So by now many Richard Armitage fans, if not all, have watched Part 2 of the Marvelous Anglophile Channel Interview with our lovely man.
In today's interview, Richard mentions that after he was in CATS he thought about attending a school in Paris because he was interested in physical theater. So who is Lecoq and what school was Armitage talking about?
Richard says he's still interested in pursuing physical theater. So what does that mean?
I think the school's website explains it pretty clearly:
"The aim of the school is to produce a young theatre of new work, generating performance languages which emphasize the physical playing of the actor. Creative work is constantly stimulated, largely through improvisation, which is also the first approach to playwriting. The school’s sights are set on art theatre, but theatre education is broader than the theatre itself. It is not just a matter of training actors, but of educating theatre artists of all kinds : authors, directors, scenographers as well as actors. One of the school’s unique features is to provide as broad and as durable a foundation as possible, since we know that each student will go on to make his own journey."
Just reading this paragraph and knowing what we all know about Richard, I can see him being interested as a young man in his 20's in this method, and I can see him now as a young man in his 40's still being open and interested in learning.
So who was Jacques Lecoq?
Lecoq was a mime (there's that mime thing again), actor, theater director, and teacher. He was born in 1921 in Paris, France. He founded his school in 1951 and worked there until his death in 1999. You can read his obituary in the New York Times:
Now I grew up watching the great French mime Marcel Marceau on television and films, but until today's interview I had not heard of Jacques Lecoq.
The training and school he founded has an emphasis in mask work. Remember that RA talked about mask work during the Popcorn Taxi interview. It's also based on something called the "via negativa" style of teaching, never telling the student what is the right way to do something, but encouraging the student in new avenues of creative expression. (Wikipedia)
I thought it was interesting that one of their former student's is actor Geoffrey Rush and the members of the mime group Mummenschanz.
I always learn something interesting from one of RA's interviews. I'm a proud student at the International School of Richard Armitage.