** "Offbeat hilarious!" ** "RA tingles & laughs" ** "True to the characters! " ** "The fiction is great. Keep it up!" **

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Letter To Thorin

To Dwarfleader, King of the Mountains, Thorin Oakenshield,

Dear Sir,

I was informed - through the Eagles - by Bilbo, the Hobbit that you are the best and most daring Dwarf around to find a certain Human for me, named Richard Armitage. Last seen in Middle Earth, covered in red make-up and talking to green screens, imagining things. Pretends to be a Dwarf, plays the harp and sings boastful. You will find that the most worrying thing - next to my inferior use of the English language.

According to the Gnomes - who live in my back garden and are big fans of mine - every letter to this Human to his address in Olde England disappears in one big pile of cheerful autograph requests, lengthy love letters and funny postcards. If you do get this letter, it can only be because the Gnomes are immersed by their re-enactment of The Hobbit, or worse, they are playing cards under my floorboards and not giving me the necessary footrubs.

Fog, however, made the Eagles fly the route to Olde England first. Fog is an unpredictable creature, not to be mistaken for ´your´ Dragon Smaug. But this Hobbit who ate most of my chocolate, informed me I could also address you to find this Human. According to the Eagles, likely you will find him in Mirkwood, as even smart Humans tend to get lost there. I can trust the Eagles on this, because the Eagles pass on these facts for generations. Personally I fear the possibility that the Giant Spiders have captured him, as the Giant Spiders are very Human minded. 

If you find this Human and mention the letter, he will turn into something speechless, polite and gentle, as he does when he is not in action. You could say something about me. I recommend to ask him his name first. He could fall back on Dwarvish curse words when he does not know what to say.

The Hobbit will not bother you for two weeks with breakfast requests, if you can persuade Gandalf to work his magic for you. Please do not quarrel with Gandalf too much for constantly taking a detour in your story by adding cameos. He has some surprises for you, the Eagles know from first hand experience.

May I add that I really like your work ethics and could you share some secrets on aging - Female Humans would like to know ? Have to rush, the Gnomes ask for my attention, they have back pains.

P.S. I have to apologize, I did not get past chapter 6 of that book the Hobbit gave me.

Yours truthfully,

Shy Female Human when near Gnomes with six packs,
and bad at writing letters, so have mercy,

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Meanwhile, between Hobbit Holes And Dwarf Beards...

"You will looooooooove every RA drought! Wait, I´ll take a sip."

It may be imminent, that EricV, embedded blogger on the Hobbit set, will come with Hobbit news. He joined the crew to visit the front, and has already spoken with Mr. A and Aidan Turner, but that is so much as the leaks on his twitterfeed can tell. If his set-pictures get the "go ahead", we will read his latest adventure on hairy feet any day now.

On the set of Flik*ken Maas*tricht

EricV may be happy to be embedded on the Hobbit set for two months, he did not get there by crashing hobbit holes. Lately I visited Maastricht on a day trip and ran into the set of Flik*ken Maas*tricht! Did I in an earlier post tell about my visit on the set of Dr. Chee*sy, I now could compare a bit the way cast and crew worked. Another reason to witness the activity, was that I challenged my writing by joining a contest. And for daring, I did an audition too! It was a true confidence boost! Not that I expected anything to come out of it. Mantra: "office joooooobs"! Yes, and less blogging. There is homework to be done.

Flik*ken Maas*tricht is a tv-series that runs for 5 seasons on Dutch and Belgian public television and is filmed on location. It is a police show and has a lot of banter between the two leads, who have something going on. Have seen some episodes and currently I´m catching up!

Like to say this in German (auf Deutsch) "Die Stars der TV Show, Vic*tor Rei*nier und An*gela Sch*ijf".

The German border lies fairly close to Maastricht, and the German prononciation of "Stars" implies
an unreachable distance to people who are on TV for a living.
While in my country there is a whole ´nother perception: "Act normal, then you´ll act crazy enough". 

I was alerted to this set by a 60-something year old couple of which the man with a grey ringbeard and a huge professional camera enthousiastically told me he had to leave the set, because of his camera.

Filming was going on for some time already when I came close. Passers-by came and went, and stood still for minutes to catch a bit of the magic. The magic was not at all there. Between shots makeup was done, hair was fixated with hairspray and a hot-water bottle helped to remain comfortable.The passers-by were also taking pictures with their smart phones and digital cameras, so a lot of delicate clicking sounds was heard. Picture taking was okay while in rehearsal. I stood at 10 metres distance and could not quite hear the conversation.
This shot was taken several times, very swiftly.

