based on the following line from Agzy’s post:
      “From what I’ve observed and, unfortunately, experienced, the moment Richard signs your poster/program he moves on to the next person.”

      This is not at all a criticism, simply an observation that the process has changed from earlier weeks (with non-Crucible attendees now in line, etc). It is actually EXTREMELY helpful advice Agzy is giving for preparation if this is the process now in place. I only wish that – for all the joy that Agzy brings to readers with her awesome posts – that I could have somehow traded my own leisurely and unrushed Stage Door experience from weeks earlier and given that space of time to her instead. 🙂

      Reply
      • I really don’t want to seem ungrateful, after all no one would be surprised if one day Richard didn’t come out at all or came out for a second (although something tells me that’s unlikely to happen).
        As much as I tried to stay away from any play spoilers prior to my seeing it, I did try to pay attention to fan encounters (a little fangirl espionage, if you will) and it’s clear things have changed in the past few weeks.
        Either the novelty has worn off or maybe more people feel brave enough to go and try their luck at the stage door, therefore the queue has expanded significantly. Maybe Richard has some engagements after the play or is just really really tired (I mean seriously, close to four hours of exhausting acting, that’s not counting the warm up). Then there’s that possibility that if he continued to give so much of himself to fans after the play 6 times a week without adopting some kind of barrier (we are extremely greedy, I’ll be the first to admit it) there’d be nothing left for the performance.
        Whatever the reason I’ll say one thing- the main most important part of The Old Vic experience is watching Richard on stage. I realised that it was through acting that I fell for him, the gushing over interviews and the whole “he’s such a lovely guy” came second. What I experienced watching him as Proctor was more than enough to make my heart pound in my chest. The stage door autograph/pic was just the cherry on the cake😉

        Reply
      • As someone who is only reading about and not experiencing the stage door, I agree, Expat – sounds as if things are shifting. I suppose that is only natural. As there are more people waiting, the time for every indivdual fan becomes shorter. And with ongoing time, the whole experience may also lose its novelty and lustre for RA himself… I am actually amazed that he is still doing it every night, after an exhausting 3,5 hours of work… Kudos to him…

        Reply
  14. Love your story! Thanks so much for sharing it! What a beautiful memory for you! Life is good!

    Reply
  15. You are so lucky!!! Thank you SO much for this wonderful post. I am thrilled for you!

    Reply
  16. Loved this!! First comment was much longer but didn’t work. I am so happy for you.

    Reply
  17. Tak, Twój uśmiech ( śliczny uśmiech) mówi wszystko.:-) Gratuluję niesamowitej przygody! I dziękuję za piękną relację.

    Reply
  18. Wow, all your healthy life choices sure paid off! You look gorgeous!! As does RA, of course. You have put your finger on (not actually, sadly) the details that we fangurls want to hear. Exactly. More please.😀😀 Thank you so much for a very entertaining post and so glad you have a mostly great experience. Can’t wait until I go in August!!😀😀

    Reply
    • You will LOVE it! I didn’t want to milk my Crucible experience, but I will gladly oblige and write more. I can’t write reviews and thorough analysis, but I sure as heck can write from a fangirls (or should that be fanwoman’s?) perspective😉

      Reply
  19. Agzy,

    It’s SO WONDERFUL to read a post from you again – I always love reading your extremely funny & witty posts! Just a few thoughts and comments at random:

    1. I sat in F14 just 2 weeks earlier!!! I have to agree, they are wonderful seats. Were you hit be Deputy Governor Danforth’s coat as he would sweep by in Act 4??😉
    2. I also agree that the Anglophile video does an excellent job capturing the space and ambience of the theatre. It’s great the Old Vic allowed Marlise to film those bits to share with others who are unlikely to experience the setting in person. I love the picture of the 3 of you together.
    3. You are gorgeous!! In spirit and person. 🙂
    4. I SO WISH I could trade my Stage Door experience from 2 weeks earlier with you!! The Stage Door was so relaxed in the opening preview days (e.g., June 23). There was only 1 Old Vic guy who assessed and helped with photos then (dubbed ‘The Intern’ by me – I still see him in your pics above). Back then, every single person had a moment to chat with Armitage, to thank him, etc., and I so wish it could have been a similar setting for your time there…

