This post contains spoilers with regards to the plot/scenes of The Crucible, so if you are yet to see the play, I suggest you give it a miss.
It also a shameless fangirl approach to Armitage/Proctor, so if you’re sensitive to the issue of RA objectification, I’d give it a miss too 😉
Now that my adventure is well and truly over, I guess The Crucible genie is out of the bottle and there are so many thought I’d like to share.
There have been a few post requests here and there, so I would consider it rude not to fulfill my obligations as a raving fangirl, take one for the team and lay some issues to rest.
I’d like to try to give you a thorough head to
tail toe analysis strictly for the sake of you understanding the character of Proctor better 😉
Let me also tell you about one of my most favorite scenes and have it serve as a backdrop to some Armitage musing if that’s alright by you…
Proctor is by far the largest physical presence on stage, and I’m including the metal frame bed and large wooden table 😉
This is no doubt exaggerated by how tiny (TINY, I tell you!) all the actresses are and the ease with which he throws them around the stage like ragged dolls (I’ve never been one for liking it rough, but this play has brought to light a new fetish…).
The costumes and minimalistic set design, not to mention the choreography, create an air that can be described in no other terms than haunting, but I’m not letting myself get distracted by rambling on about how beautiful it all is, so let me proceed…
Richard’s hair is closely cropped, I’d venture a guess that it’s his natural hair colour although I noticed no silver threads, so either he’s lucky or has given his mane a helping hand.
For those interested in the thickness, it looked pretty darn run-your-fingers-through-it worthy, even when wet.
Beard is thick and luscious, eyes piercing and those lines running vertically down his forehead very pronounced.
Nose suits his face beautifully, even if there may be a tad less of it than a year or so ago (allegedly).
BTW, if you’re wondering what accent comes flying out of his mouth, I’d say it’s most reminiscent of John Standring.
Proctor wears a heavy coat, ever so slightly reminiscent of Lucas North’s peacock coat, that accentuates his huge physique.
The coat has clearly been mended on the back (a detail I greatly enjoyed) and the mean part of me had a passing thought: Sure, poor Goody Proctor was probably sat by the fire mending it as her not-so-goodie husband was rolling in the hay with Abigail 😉
Let me give you a moment to contemplate the image of John and Abi rolling in the hay… yup, Ok, let’s move on…
The scarf is a nice touch as I do enjoy a man who can accessorize and it’s all about the colour coordination, people!
Anyway, under the coat you can see a dark grey shirt, loose enough to allow a quick peek at the chest situation.
As I was quite fortunate to have Richard stand centimeters away from me as he delivered his lines on more than one occasion (and yes, I did get a fair amount of RA spittle on me, not complaining), I could take a closer look at the neck and chest situation.
Very hairy. Very very hairy.
Although I’m a fan of a nicely shaved chest, something tells me waxing wasn’t that big in Salem at the time and Richard certainly kept it authentic in that regard.
Also hairy- his arms, although I think any fangirl worth her salt knew that already, the hairs on his arms are quite light, so it’s only when they catch the light can you fully appreciate the manly jungle 😉
I also couldn’t help but notice something I’d focused on in RA pics before- how his middle finger is not much longer than his index or ring finger.
I think (although I can’t say for certain as I did have an intense play to focus on at the same time and there’s only so much I can register at any given time) that it’s more pronounced in one hand.
I’d get a good look at the thumb and especially the thumb joint as Richard would have his hand clenched in a fist, probably ready to punch those nasty faux witches!
Left the binoculars at home, so can’t say much about the nails, sorry…
We’ve done the north, let’s proceed south.
Pants baggy, baggy, bloody baggy, much to my disappointment.
It wasn’t really until Richard got physical on stage (and luckily there’s no shortage of those moments) that you can spy on a thunder thigh muscle, an outline of the Armi buttock.
If I could change one thing about the play, I’d ask the costume designer to rethink the shape of those trousers to a more viewer-friendly line 😉
Boots- oh, those boots, with the legs of the hip hop pants tucked in!
I’m not sure whether I found them so alluring because we’ve seem Richard sporting a similar pair in RL, but there’s just something about a big BIG man wearing sturdy weathered footwear.
He takes them off and throws them around a tad, much to the horror of the people sitting closest to the line of fire of said boots.
Bare feet- anyone who knows me will tell you I’m not a foot person.
If you’re big enough to use them for walking, that’s my cue to start ignoring them, so maybe I’m not the best judge.
Let’s just say as men’s feet go, these aren’t bad.