The contra shot in which the leads get interrupted by an American security guard type. It was important this man stood at the correct spot. A closeup of the conversation was taken twice.
Because a ray of sunshine appeared between the clouds, the collection of shots was quickly added with an extra shot, of them walking in the street, up to this corner. 
Then it was off to lunch, a temporary campement of long tables and vans parked behind the church.
In the background are two churches. 
One of them had four vehicles parked outside with American numberplates.
Contemplating why this was, I got tapped on the arm.
A very small, but intrigued American lady with flickering eyes asked me who was visiting the church!
In Spooks series 9 they called this person "Lighthouse". Made me think of that episode on the spot!
Inside the church, big lights stood ready for later to be shot scenes after lunch.
 In the other church, next to this one, in a tomb, two young women with nail pistols were preparing a scene by nailing blankets to a wooden trunk, to hide this VIP for dangerous reasons..Had a friendly chat about the scene, their company and their profession (interns to become director).
They revealed it was all for the latest episode of series 6 to be broadcasted in March 2012.
So, if you consider working outdoors, and are very patient, then consider working for a tv series.

Screencap of Spooks 7, DVD extras on set in Russia (RACentral)

Pictures Flikken Maastricht latest episode of series 6  (MyVeryOwn)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Quiet Dwarves, Hobbit Fans: Take 2, Position 1

"Again, don´t tell everyone about our route."

Filming on The Hobbit has started for the second sequence in a row,
so what´s up? (using crew lingo)
Take 1.
It´s all gone very quiet around the Dwarves. The hobbit must have got something to do with that. The hunger forced the hobbit to quarrel with Thorin Oakenshield about the Dwarves´ food supply. Was it at first rather innocent, making remarks about the Dwarfleader´s musical qualities, now the hobbit opted to go radical and climb in the nearest tree. The Dwarfleader snarled at Bilbo to get out of the tree at once, but the hobbit wouldn´t budge. After it had hit him he wouldn´t get his daily two breakfasts, he finally climbed down. The Dwarves found him a moaner and grunted for taking him along. In the end, they traveled long tracks very silently together.

PJ gives RA instructions on tossing the sword Orcrist

Take 2.
It´s all gone very quiet around the Dwarves. The Hobbit must have got something to do with that. The media hunger forced The Hobbit to quarrel with the Dwarfleader about the fans´ news supply. Was it at first rather innocent, making remarks about the Dwarfleader´s aging qualities, now The Hobbit opted to go radical and climb in the nearest confidentiality agreement. The Dwarfleader snarled at The Hobbit to get rid of the confidentiality agreements at once, but The Hobbit wouldn´t budge. After it had hit the fans they wouldn´t get their daily news, they finally stepped down. The fans found The Hobbit a moaner and grunted for taking it seriously. In the end, they traveled long tracks very silently together.

Take 2 was rejected at the editing table, for one thing: it wasn´t a truthful representation. It is fantasy!

Position 1.
If there are any Hobbit fans out there who feel they are bereft of a constant stream of Hobbit´ facts, observations and opinions by insiders, because of the confidentiality agreements signed by cast, crew or even visitors, then assume: cast and crew are at work!

So, when can the Hobbit fans climb down the tree for the next Video Blog?

 The next Video Blog may be imminent, according to a close source, date: 27th October.
Or not, as the revelation was later removed.
At least an embedded blogger is installed on the set of The Hobbit, reporting biweekly,
following the crew going to several locations in the next 7 weeks, date: 27th October.
Follow @EricVespe on Twitter and read ´Quint´ on aintitcool.com

Screencaps: RACentral/ The Hobbit Video Blog 3, 21 July 2011

Friday, September 30, 2011

Fashion Statements With Beard

It's cold outside.. Yeah, and? :)

Mr. A isn't quite known for his fashion statements amongst his followers. In fact they analyse every ill fitted shoulder pad. I'm looking at blogger Servetus... who has a large readership and wrote more than one fashion post. With the Captain America promotion outfits, the critique has diminished somewhat.
I have no complaints... as I am the kind that could do with a stylist.
Find his latest fashion statements in a clip and on the Russian website.
And yes, I know I promised to come up with The Beard website, to show more beardy fashion.

In case you wondered where I've been...  the gnomes feared my health: a scary viral infection. I'm recovering well, thanks. If I lost any readers, can't joke with everyone...