    Thanks so much for posting this – I hope we get to read more of your delightfully witty posts in the near future. 🙂

    Reply
    • 1. See, I felt the seat was well warmed on the night my buttocks resided there, so a huge thanks🙂
      2. I really enjoyed the video. I didn’t have the courage to even snap a sneaky pic inside the Vic, I was too scared that I’d get booted out.
      3. Why, thank you!
      4. I know the stage door was a tad different a few weeks back, but there’s a part of me that believes that I will yet have a chance to say Thank YOU! to Richard for all the wonderful things he’s given to me, quite unbeknownst to him I’m sure.
      One thing the stage door has taught me is that maybe going to a red carpet event like the Hobbit, might not be my cup of tea.

      Reply
      • Yeah… I was working in NYC when the first Hobbit movie premiered in 2012 and back in London again when it premiered there a week later – and neither time did I really feel inclined to attend (I also have a defensive fear of crowds – having almost been crushed to death by surging crowds a few years back – not that I think this would happen with the excellent crowd control logistics and police who are generally in place, but still).

        But I am really glad to hear you are still looking forward to a time when you will be able to express your thanks to the man personally.

        Reply
        • No, standing with other fans at the premiere getting crushed, vying to get a good pic or at least a glance at Richard seems much less enticing, I must admit. Having said that if I were to see the play again I wouldn’t be able to resist the urge of the stage door, like a moth to a flame I wouldn’t be able to leave well enough alone, so never say never.

          Reply
  20. Great story!!!🙂 I’m so happy for you!

    Reply
    • Thanks! I tried! BTW, love your pic, that is one heck of a hug and I’m surprised they didn’t have to pry you off him one it was taken😉

      Reply
      • lol!!! thanks! He was actually the one who wrapped his arm around me first and I followed. We pried ourselves apart at the same time😉

        Reply
        • Oh, lucky girl! I think I put my hand on his back, don’t recall him touching me in any way, but then as I joked on Twitter, the chances are he just felt the energy crackling between us and Judit added that he was probably afraid we’d self-combust at the slightest tough😉
          Anyway, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it😉

          Reply
  21. Reblogged this on Well, There You Go … and commented:
    Ms A meets Mr A … oh what a (couple of) night(s) 😉

    Reply
  22. Oh A! I’ve got goosebumps reading about your adventure! I almost feel like I was there. Thank you for sharing it, and those lovely photos, with us. (And a shirtless Proctor scene analysis wouldn’t be amiss.😉 )

    And by the way … you are gorgeous! No more casting aspersions on your beautiful self, young lady. Don’t make me come over there! *trying for a stern look and failing miserably*

    Reply
    • Thanks Z, I’m really happy those that won’t be going enjoyed my ramblings. Actually, I have my own motives- in future when I’m not able to experience something RA I can easily emotionally blackmail everyone into giving me a detailed account😉

      Reply
  23. You already know what I think so I’ll just add that I’m glad you got the chance — and that I wonder how many butts of people I know will have sat in exactly the same seat(s) in that theater! Hugs.

    Reply
    • LOL! I always try to avoid thinking how many butts have sat in seats, how many bodies have slept in hotel beds, people tried on shoes I’ve bought, just makes things easier😉
      I will say though, the seats I got were so fabulous, I even got a bit of Armi spittle on me during Proctor’s monologues. That’s one DNA sample I don’t mind thinking about😉
      Hugs!

      Reply
      • The night I attended, Yael Farber sat in the seat next to us at F12. I’ve since wondered a little how conscious the actors are of her presence and location in the audience – even if on a subliminal level – during their performances. They must realize it is from that location that her notes and corrections are written for them.

        Reply
        • Good point, I guess it’s a bit like someone coming to watch my class. It’s highly stressful but ultimately I try to rise to the occasion and try extra hard. If actors are the same I would venture a guess that the performance you saw could have been one of the best they had performed to date. Plus, no doubt she had tweaked the play based on her observations so the next time you go, you will be able to make comparisons as to the changes.

