It Happened One Night

22 Nov

Sometimes you meet people for a fleeting moment, and yet they touch you in ways that leave you changed and thankful for that single encounter. Such was the case when I met Richard Armitage last night. However, I am getting ahead of myself…

Confession: I am not the biggest Armitage fan on the planet. I respect the man but I am not a keen collector of his work. I found out about RA through my sister whose fine taste in men should have raised alarm bells. I have since regretted her repeated pleas to watch North & South and slowly but surely, I have started devouring every piece of work that he did to atone for my sins. Better late than never, huh?

Now, enough of my questionable Armitage geekdom… It is already 6 am here in London and I am wide awake and my brain is loaded with wonderful memories of Richard Armitage. I am buzzing… I am grinning… I am tingling… And every now and then, I collapse into helpless giggles. I am now a hard-core convert…

I saw him perform as part of the ensemble cast that made up the just concluded “The 24 Hour Plays” held at the Old Vic on November 21. In brief, “The 24 Hour Plays” is the ultimate theatrical challenge where a host of well-known actors, directors and writers join forces to write, rehearse and perform six short plays in just 24 hours, culminating in a unique performance. As this blog post is dedicated to Richard Armitage, and thoughtfully written for the hordes of RA fans out there, I will just give my review of “The Third Wish”.

The Third Wish
Playwright: Stephen Beresford
Director: Charlie Westenra
Asst. Director: Natasha Nixon

Dennis: Richard Armitage
Debbie: Debbie Chazen
Niamh: Niamh Cusack
Miranda: Miranda Raison

The play opens with three women on stage. The setting was a fabulous looking flat in the city and right in the middle of the room was a tree. Debbie, an energetic middle-aged woman, and a bit on the chubby side was regaling her two friends with stories of the tree. Apparently, said tree has special powers. It grants wishes. She goes on to reveal that she made a wish for a bigger flat and that her wish was granted. Her friends were all gobsmacked at her changed fortunes until Debbie tells them to “wait until you see Dennis”, her husband, because he too made a wish.

Cue Dennis’ entrance to the stage. Who else would embody a man’s wish to become the perfect man? Dennis has transformed from a chubby middle-aged man into, you guessed it, The Richard Armitage! The girls asked Dennis what he wished for and he said “I made a wish to be Richard Armitage” and Voila! The audience gave rapturous applause and so they should as we see Dennis, ehr, Richard Armitage, own the stage with his panther-like moves. He was dressed conspicuously and rather appropriately like Spooks’ Lucas North. Topical, diabolical, dangerous. Hot! One can tell that Armitage is enjoying his return to the stage as he parodied his sex god status by prancing on stage, lifting his long lithe legs effortlessly, swirling his lustrous thick jet black hair as if he was the star of a new Pantene male advert! Didn’t know RA can do comedy! He was hilarious! He then goes to Debbie and they start a dance routine that left the audience practically in stitches. I remember reading that he studied dance in LAMDA so this must be all second nature to him.

When the girls asked Debbie why they chose Armitage, Debbie remarked that Armitage is beautiful but down to earth in real life. Ah, it is art imitating life in all its grandiose splendor, I love it! On the other side of the stage however, we see Armitage, ehr Dennis, looking straight at the audience, showing off his physique and probably still not used to his new demigod apperance. He then gives his wife Debbie a lingering kiss and then we see Miranda getting hold of the tree and she too makes her third wish. It was a delight to see Miranda Raison (she played Jo Portman in Spooks), same with Niamh Cusack but most of all to see Richard Armitage grace the Old Vic stage albeit a brief 20 minutes.

But you said you met Richard Armitage, Simone! Yes I did, just gimme a mo to breathe…

After the six plays have been performed, we were instructed to convene outside the Old Vic, next to Stage Door as there is a bus waiting for the actors and members of the audience to take them to the post show party in Asia de Cuba. Somewhere in my youth or childhood I must have done something good. My friend and I got on the bus, totally unprepared for life’s sweetest surprise. Richard Armitage was also on the same bus! How adorable is this man, one of the biggest stars on tv, and there he was riding with the lowly masses, sitting next to an absolute pleb (me!) and our thighs rubbing, not that I took any notice. I did not even enjoy a minute of it! I am a big fat liar!