So I'm back from zombie zone..
My mind went into reverse and came up with weird things, like: I ROCK!!!

RA warms up to the New Zealanders, erm, Dutch...

Normal people get Valentine cards, but me... indirect hints with Dutch shirts.. on a near Valentine's Day occasion. Fact: RA was wearing Gap Star Raw at the Hobbit press conference of 11. February 2011. Figured the word 'Raw' could be linked to 'Kiwis', nickname of New Zealanders, or his initials, but I have never linked the brand to 'Dutch' .. as I move in different circles.

It's appreciated, Mr. A!

Pics: Project Magazine Photoshoot, Can't Remember

Friday, September 2, 2011

Totally Deniable Operation

"Middle Earth, Operation Garden Gnome. What the hell is that?"

Like I said in my last post, I´m soo in the mood for a Totally Deniable Operation. By which I mean to set up a series of fiction posts which are written following your requests and suggestions! Please feel free to put them in the comments: names, locations, character traits, quotes, cliff hangers, music suggestions, you name it. On the top of my head I will associate and make up some post.
If this experiment is succesful, I will write more posts, for which you can send in more suggestions, or I will drive on the previous ones. But pleeaase, not a story with Garden Gnomes!
Now that filming of The Hobbit, has started again, snow or no snow, brisky will be nice with all those heavy costumes and smothering prosthetics, I can only think of how the gnomes are doing in my garden...feeling slightly under the weather... staring at me... don´t know why... I feed them well. ..

Please, not too explicit, naughty, or rude... like me.

Screencap RACentral Spooks 8.8

Friday, August 26, 2011

August Is Hot: Every Word

August is hot!

That is.. if I can find the right words. Hacking the usual, the original thoughts curl in my brain,
waiting to find the right time and place to be expressed.
I have ten seconds, before my brain turns to jelly.
Too late. It already has....

When RA speaks words while acting or during interviews, at least you know what he´s about. But because he is merely playing roles with the good in bad and the bad in good, there's the drooling tendency amongst followers to trust the body language more.

I wish I could use my body language here... :)

** Click on the links to find out more about my random thoughts **

I maybe more of an observer than of a subjective fan follower. Reading comments with opinions about RA-related behaviour, I now have a fair amount of insight of how anyone's behaviour is perceived. I sometimes have to take a step back in order to keep my thoughts fresh.

I'm particularly watching a lot of RA's performances in Spooks. Many of his scenes are thought provoking. They force me to imagine situations wherin one rethinks their moral and go with feeling instead. Should one trust their instincts when someone comes too close within their private space?

Since my birthday this month, an intense fond memory came back in full force, which had me connected coincidental links to the Lucas - Maya story. It happened last year and it´s a memory of someone who had put me off on guard by a very sweet gesture. Considering the circumstances, that was gentle entertaining. So rethinking my moral, I figured this person deserved something funny and sweet, in my own way. Bringing the GRRRRR softly....

What can I say? My readers write me: "Your blog is one of the funniest" and "Your blog makes more sense than the whole (Spooks) show". I never thought I would get these kind of responses! My boldness to post these posts, instead of rethinking my moral, puzzles me to this day. I can only hope that that certain someone who is used in too many illustrations on this blog, doesn't have hard feelings.
By the way, is this a scandalous RA blog ? I don´t even call it a RA blog. Denying your ordeal, I must be a very BAD girl!

Need to update my website RATheFellowshipOfTheBeard or make new one soon. Birthday present...
Mr. A has so trustworthy kept the beard and has made pictures especially for this purpose! :)

** Hope you get this post was a bit jelly **

This is the last post of

Ready to make the switch to writing fanfic again!

Music: Planet Funk - The Switch (addictive and hilarious)

I´m so in the mood for a
Totally Deniable Operation

"Every word" is from Spooks 9.3

Thursday, August 18, 2011

August Is Hot: Navel Fluff

"First I have to do something"

August Is Hot!

Now you will never take me seriously again.
I will have to make my deepest, sincerest apologies for these kind of pictures on my blog.
Since I became 40, my brain has drained all serious blogpost ideas.

It has hit me in the face, with a wet towel. Not a nicked hotel towel, by the way.
It was this one. Not this one.

While I was sitting in the theatre, watching that English play, it dawned on me that I was witnessing The English System Of Acting And Performing. Being Dutch I could picture this being encapsuled within the whole British entertainment industry. So I felt soooooo sorry for this guy (I mean, come on, we´re talking RA here), slaving away between small actors (in height), bowing for demanding directors and keeping fit because the script requires it for national health reasons.

