Richard Armitage Signing his Crucible Poster with what looks like
Photo of Lord Laurence Olivier in the background
Laurence Olivier, son of an Anglican minister, was claimed in his lifetime as the greatest English-speaking actor of the 20th century and the first actor to receive a life peerage, Laurence Kerr Olivier, Baron Olivier.
In 1944 after serving in the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm in World War II, Lord Laurence teamed with longtime friend Ralph Richardson (also a great actor, and later a knight) to revitalize the fabled Old Vic Theatre. This new phase of his career allowed Olivier to appear in an extensive repertory of Shakespearean roles of his choosing, but also allowed him to direct, though he had been doing so sporadically since the 1930s.
Olivier's Old Vic repertory company, then housed in the building today known as the Old Vic, formed the core of the National Theatre of Great Britain on its formation in 1963, under Laurence Olivier. The National Theatre stayed at the Old Vic until the new National Theater building we know today was constructed on the South Bank in 1976.
Laurence Olivier Photo (Old Vic)
The Old Vic first opened in May 1818
As a fan, or well-wisher, or supporter, whatever we want to call ourselves, of Richard Armitage for a few years now, I have to wonder what this moment is like for him personally. How does he feel to see his name above the title and to be at the Old Vic, knowing the history of this theater, and the legendary actors, like Laurence Olivier, who came before him.
(Sources: Britannica.com, Rob Wilton's Theatricalia, Wikipedia, The Old Vic)