I was surprised to see him there and I had to compose myself, so I will not come off as a blabbering idiot. Congratulations were in order so I offered him my professional and unbiased critique of the show and he seemed genuinely pleased. It was so lovely of him to ask me how I was. I think I responded with something somewhat articulate. We then shook hands and he had a nice strong grip. Let me tell you right now, that yes, this man is possibly the most strikingly gorgeous man I have ever had the pleasure to meet! He was warm and attentive. Please feel free to insert any wonderful adjective to describe him and it will most likely apply. I guarantee it.

The bus ride took all of 15 minutes but there is no shortage of Armitage charm for the rest of the night. After our brief chat, I kept to myself and left him in peace. I mean, restraining orders are real and all and I have resolved to maintain my dignity. My friend was under no such constraints! She was smarting from the fact that I have not had my picture taken with Richard. Thank heavens for the collusive nature of friendship! She very impressively arranged a photo op with the man himself:

He was so gracious the whole night and up till now, in the glaring light of day, I still marvel at how beautiful he is as an actor and as a human being. Mr. Richard Armitage, you have made me utterly happy with your generosity and kindness and hope you find success and joy in all your endeavors. Bow.

64 Responses to “It Happened One Night”

  1. ladyofglencairn November 22, 2010 at 7:39 am #

    *swoons and melts into a puddle of gooey goodness*

    Nice article Simone! As I was reading I could just imagine being in your shoes and trying so desperately hard to clamp down on the natural fangirl trying to break free!

    So glad for you, even though Im also sooo jealous! But, it couldnt have happened to a lovlier lady!

    xxx

  2. bccmee November 22, 2010 at 7:40 am #

    Wow, what a lovely report of your experiences watching Richard Armitage onstage! I’m so happy that he was able to perform in a comedy role again. My first time seeing RA onscreen was in The Vicar of Dibley and I immediately stood up and took notice and thought he was a comedic actor. I’m thrilled you were able to meet him and I thank you for sharing your memories of the evening.

  3. angieklong November 22, 2010 at 8:08 am #

    Wow, Simone, thanks so much for sharing this lovely adventure with us all! A beautiful, down-to-earth, gracious guy just as I always thought he would be.
    And I am thrilled he got to play a fun comedic role. RA was so delightful in the Vicar of Dibley and while he does angst and torment very, very well, how nice to do some lighter fare for a change!

    I bet it will be days before you come back to earth. ( : And welcome to the world of those of us who have succumbed to the Armitage Effect. Wonderful, isn’t it? *swoon*

  4. Jonia November 22, 2010 at 8:27 am #

    Thank You, this is wonderful! :swoon:

  5. ladyjane November 22, 2010 at 8:30 am #

    Wonderful report. Thanks so much.

  6. BookMoot November 22, 2010 at 8:33 am #

    Wow! Just…wow!

  7. hbvr November 22, 2010 at 8:41 am #

    Thank you for treating ‘our man’ with such dignity. There are a fair few of us that love and adore his work, but my fear is that some people may over step the boundary and inappropriately hound the man.

    It was a fantastic night and may you always have sweet memories of meeting him.

  8. Ali November 22, 2010 at 9:11 am #

    Thank you for sharing this blog with us all. What a fantastic night, one to remember for a long time.

  9. Amandajane November 22, 2010 at 9:12 am #

    Thank you for sharing that wonderful experience with us.

    The play sounds like it was fabulous too.

  10. JohnnyFox November 22, 2010 at 9:27 am #

    How do you manage to track them down !!!!

    Love the new layout of the FM site by the way

    J x

  11. Beachbaby November 22, 2010 at 9:34 am #

    What a delightful read. Thank you so much for sharing with us.

  12. Bicycle Belle November 22, 2010 at 10:22 am #

    Thank you so much for putting your blog so quickly.

    You must have had a truly wonderful night. Great to hear that RA had a chance to shine at comedy once more.

  13. iz4blue November 22, 2010 at 11:01 am #

    Simone, Thank you for your generous account and lovely tweets!
    Lucky You: rubbing thighs with in YOUR words “Demigod” (I’m thinking LoveGod) and managing to remain polite! LOL

    Thank God for sisters! I had mine on me too for awhile before I came round. It’s when I visited home and was told I couldn’t leave without watching N&S that I came round to the Armitage effect.