For health reasons: notice details like navel fluff?

I do feel BAD............... for posting these embodiments intentionally, because.. that´s what I learned.. these shirtless moments were meant to be the ´mild shockeffect moments´ in between scenes of a story. Nowadays it seems predominant to get ratings by viewers to bring readers to blogs.

Why to appreciate these sightings of RA´s acting? These are visual reminders of the many hours of preparation, in order to portray a character. There is more to it than that. I did say something intelligent about beardy actors using their body naturally. My mind suggests to talk about acting later...
Notice that I work with my issue of ´acceptance´ here, bringing the GRRRRR....

Talking about acceptance, I am soooo looking forward to The Hobbit (what´s it: reason 4 now?). That reminds me I´m soooo relieved that there are no sexy dwarves in The Hobbit!!
Brings back memories of the film ´Master And Commander´: hardly any women on board, so no kissing. Watch it on a very rainy day!
I hope Peter Jackson can control all those actors who beg for shirtless scenes, because for authenticity reasons of The Hobbit, we should only be interested in Gollum´s naked chest!

*reads The Hobbit*


Navel fluff provided by RACentral and RANet
Spooks series 9, Ultimate Force and Strike Back series 1

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

August Is Hot: So Not Me

August Is Hot!


If you want to read a litte secret, I just turned 40. That´s so not me! :)

I requested this picture as Picture Of The Day, at RANet. Too old to be ashamed.
Looking relaxed, radiant, a start of a surprised... smile?
Not a face I´ve seen before very much.. so keep practising Mr. A! :)

The Beard

RA with The Beard radiates: "It´s so not me!". Love that attitude! Harmless that is. The Beard raised a few hairs among some sections of the RA blog population. It seems The Beard will stay put for 18 months (I mean 8 months). Time enough for RA to get into touch with wielding swords, playing harps and wearing braids - huh? - for the two-part The Hobbit (working title used to be: The Hurdle).

Bringing the GRRRR... in Hobbit rehearsals

You in affective voice, imitating Gandalf: "The braids you say?"

It was my silent wish to see RA with braids in beard and hair, uttered here in my top 3 post:
The Hobbit: Exciting And Dynamic Casting

You as Gandalf: "Why?"

Because I would never thought RA would do it, if requested to do so!

You as Gandalf: "So not me!"


Why am I into following the deliciously captured nonsense around one man, who does extensive studies to act as somebody else? It´s so not me to talk about the teases I had to endure in my days.

RA said: "I believe in the kind of acting where you make somebody else act. (..) I think I can make another actor act better, and hopefully someone else can make me produce something that I´ve never produced before." 

Read: the ´no-actor-is-an-island-approach´ remarks in The Scotsman interview.

Two examples to stress the new.. think away the kissing...try again.. no kissing in The Hobbit, mind.

Curiously giving.. in Spooks ep. 9.3

Receptively receiving.. in Spooks ep. 9.4

Getting his inspiration from scratch, good acting, a novel, a context given by the writer.
His serious approach to sustain a solid performance is endearing.
That´s why whoever succesfully teases him to shift mood, position, rythm, energy got my praise!
Why am I every time surprised when he decides to shift the scene even more?

Based on gut feeling, probably lured, I always thought his acting technique was something like this:

"You promised to give me some clues on acting."
"I work this scene and you react."

Teased by life´s happy little accidents, it´s so not me to say:

Visual evidence found in the Galeries of RANet and RACentral

Monday, August 1, 2011

August Is Hot: Bringing The GRRRRR..

August Is Hot: theme: BRINGING THE GRRRRR..!

This month and this year is very important for you, dear readers, enjoyers of RA´s works of art.
There is an announcement to be made!
In August I am hitting the respectable age of 40 just as bad as Mr. A.! Cheers!
As I´m not the main driver in this story,
and like to keep my private troubles private,
this is a fact I can´t deny.
Do I want it to slip in the conversation?
Does it really matter?
You´ll find out...
..as you are on a quest to find
(just as previous year: loads of reflective nonsense)
My theme is about Bringing The GRRR.., because everyone has to bring some daring into their lives.
It´s a long story why I finally went into improv acting.
I kinda knew I was funny and could write ridiculous nonsense,
but that´s not something you´ll risk your mortgage on.
So I had a string of office jobs to secure the paychecks and right now I´m back to square one,
looking for another job once again and improv acting is still a hobby.