          Reply
  24. mujertropical

    Agzy, how fabulous of you to be so generous with us by writing this account of your experience in London! I already thought that you and Miss Sally Boots were beautiful but I didn’t expect the supermodel level of gorgeousness. I’m sure it was very hard for Richard to pose for a picture with you. It must have been quite a sacrifice…😉

    Would you mind writing a post about the kiss between Proctor and his wife? I’ve read that it is quite emotional and intense, full of love. I’m curious about how it made you feel, compared to “the” kiss on North and South. Thank you.

    Congratulations on having one of your dreams come true. You deserved it.

    Reply
    • Thanks my darling🙂
      I’m so happy you enjoyed the post as I was sure it’d be boring to most.
      I will gladly write about the kiss, but I think the real crackling energy is between Proctor and Abi. The raw animal magnetism and tension between them truly was yummy😉

      Reply
      • mujertropical

        Yes, I’ve noticed the rave reviews for Sam’s performance as Abigail. I suppose working with Richard would raise anyone’s game, right? She’s definitely gotten herself noticed. I wouldn’t be surprised if the BBC has already knocked on her agent’s door, so to speak.😉

        Reply
        • Her character was so powerful, such an incredible bully and manipulator, she honestly scared me… until I realised I could probably take her in a fight. It’d be hard, but I would if I had to😉
          The actress who plays Abigail is beautiful and the moment she’d let her hair tumble down her back you knew trouble was right around the corner.
          I’ve noticed that people focus on the kiss between Proctor and his wife, but the energy between Proctor and Abi is so powerful and raw, it’d send shivers down my spine.

          Reply
          • mujertropical

            I’ve read that she is scary as heck as Abigail, totally convincing as someone who seizes her power to destroy and uses it with glee. She’d have to be in order to be a match for Proctor, right? Otherwise, she wouldn’t have been interested in him at all, let alone become obsessed to the point of sheer evil.

          • Breaking a just man would totally be an appropriate activity for her, but it’s clear that there a physical attraction on both sides and when watching the actress who plays Abi you can see how any man, even one so righteous as Proctor, would be powerless. The fact that he fell for her when his wife was going through post-natal depression is one thing, but he admits to being attracted to her still (by standing by her window at night) and that is shown beautifully on stage.

          • mujertropical

            I imagine that the sexual chemistry must be off the charts. Otherwise, it wouldn’t work! She has to be the epitome of lustful temptation, for a righteous man to cheat on the wife he truly loves. Mind you, not that I’m excusing him at all. I don’t!

          • I particularly like watching the sheer horror and shame on Proctor’s face when he realises that Abigail had told all her chums what had transpired between them. That was priceless and the man should’ve know better- women talk, especially teenage girls😉

          • mujertropical

            Yes, well, most men are idiots when it comes to that kind of thing, aren’t they?

            P.S: I’m reading Dragonfly in Amber too! Just began last night.🙂

          • Re Dragon in Amber, boy do we get our money’s worth with this writer! I have the first 7 books in one bundle on my kindle, so I can’t judge just how far along I am with each book (OK, I can but I’m too lazy). These are not highlander romance novels, these are books you can sink your teeth into. I’m super excited about the Outlander series out mid August and approve of the casting🙂

          • mujertropical

            I hear there’s a preview of the first episode next Sunday! I am halfway through the second book already. I love Jamie so much! The character is very well written. It’s great to read about a man who is devoted to his wife!

  25. What a great review! I saw it the first time from the side where you see R’s back in the washing scene (this seems to be the main point of reference for this show😉 ), and the second time from the middle balcony, and I must say…for actually watching the show, the balcony was a bit better! I was pleasantly surprised, because you kind of got to take the whole in, without people blocking your view. Both were wonderful experiences🙂

    I’m so glad you had a great time, and it’s nice to meet up with people who share your enthusiasm.

    Lastly, this made me laugh: “while (traditionally) avoiding the Medieval Art rooms ” as that’s the FIRST place I’d go😉 Something for everyone!