    But this was not all of your night; won’t there be a post about Dan Stevens who remembered you?

    Most importantlyI am so Happy Mr. Armitage got to have a GOOD laugh!!

  14. Tudorgirl November 22, 2010 at 11:11 am #

    Fantastic article, green with envy at seeing RA play on stage, and then next to him on the bus….dream come true. And I just knew he would be down to earth, charming and any other adjective one can think of. Love all his work, and I guarantee that he will be a huge success in The Hobbits. My only fear is that he will be whisked off to Hollywood and we will lose him to them over the pond…. thanks again for your experience.

  15. iz4blue November 22, 2010 at 11:23 am #

    Forgot to add; to see Mr. A actually do some dancemoves!! What a dream!!

  16. missusgeez November 22, 2010 at 11:38 am #

    Couldn’t have happened to a nicer person than you Simone.

    Regular theatre goers do get rewards.

    I’m still swooning for you. Did you sleep last night? Dream of RA perchance?

    Thrilled and happy for you. You must still be on a natural high. Pinching yourself? Just look at the photograph.

    Kudos Simone.

  17. Phoebe November 22, 2010 at 11:58 am #

    Thank you for sharing this special night!! Im’ so thrilled for him doign so well, and thrilled you had such a special night!

  18. abigail November 22, 2010 at 11:58 am #

    Thank you so much for this wonderful review of RA’s play….I would have given a great deal to have been able to see it, but your summary is the next best thing!

    I’m thrilled that you had the chance to meet him as well and that he was as many of us believe, charming and generous. Congratulations on experiencing the “Armitage Effect” first-hand!

  19. Musa November 22, 2010 at 12:22 pm #

    Thank you so very much Simone for sharing this wonderful experience with all the world, and for sharing your tweets last night as it happened! What a magical experience for you.

    Whenever I see him in interviews I always love his sense of humor so I’m glad he did get to show his comedy and dancing side last night.

    How wonderful to know from you,though I never had any doubt, that Richard Armitage is beautiful inside and out.

  20. Sue November 22, 2010 at 12:47 pm #

    Oh I’ve just turned green with envy! You lucky devil! One day I will manage to get out of my pit and meet the gorgeous one. Soon, very soon, I promise!

  21. Ann Marie November 22, 2010 at 12:53 pm #

    Simone, thank you so much for sharing this lovely account with us. I am very happy that he was as lovely and gracious a person as one could hope to meet. It is wonderful when the beauty outside is matched by the beauty inside.

    I am happy he had an opportunity to do something a little lighter too. I am sure you will treasure this experience. Lucky, lucky girl!

  22. kaprekar November 22, 2010 at 1:26 pm #

    You do realise that the whole of Armitage fan world is wishing they were in your shoes last night!!!???? Even if they wouldn’t have had the courage to actually speak to him as you did!!!!

    Thank you for all your tweets too and well done for managing to conduct yourself with dignity!!!

    Once again, he sounds like a lovely person – the complete package! I’m glad he and all the other actors seem to have enjoyed the experience as much as the audience – I am still cursing myself that I didn’t go!!!

    If you could describe something more about his dancing, I would be even more happy – did he have any good moves???!!!!

  23. Belle November 22, 2010 at 1:36 pm #

    What a great story and so beautifully told! Certainly a night to remember!

  24. Christina November 22, 2010 at 1:54 pm #

    Thank you so much for posting this! It is wonderful to find out that he is the sweet guy that he has always seemed to be in interviews and such. You are very blessed to have gotten to meet him!

  25. Julie November 22, 2010 at 2:22 pm #

    Wait, your THIGHS RUBBED?!?! OMG. I didn’t think I could be more envious but now I am. ;)

    Glad you had such a fantastic night, thank you for sharing with us RA fans who couldn’t be there.

  26. OneMoreLurker November 22, 2010 at 2:56 pm #

    OMG and he *danced*, I’m soo envious! ;)

    Thank you very much for this review and tweets last night Simone, they made our night.

    OML :)

  27. Karin November 22, 2010 at 3:02 pm #

    OOh, I couldn’t be more envious. How I’d love to have been there. I’m almost contemplating moving to London to be able to do these sort of things! Thanks for sharing this with us, you lucky, lucky woman!