By the time Proctor takes his boot off, his sockless feet are a tad squashed and knackered, but I found nothing offensive there
perhaps a small bunion developing on one foot and that’s high praise from me.
Now, onto one of my favorite Proctor/RA scenes (unfortunately no visuals):
It starts with John’s wife Goody (short for Good Wife) Proctor carrying a big water jug and filling a big bowl.
The scene is quite powerful as she pours the water slowly and you can hear it trickling and splashing.
She then proceeds to take a lamp and go upstairs.
Proctor returns home after working in the fields all day, put’s his gun and whip down, tastes his wife’s cooking, scowls and proceeds to add salt to it.
It’s actually quite funny as he later in the scene compliments her on how well the dish has been seasoned, cheeky beggar 😉
Not that it’s important, but the food is real and you can clearly smell it as it’s stirred in the pot and later served up on a plate.
I wondered whether it’s one of those microwave meals that they heat up right before and whether they serve up a different one every so often.
For Richard’s sake I hope they do (although the smell was the same on both nights) because he does end up taking at least 3 spoonfuls before the scene ends.
It smelt quite meaty, but then I guess it’d be weird to get a whiff of chicken tandoori considering the historic context.
As a joke they should serve sushi one night, a good ol’ california rolls that Proctor ends up having to add wasabi and soya sauce to 😉
Talking about smells, I’ve always wondered what RA might smell of.
I’d heard about fresh linen and soap, but needed to verify it for purely scientific purpose, you understand.
Throughout the play whenever the actors would move closer I’d get this lovely smell of cologne.
I was beyond excited that Richard seemed to have broken his usual perfume pattern, or non-perfume pattern as the case may be, as I like a man who smells yummy and I do come from a family of perfumers.
It wasn’t until the end of the night when I leaned in to give the lovely Ms H a goodbye hug did I realise it was actually her, sat 2 seats away, that smelled so beautifully.
Oh well, I’m just happy someone made the effort 😉
Anyway, let’s get back to business:
Proctor walks in, clearly knackered after a day in the fields and proceed to take off his heavy coat, boots and shirt.
He walks up to the bowl and kneels in front of it.
Now, if the water was heated prior to the scene, the chances are it had cooled down in the process, poor Richard, but then he only washes the top half of his body, so he should be thankful for that, the audience not so much.
Anyway, the scene was quite beautiful from the front and, better still, there was nothing else happening on stage at that time, so I didn’t feel at all guilty gawking at Richard (really, how long can you stare at a wooden table and chair…).
If I may digress, I’m not the only one who felt guilty following Richard throughout the play and would, on occasion, divert my attention onto someone else, out of human decency if nothing else, especially seeing as the other actors were all worthy of attention.
Anyway, Proctor gives his neck, face and chest a good scrub, no soap, and then proceeds to give the ol’ armpits a wash, Lucas North style.
This moment is unbelievably intimate as your eyes follow his hands while trying to drink up the outline of his silhouette and curves.
As I had mentioned before, Richard is simply huge on stage and this is exemplified by the fact that he’s kneeling by and crouched over a large bowl.
The shoulders are incredibly strong, as is the chest (seriously, where has he been hiding it all these years!) and the dripping wet hair which doesn’t fully dry throughout the scene made me wish someone would switch the sprinklers on throughout the play.
After he’s done, he wipes himself down with a towel, not very thoroughly though, and proceeds to put on a light white shirt.
Now, I don’t need to describe what the end result of wet RA body+linen shirt is, let’s just say if this were a wet T-shirt competition, Richard would be my winner, hands down 😉
I had the pleasure (and believe me, pleasure it was!) to see this scene from the other side and I can’t lie, it made an even bigger impression on me.
You can see him crouched over the bowl, back so wide you could pitch a tent on it (although I’m not sure why you’d want to…), the action of kneeling accentuating his thighs and rump.
If seeing a beautiful man wash from the front was powerful, Yowza!, it was staggeringly intimate from the back.
I won’t ever publicly reveal my exact thought that stormed through my mind as I watched (probably with my gob wide open drawing flies), only that it occurred to me this is an angle that probably only lovers get to see of one another.
As I tried to find at least one picture available online that would illustrate this scene and found none, it hit me that they’d keep it close to their chest (pun intended) and use it to knock the female part of the audience out.
And that they did…
That’s all for today’s RA leering, hope you enjoyed it and I shall be back to write more about Richard’s interaction with the female cast which is truly worthy of a mention 😉