    Reply
    • I’ve heard that the actor’s blocking can be quite disappointing for some. I think I was lucky because everything I may have missed (and let’s be honest, I do man RA scenes) I made up for the following night.
      I actually thought that there were many good seats at the Old Vic and the balcony seemed relatively close too. Only the upper circle seemed very high up and quite far away, but then it’s reflected in the price and if you told me I’d get to see the play one more time from the circle I would jump at the chance, make no bones about it😉
      Regarding medieval art, I’m an agnostic living in a a catholic country where church and state are disturbingly intertwined… believe me, I’ve had my fill of religious themes😉

      Reply
  26. What a beautiful first person account! I relished every word, especially the descriptions of him onstage. So happy for you!

    Reply
    • I’m just writing up a post focusing on Proctor’s physical presence on stage (it’s a tough job but someone’s got to do it…), so I hope it’ll quench any RA thirsts😉

      Reply
  27. Hi Agzy,
    What a brilliant adventure you had, I flew to London on Saturday for a quick visit to see the play. You have written so much of my thoughts on the play and Richard especially seeing the similarities to the other characters he’s played. I could go on and on but you’ve said it all really. Got to meet him outside afterwards which happened so quickly it was all a bit of a blur (though I did get to touch those massive shoulders!) sadly my picture came out very blurred but realised afterwards my sister had taken a second picture which is very dark but at least it’s something!
    I’m here now trying to figure out a way of getting back over to London to see the play again, I’m thinking maybe the end of August or beginning of September for my birthday. I’m hoping he’s not taking any time off to promote In to the Storm!!!

    Reply
    • Oh, the curse of the burred pic😦 The best you can do is rejoin the line if you’re lucky enough to notice it on the spot and try again, or, as you are smartly planning, get tickets and give it another try😉
      Unfortunately I would be able to see the play again for many reasons- firstly financially, secondly I’m going away on holiday in August so there wouldn’t be any time anyway…
      That means you shall have to return, get a better stage door experience for the both of us😉

      Reply
      • Well we did realise we had a blurred pic and were heading to the end of the line when he whisked past us on his way back to the stage door. For some reason he didn’t go all the way to the end on Saturday night, maybe he was tired or maybe like you said he’s a bit more savvy than us and realised that the autograph hunters were at the end of the queue. I’m not sure as it happened so fast, I literally turned around and he was gone😞.
        Good news this morning though, a concert I had tickets for here has been cancelled so I will be putting the ticket refunds to good use and heading back to London ASAP!!

        Reply
        • Yay, not for the concert but for Proctor😉
          I don’t think people realise just how fast things go at the stage door. I’m by no means shy, I’m quite a big lass, so I can usually use that to my advantage to get someone’s attention, but I’m nicknaming Richard The Assertive Flash because once he flies by, there’s no changing his trajectory!
          Also, that’s worrying that he didn’t make it to the very end of the line. I was thinking it might come to that at some point (although had really hoped not) and you’re this first (but I’m afraid not the last probably) to report that he doesn’t go all the way down the queue anymore. It seems that things are changing from week to week at the stage door and not really for the best where fans are concerned😦

          Reply
  28. A heartfelt thank you for sharing Agzy, I am saving this to read again and again.

    Reply
  29. Allalbavincero

    Wow. Thank you so much for sharing your trip to London! You sound very, very happy, and I’m really happy for you! I’ve experienced something very similar – it was a singer and not an actor, and it was Barcelona instead of London, but everything else was very, very similar, including the emotions. Like your father said, it’s really worth every penny.😀

    Reply
  30. Loved reading this. So happy for you.

    Reply
  31. Having been to 2 matinee performances i’m now pinning my hopes on an evening performance hoping to get a photo at the stage door, I just hope he doesn’t stop coming out I shall be so disappointed although the play is the thing I had G13 and H6.both good seats.

    Reply
  32. littlesallyboots (Hannah A)

    Just re-reading about your adventures! Such good Armi times!!😀
    Madness that more than a year has passed!!
    Also, I’m not sure why I didn’t leave a comment on your post before…maybe I was just a tad overwhelmed, eh?! Hehe!
    Xxxx

    Reply

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