  28. Alfie November 22, 2010 at 3:15 pm #

    WOW! In my dreams…… Lucky you:)

  29. squid November 22, 2010 at 3:20 pm #

    Thank you so very miuch for this report. You are the envy (in a good way) of RA’s huge fan base. What a magical evening and you will never forget it. I agree that he is stunningly handsome in person, as I got an autograph at the BAFTA’s this year. You actually sat next to him on a bus, I think I’d have melted. Welcome to our world. Float around all day!!!

  30. RAfandreamer November 22, 2010 at 3:57 pm #

    Thanks for sharing with us this wonderful once in a lifetime experience!

  31. Falafelandchips/Nora November 22, 2010 at 4:18 pm #

    Ok, I can’t decide what makes me more jealous, that you saw RA on stage (in a comedy, taking the mickey out of himself no less) or that you sat next to him on a bus for 15 minutes!!

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful experience with us.

  32. loriBear November 22, 2010 at 4:30 pm #

    How wonderful. Congratulations to you for keeping your composure. I am SURE I would have sounded like a complete idiot the whole bus ride!

    Thank you so much for sharing this with us. We are all glad you have joined our ranks!

  33. Lynn from Texas November 22, 2010 at 4:50 pm #

    Thank you so much for your wonderful review. Being a long time RA fan you confirmed what I have always, felt that he is a fantastic stage performer and a great person. I envy you getting to see him dance and do comedy on stage but it was fantastic of you to share this with us.

  34. Lena November 22, 2010 at 4:54 pm #

    Wow, thanks for such a fabulous account of a thoroughly enjoyable and unforgettable evening !!
    One question : did you see him dance at the after-party ? :-)

  35. Violet8886 November 22, 2010 at 5:01 pm #

    You are so lucky! What a wonderful night for you…Richard seems so down to earth and the description of his performance proves he needs to do more comedy…:)

  36. servetus November 22, 2010 at 5:08 pm #

    Thanks so much for sharing this. I’m amazed at both your courage and your self-restraint. Thanks for the detailed information, and also for demonstrating to Mr. Armitage that not all of his fans are the kind of women who send underwear.

  37. mren November 22, 2010 at 5:26 pm #

    What great fun!!!!

  38. Carmi November 22, 2010 at 5:34 pm #

    Did you bring your drool bucket? Was it Shiela that told you about RA?

  39. Ania November 22, 2010 at 6:17 pm #

    I envy you so hard that you could meet with Mr. Armitage and talk. Somewhere deep inside me, I always felt that RA is an incredibly good man (not just an actor) and you could you experience this, you’re really so lucky

  40. Eliza November 22, 2010 at 7:30 pm #

    I’m so jealous, but at the same time I’m very happy that one of us had actually met HIM!!! :)

  41. Eileen November 22, 2010 at 9:39 pm #

    Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful experience with Mr. Armitage. It’s nice to hear that he really is so gracious and down to earth. He is one class act!

  42. NovemberBride November 22, 2010 at 10:17 pm #

    Thanks for spreading the happiness/excitement/goodness/pure bliss!

  43. cresmix November 23, 2010 at 1:19 am #

    Absolutely stunned and utterly happy for you! I wish I could see this performance… but how on earth could you restrain that, you’re a soldier!

  44. phylly3 November 23, 2010 at 1:24 am #

    Oh! What bliss! How wonderful for you and thanks so much for sharing your experience with us. If I only get to meet him vicariously, that will just have to do! The laughing, the dancing, the sharing a seat on a bus!, the handshake! as well as the photographic evidence to prove it really happened! All a dream come true… :)

  45. Paula November 23, 2010 at 2:33 am #

    Ohh you are so lucky!!!! you are lucky to live in England and can meet him… I kinda jealous…
    regards from Chile

  46. frivol November 23, 2010 at 5:11 am #

    Thank you for sharing your experience so generously. The whole night would have been wonderful, and your slice of it sounds like a joy. :)

  47. Nat November 23, 2010 at 5:33 am #

    Sounds like an awesome experience! :) I am happy for you to have met the lovely RA and tickled pink that you are now a “convert.” I discovered this post from a link on Armitage Daily, but really enjoy your writing style and humor, so I must check out more of your blog. :)

  48. alma November 24, 2010 at 1:00 am #

    Lucky you! I must admit, I envy you for having seen RA on stage. I’d reallly love to see him in a play one day. The trouble is, I’m not based in London, not even in the UK for that matter. But had I known about this performance I’d have definitely come over for the show!