If you´re shy like me, I strongly recommend it, even for writing purposes.
I now regularly visit the rehearsals for a play about Alzheimer´s disease.
I was asked to do lights and sound at a couple of occasions (!)
Acting and learning from stage directions is very useful.
Foremost, I learned what makes a scene work.
You learn about what makes people tick and face your own perks.

The thing is, this second year I was notified in my improv acting group
that I was struggling with ´acceptance´ in taking ´gifts´.
I also came up with weird hilarious suggestions,
which was hard for my team members to use in the improv scene.
At some point I feared I was not welcome anymore.
We recently had a good coach who explained how to use my input to the team´s best effort
and how to use acceptance more fully.
Now my suggestions are fully accepted, with thanks to an acclaimed brilliant hilarious scene,
knowing I had your receptive support on this daringly funny blog!

In January I mentioned I have a wonderful writing project in the drawer and in the back of my mind.
I was thinking about the story, whether it was not full of cliches and treaded paths.
The fear of rejection...
So I observed tv-series, plays and films. Have to finish the thing and see where it takes me!

Coming August Is Hot posts I will put the focus back on RA.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Heinz Kruger in 3D

Had to keep myself in my seat and not shout: RICHAAARD!!!!

Highlight seeing RA on the big screen in 3D: he´s coming at ya!

..with a click and a bang!

Toss the glasses, but mind the gap!

Shootout with a granny!
No, they won´t prepare you for that at drama school! :)

Sadly (or thankfully) these are ´all´ RA related images to post here.
(I did a selection, sorry. And I am sparing you in case you haven´t seen it yet)
Dying to tell you! (Others will, surely)

Captain America: The First Avenger

It was not my first experience with comic films. Superman and Spiderman films, remember those?
The Marvel related squee on forums: did not ring a bell. However I did read the Iron Man comics as a kid when visiting relatives. Those had a moral: do good and meet good, be bad, be squashed.
Found out that the Captain America comics were some 70 years old and that there´s about 50 stories.
Read the odd reviews.
With that in mind I came to the cinema.
This was Auntie Violet´s first experience with 3D.
So my eyes popped out of their sockets when the trailers of Conan the Barbarian ,
Green Lantern , Rise of the Planet of the Apes or so where shown before the main film started.

Overall, the film had well rounded characters in a nice story arc, a great cast and great special effects.
Two things I didn´t quite get.

The Krypton-like (that is really green energy) glass this character Skull (unexpected effective casted evil `LOTR´s Elf ´ and that multiplier guy from The Matrix, Hugo Weaving) is after (blue energy glass) provided hard to ignore thoughts of :`Should I connect this information to the things I just saw in the trailer of scifi comic Green Lantern knowing CA is a sequel and a prequel?´. And because of the fact that all these comic books and films tend to be related. Green Lantern mentions of a The Ring (no not that one from Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit) chooses this time a human as a guardian to keep a sector of the universe safe.

Connection to Hydra, Heinz Kruger´s solo action and Skull was not very clear. Hydra works for Skull, Skull works for H.. himself. Something that will be explained in The Avengers? Worth seeing I say so now, whether I would not have bothered before.

UPDATE: This was explained somewhat by RA talking about his character Heinz Kruger in this clip:
"I really tried not to see him as the bad guy"

On the work of the special effects arts department guys:
"It´s 60% of the work in kind of stimulating your imagination"

Tip: stay until the end: you will see a short trailer of The Avengers.
Conclusion: fairytale for boys.
Those comments by the boys in the audience were very helpful.
The guy who sold the tickets, found the film ´Vet´ (cool) and would like to see it again.

Secret 1:  I saw it twice, back to back. SHHH!! *grins* (no DVD then)

Secret 2: love to see more 3D films now, although the introduced films, judged by their trailers,
showed very simplified storytelling :(

Secret 3: I didn´t mind the ´2D into 3D´ kind of thing. 3D looks like cardboard pictures in a shoebox.

No secret: looking forward to the two parts of The Hobbit in 48 frames per second 3D!


Images: richardarmitagenet.com, mtime.com

Sunday, July 24, 2011

On An Aesthetic Drip

Causing a lot of inspiration are all the recent splash of interviews for Captain America, The Hobbit and in general that solved my RA drought. I made these drips. Have to make the August calender yet.

