April 9th on this Blog through History – Coincidence Abounds

Fellow blogger, Herba, followed by Guylty Pleasure, set up a little exercise to find out what was posted on our blogs for this day, April 9, in history. This blog started in July 2013.

I checked my log and came across a post that I’d never seen before. On my own blog! It was guest-post , dated April 9, 2014, written by guest blogger, KatharineD, and here it is. She’s giving a heads- up on The Hobbit Lego Game. It’s quite charming, actually.


One might ask how it was that I didn’t know what was in a post on my own blog. The reason reminded me of something else I hadn’t thought of today: April 9 was the day that I moved from New York to Mexico. Yup, today is my 3 year anniversary as an ex-pat. While I was taking care of business and getting ready to move, Katharine was gracious and helpful enough to keep a watch on the blog for a few weeks. Nice surprise!

In 2015 on April 9, I posted a little news about the Olivier Awards here. The article suggested that the winner was too close to call. Another coincidence, and what I hadn’t realized, was that among the competitors in Richard Armitage’s category was Tim Piggot-Smith ( King Charles III by Mike Bartlett) , who, as we know, died this weekend, and who was in North and South with Richard Armitage.

Alas, no posts on this date for last year.



John and Margaret on the Town. Who could Axe for More?

What Lucas North and Perry Have In Common- Interrogation! – and Maybe a Richard Armitage Fan in the Making.

While I’ve been visiting with two households of family here in the Hamptons, we’ve been playing 20 questions. You see, I’ve disclosed to my family that I’ve been writing a blog that people seem to like.
I’ve talked ( maybe endlessly) about the new skills I’ve learned, the new friends I’ve made, and other indicia of blogging, but I have refused to disclose my blogging identity, the name of the blog or the topic.

So the game is- find out what Aunt Perry’s blog is – and they are a tough bunch, let me tell you. The twenty-somethings, and there are three, my cousin’s children, have laid bets on who will be the first to uncover the secret.

Every few minutes someone asks a question to obtain more information. They’ve gotten me to promise to answer truthfully- and I think I have. They’ve ruled out civil war history, literature, watercolor painting, fashion, decorating, cooking, mysteries and cats.

I think I was truthful when my cousin announced that she knew it had something to do with a television show and I denied it.

After a while, I finally announced – no more questions- let’s change the subject.

So I asked my SIL what she was reading in her book club.

“We’re going to be reading a book called ‘North and South’ by Elizabeth Gaskill'”

No kidding- have you seen the mini-series???

Who knows- maybe she’ll be the newest Richard Armitage fan.

P.S. – They had no interest in watching “The Hobbit in 3-D” ( “I’m not into Tolkien” said the 12 year old) and instead, we all sat through Smurf’s Two at the movies.

Richard Armitage-The Contender

“Agonistes” is borrowed from the Greek and means “struggler” or “contender.”  It is used as an  epithet following someone’s  name, the most famous example of which is “Samson Agonistes,”  the dramatic poem by John Milton.

Samson, Courtesy of Joe’s Art

Richard Armitage has been and is to this day, a contender in the entertainment game, race or struggle.  He’s yet to reach the pinnacle of his chosen career.  At times, he breaks out of the pack, wins the set,  achieves a knockdown; but his overall standing doesn’t change. A case in point is what didn’t happen after “North and South.” By all reasonable expectations, the impact he made as a result of that performance should have catapulted him into numerous roles for BBC and other British production companies, if not on to the big screen. Yet, for two years not much happened, except a few isolated and small roles like “Malice Aforethought,” “The Inspector Lynley Mysteries,” a mediocre and short-lived medical series, “The Golden Hours,” and a small role in a small film, “Frozen.” Things picked up markedly in 2006 with “the Impressionists” and “Robin Hood.” From then on he had regular work in ever- growing roles, finally starring as John Porter in “Strike Back.” He was was not just a contender, but a strong contender.


Yet, Richard Armitage wasn’t the favorite.  At least not the favorite of those who do the casting in the film industry.  From 2006 to 2010 there was no appreciable level of recognition outside the U.K and apparently no one was knocking at his door with film scripts.

Then, in 2010 came the announcement of his casting as Thorin Oakenshield in “‘The Hobbit,”  – a tremendous breakthrough. Here was a starring role in three big films, sure to be heavily promoted and  guaranteeing him a place in the spotlight for the next four years. It seemed like the contender’s struggle for dominance could be over.

But it isn’t over. Because as I write this today, there is no upcoming project that we know of for the contender. The struggle continues.

Every time I read or hear some interviewer ask what his next project is, I cringe as Richard Armitage responds that he has nothing up right now. I know these are old interviews. But the situation hasn’t changed. I wince when I look at His IMDB page or his fan sites and see nothing listed under “current projects.” And frankly, I just don’t understand it.

Courtesy of RichardArmitageCentral

Courtesy of RichardArmitageCentral

Every move Richard Armitage made once he was cast in “The Hobbit” was right. His performance was good; cast and crew had nothing but the best things to say about him as a colleague and a friend; he comported himself perfectly at interviews, premieres, ComicCom, photo shoots. He was golden.

Furthermore, the excuse that he’s not well-known or recognizable outside the U.K is obsolete. His visage as Thorin Oakenshield is immediately recognizable. He, himself is recognizable in New York, in Canada, in Japan- wherever he goes. The increased web presence is proof that his fan base has been hugely expanded.

Nor can those in the industry claim that “The Hobbit” didn’t show enough range for them to make any decisions regarding Richard Armitage. He has a diverse body of work for them to inspect and assess.

It isn’t the schedule, because there have been breaks throughout the three year period from 2010, and now, the work is completed until the promotional tours start for the DOS. And anyway, other Hobbit actors have announced new projects.

Maybe there is something in the works and we just don’t know about it. Maybe Richard Armitage is spending his off-time reviewing scripts, deciding whether he wants to do a BBC mini-series, waiting for something to be green-lighted.

Hundreds, if not thousands of fans hope so.

In the meantime, Richard Armitage remains the contender, the struggler.