  49. carter fuller November 24, 2010 at 11:09 am #

    hot post :XX wow wow

  50. carter fuller November 24, 2010 at 11:11 am #

    great post keep it like this

  51. Shazza_TNTgirl November 24, 2010 at 4:39 pm #

    Simone, thank you for a wonderful write up. I too applaud you for your grace in his presence and not acting like one of his more rabid fans. :)

    So wonderful that he is as beautiful a man in person and was willing and grateful for your appraisal of his stage performance. I do hope he does more comedy, he definitely has a talent for it.

  52. Traxy November 27, 2010 at 12:22 am #

    OH. MY. GODS!!! Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful story – it must have been an incredible experience. Sounds like the stage show was a hoot! Really jealous now!

  53. Liz November 28, 2010 at 12:35 pm #

    Oh Simone, what a lovely story! You lucky lucky girl!

    He is just a slice of heaven isn’t he? It’s so lovely to hear what a genuinely beautiful man he is inside and out. And well done you for showing him respect.

    Thankyou for sharing your story with us girls who dream of what you experienced :)

  54. Suma November 29, 2010 at 4:23 pm #

    Excellent write up and you are one lucky lady to have had your photo taken with RA and get to converse with him too :)

  55. Pamela November 29, 2010 at 9:20 pm #

    I’m just green with envy that you got to meet RA but so pleased that he’s so down-to-earth & gracious. I’m way too young to have a bucket list but seeing RA in the flesh will be at the top of said list when the time comes. That’s the Armitage Effect for you!

  56. Tedgirl January 13, 2011 at 7:08 am #

    What a lovely encounter … RA on stage … dancing & doing comedy!! What a treat to all his fans !!!

    Thank you for sharing. Just discovered him before X’mas 2010 in N&S. Bet his terrific in person and broodingly beautiful on the screen & stage, hence looking for his previous works and looking forward to his forthcoming roles.

    Is there a chance for a DVD of the stage play? For us who lives on the other side of the planet……..? Please advise if there would be one .. in your blog.

    Thanks

  57. JohnnyFox May 20, 2011 at 3:41 am #

    Good post. I found this website interesting -

    http://notesfromthefrugaltrenches.com/2011/03/18/richard-armitage-girlfriend/

    and am now thinking of making one called ‘Richard Armitage’s Boyfriend’ in the hopes that even if he’s not actually gay he at least helps out when we’re busy …

  58. knightleyemma January 7, 2013 at 10:08 pm #

    Reblogged this on Knightleyemma and commented:
    Wow, this is a MUST-READ for fans of RA!!!

  59. morrighansmuse December 15, 2013 at 6:50 pm #

    Reblogged this on Love, Sex & Other Dirty Words and commented:
    Y’all know I like Richard Armitage (as if this blog does not make it obvious) but with all the new fan accounts and pictures, Simone’s account of seeing Richard in a play and then meeting him quite by accident ranks up there, if not at the top, for me. It’s an old account, but it’s my favorite. So do I wish that Richard gets to find a play that he likes in 2014? Heck yeah!

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Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. me + annabel capper: or, the limits of Armitage fangrrling, almost a year in « Me + Richard Armitage - December 1, 2010

    [...] Another widely reported fan encounter at the aforementioned gala, in which Mr. Armitage is reported to be — after proving on stage [...]

  2. RichardArmitageNet News » Blog Archive » November 2010 news archive - December 28, 2010

    [...] site and here on Wooller.com. You can read all about the play and the after show party at the Feigned Mischief blog. Thanks to @feignedmischief who was an avid twitterer and fantastic at keeping us up-to-date with [...]

  3. 22nd November, 2010 | Richard Armitage Central - September 20, 2012

    [...] in the 24 Hour Plays Celebrity Gala at the Old Vic in London. Thanks to theatre blogger/tweeter Feigned Mischief for a report and review of Richard’s play, The Three Wishes. In this comedic play, Dennis [...]

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