Above DRIP is from Spooks ep. 9.8 wherein hero spy Lucas North shows his dark side and puts colleague Ruth on an anesthetic drip. I probably have heard it wrong! The quote is also inspired on a previous read goal: "To have as many to entertain as possible" (help me out here, this is my vague memory recalling). Meanwhile to keep other memories alive, I am on a solid drip addiction, prescribed by Mr. A. and followers.

Above DRIP is from the Project Magazine´s photoshoot and the quote is from Lucas North to his boss Harry Pearce in that epic rooftop shootout of Spooks ep. 9.8. Don´t say the syntax is wrong!
I am thinking to make a similar one with myself in it. Maybe I will put that collage in the background of this blog coming month. Because why? The Man is hitting 40 in August and guess what, so will I !

Above DRIP is also from the Project Magazine´s photoshoot and the quote is from Me, nailing the nailement of Mr. A. who understands what it is to have been constructed in 1971 and facing it all: "I have a life, career,  family, friends. I don´t need you". Ahem.. sorry, wrong counter quote from Lucas North´s former girlfriend Maya to Lucas in Spooks. Sidenote - according to a zodiac book, in referance to my birthdate in 1971, I should need the use of others more, instead of doing it all alone. When asked about 22th August of 1971, it was the same advice. Anyway, above DRIP is a moving fantastic inspiration for upcoming posts August Is Hot! Getting sentimental at my age! GRRRR!!!

Upcoming: August Is Hot blogposts
Will I be talking about The Beard, Thorin and Heinz? Mark your calendar!!

If you kind of feel left out of what I am talking about,
then hook on to http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/ to get your daily drips of RA dose.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Harry/Lucas: The Fall Out - Part I - First Breach

The Tazbeks don´t know what to make of the rogue actions of Lucas North. Previously overlooked information was re-studied and found clues were broken into segments. Infiltration in section D´s archives proofed to be necessary. CCTV footage was copied, filed and distributed among all Tazbekian spies, like Katja who should have written this report much earlier.

First day on the Grid after 8 years of imprisonment:
Lucas: Harry, you´d better arrange a flat with no bathtiles for me, ´cause a bathroom freaks me out!
Harry: I see you´re settling in.

Flashback to years of torture:
Lucas: I can´t take it any more... *sighs*

Meeting Ros en route:
Lucas: Ros, is comfort in my flat too much asked? Harry refuses Russian bath ducks.
Ros: Harry hates baths. Hairnet and tweezer are on the house. Alright, designer stubble too.

Secret tete-a-tete with former prison visitor:
Kachimov: You shouldn´t expect Russian bath ducks from Harry.
Lucas: I also expect soap and an apology!

Operation Seat Change aka Loo Roll:  
Lucas: A toilet! Even in shitty locations I have to pull!

Lucas: Harry would wish my sheet to be so clean as this toilet!

 Lucas: Concentrate! Practice opportunity for delicate handiwork!
OK, intel where are you? In the loo roll?!

Operation Russian Whisper:
Russian Whisper: If you get me a drink, I will tell you were to find your package!
Lucas: Alright, but my real package is tax free!

 Lucas: A kitchen! In operation Shakespeare Retold at least I killed the cook!
Now, where´s that package with my fake passport?

Back to the airport:
 Lucas: I will scheme up something wonderful for Mr. Pearce as he doesn´t know me that well!

Lucas: Who am I today? Ah, Matthew Unwin, from Moscow to London!

Screencaps: RAcentral, Spooks ep. 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, 7.8 and 9.8

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Scandal! Dare You Grow A Beard!

Bearrrrrrrded RA in stage play MacBeth of 2001. Please stare at beard, don´t read post.

Wanna hear gossip, scandal, slaunder?
This weekend I went to a play performed by English actors in Amsterdam
at the
Ho*lla*nd Fe*stiva*l
"The Scho*o*l for Sc*anda*l", an 18th century play by Sheridan

Yes ME, Miss ´Arris goes to theatre, me! (referring to Paul Gallico´s books)
Why? To prepare myself for the impact that The Rover would have on me.
Even if RA would not do this play, it will be a nice research.
Don´t get yourself fooled, folks. I was brought up with operas and operettes.
You´d never guess it, the British critics and audience didn´t like it! NOOOOOO! Well not all, but they DID have mixed opinions about it! And worse, they thought that modern dance music with flickerings of grafitti texts causing epileptic attacks between the costumised scenes and use of modern props would damage the whole concept of the SO BELOVED PLAY. And if that wasn´t bad enough.... every English man CAN TELL how this play should be performed! AWFUL!!! And what´s so lame, I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN that it was bad, because I read the reviews beforehand and still I wanted to see it. STUPID! Don´t rub it in, will you? I already paid for my ticket! YOU DID WHAT? I TELL

The Scho*o*l For Sca*nda*l played at the Ho*lla*nd Fe*stiva*l in Amsterdam.
It started with an introduction, followed by a fashion catwalk and picture taking, then the costumised stage play with surtitles in contemporary Dutch, ended with a meeting of the artist/director Debor@h W@rner.

Director Warner was very taken with the receivement here in Amsterdam. In the earlier introduction we were told how severe the English critics bashed her adaptation of the very popular play. This fact was repeated again in the meeting. She had even written a letter to the Gua*rdia*n to protest against the harsh critic that she ´kicked the tradition´. Even non critics in London, like people in their fourties had strong opinions how this play should be treated. The Dutch in the audience loved it that she kicked the English tradition. Warner called the Dutch receivement a ´warm bath´ and her face showed endurement and a slight relief that the critic could also be different. All Warner wanted was to throw this play against the wall and see what drops and what sticks against the wall. She treated this play as if it was a new play. For the Dutch it certainly was a new play. However brought threehundred years too late on Dutch ground, it gave an insight to that era, especially with the current economic crisis on our minds. According to Warner it is an era well worth exploring.


Warner explained that because the language of the play was not contemporary, the actors had to seek every fourth word in the dictionary. It was about 50 new words they had to learn. When I saw the play, I was seriously doubting my knowledge of English and peeked more than I wanted at the surtitle signs in Dutch. Sometimes I couldn´t understand a whole sentence.
The use of surtitles is a development Warner fears. She thinks The Globe (known for Shakespearian performances) would not get away with not using them eventually. The cast had to get accustomed to the use of surtitles in the handful of shows at the end of their tour over here in the Netherlands. 
My impression was that the cast brought the play with caution. At first I thought it had to do with the harsh critics in London. What she didn´t say was that the cast had to slow down in their speed to match the four seconds the text was shown on the signs. I preferred the speed of second half ´the payback time´ to the first half, ´the buildup´. Sometimes the punch of the joke on the signs was absorbed in the brain before the said line was finished on stage.
Would it be better to rewrite this play in contemporary English? Yes and no. Warner loved Sheridan´s Brechtians way of writing, because it was ´gentle´. The actors had trouble with syntax, most and foreall. They used to break the sentence in half, and were glad to make to the first half. Some phrases would come across better if they were written in modern language, to get the crowd roaring with laughter. Cutting this play down from 3,5 hours to 1,5 hour, now that would be really harsh.

Kicking the tradition

Warner kicked the tradition with Mary Quant-like shake ups of scene changes and effective use of modern clothes as deterior, and modern props as recognisable, when someone asks ´How do you know?´ and another whisks out a smart phone. Warner did not kick the tradition with the original play which had mild shock effect moments. She also approached the characters in an English way. Some were played enjoyably funny over the top, which is considered not done by Dutch serious actors who prefer playing imploded characters. So one Dutch audience member surprised Warner a bit with the compliment that it looked like ´Fawlty Towers´. To which Warner replied: ´Maybe that´s your perception of how you see the English´.

Will The Rover be more daring?

If others would do plays of this era, Warner hopes that they would be more daring,
after what she has caused.
My hope is that ETT finds a nice middle ground to be more daring.

Screencap: Bccmee, enlightened by moi

Friday, June 24, 2011

Yep, I Did It Again: Cartoons!

Taken from screencap of Spooks series 8. Is he really getting a Dwarf-size contract?

Taken from promo picture of Strike Back, combined with secret location in Hobbit Country.

Taken from tweeted pictures photoshoot of RA for upcoming August issue of Recognise Magazine


Hope you will appreciate them, nick and link ´em, and thank me for making them!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Gisborne´s Bedsheet

We´re back in limbo, waiting for RAW media storms! Last time I was hiding in a safehouse, avoiding the spoilers of Spooks series 9. Oh, those were the days! I had a great time, tweeting about my spy-tastic chores and to be honest, a bedsheet might come in handy. I was followed by someone called @SirGuyGisborne. This Man of Pleather tweeted about a bedsheet and I casually interacted the following, knowing that there´s two minutes time in between getting these tweets for replying.

A quick reminder of Guy of Gisborne by BBC:
He is "vain, brutal, ambitious, loyal, practical, unemotional, single-minded, boastful, frustrated, Gisborne's a selfish bully." Yet there still persists his delusion: the idea that Marian is meant for him.


VioletsTFB    Ran across corner and bumped into @SirGuyGisborne *following me* Heard squeeking leather Sniffed mediaeval odour and male sweat *need air*
SirGuyGisborne    @VioletsTFB Oy! I do NOT smell! *sulks*
SirGuyGisborne    *paces his chambers wrapped in a bed sheet wondering where his clothes are*
VioletsTFB    *Mental note to self: it´s one thing I have to sleep on a stretcher in this safeh**se, but why are there no sheets??? Have to get them today*
VioletsTFB    Read @SirGuyGisborne can spare me one sheet *climbs up the walls of the castle*
SirGuyGisborne    *clasps sheet a little more tightly*
VioletsTFB    Phew I am at the castle. Now where to go for @SirGuyGisborne´s chambers? *walks down stairs and sees hallway*
SirGuyGisborne    *hides under his bed*
VioletsTFB    Allooooooohaaaaa! Somebody home? *follows the lovely stench of @SirGuyGisborne*
VioletsTFB    *tries one doorhandle*
VioletsTFB    *tries another doorhandle*
VioletsTFB    *enters chamber filled with mediaeval treasuries and a big bed*
VioletsTFB    *runs for the window as the medieaval air is suffocating*
VioletsTFB    *tries to open the crammed window*
VioletsTFB    *tears a nail in the process*
VioletsTFB    *gasps the fresh air and has a great view on the inner ward*
VioletsTFB    *assembles thoughts of sheet demands*
VioletsTFB    *sheet demands: cool in summer and warm in winter*
VioletsTFB    *turns around to overview the room*
VioletsTFB    *walks towards the bed*
VioletsTFB    *surpresses urge to sneeze*
SirGuyGisborne    *trembling*
VioletsTFB    *sees a hopeless case of bed bugs*
VioletsTFB    *sees a slip of a sheet below the bed*
SirGuyGisborne    *holds the sheet hard*
VioletsTFB    *takes a couple of steps backwards*
VioletsTFB    *pulls at slip of bed sheet*
SirGuyGisborne    @VioletsTFB Noooooooooooooooooooo!!!
VioletsTFB    *slip of bed sheet won´t give way*
VioletsTFB    *hand is full of bed bugs*
SirGuyGisborne    @VioletsTFB I Don't have bed bugs and I don't stench *scowls from under the bed*
VioletsTFB    *sneaks towards treasuries*
VioletsTFB    *fills pockets with coins*
SirGuyGisborne    @VioletsTFB *from under the bed* What are you doing?
VioletsTFB    I will give you your money back if you give me your sheet @SirGuyGisborne
SirGuyGisborne    @VioletsTFB and what am I supposed to wear?
VioletsTFB    Your Adam´s costume @SirGuyGisborne *looks innocent*
SirGuyGisborne    @VioletsTFB *slowly releases sheet and slides it out from under the bed* Don't take my money, please!
VioletsTFB    *graps the sheet politely caring about @SirGuyGisborne in his demeaning position*
SirGuyGisborne    @VioletsTFB can you please ask the guards to look for my leathers?
VioletsTFB    Sure! Will do! *throws the coins back in the treasury box*
SirGuyGisborne    @VioletsTFB *huddles under the bed arms wrapped around his knees* Shut the door on your way out please?
VioletsTFB    *writes ´Violet Was Here!´ on the wooden floor with crayon and runs for the door* Bye @SirGuyGisborne
SirGuyGisborne    @VioletsTFB *smiles and waits patiently*
VioletsTFB    *door falls in it´s lock* Yeah! *shouting attends two guards*
SirGuyGisborne    *wonders what the hell he's supposed to do now*
VioletsTFB    *mumbles something like ´Fetch the leathers´ to the guards*
VioletsTFB    *gets on the wall to climb out the castle*
VioletsTFB    *hears the Sheriff singing*
VioletsTFB    Darn, that sheet is really itching! *cramps sheet below arm and climbs down the rope*
VioletsTFB    *assembles robe and walks back to safeh**se monitoring if not being followed*
VioletsTFB    *back at safeh**se*
VioletsTFB    *takes deep sniffs at bed sheet and passes out*


Screencaps: RANet