Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Press Night at The Crucible with Valentina. and More Richard Armitage at the Stage Door - Guest Post Part 5

Photos Property of Valentina - No Posting Without Her Permission

OOOooooooooops! Here I am AGAIN! I think it's my last one...

My first thought is for Fabo who is so kind to let me post my report on her blog. (I think she's enjoying it!)

What happened? Why am I writing another report?

I saw The Crucible two more times after my first view.....three times over nine days!

I really wanted to see it again, because it was very emotional and I thought I had missed something. I loved the show, and of course I wanted to see Richard again... but I couldn't afford another ticket! I am leaving shortly, I'm going back home for the summer holiday but I'm supposed to come back in September. So I was looking for a cheap ticket for the last week. I couldn't find any. I wanted a very cheap one, like £10! No way...no chance to get any ticket for that price. So I looked forward to a lovely dinner on Friday with some amazing RA fans I “met” on twitter because they decided to go to the stage door afterwards.  Another chance to see Richard!

On Wednesday I was out all day and I missed a post on the Old Vic theatre Facebook page....they were giving away tickets for the press night! Luckily my lovely Fabo told me about it on Twitter that night and I bought a ticket straight away without thinking about it for a second. For only £10! LUCKY.  I live here in London and I can get to the Old Vic easily.

WOW!! Exciting! I was attending the show again and at press night! I was so happy!

I arrived early because I had to collect my ticket and meet up with two other lovely RA fans. There were many journalists and photographers…the theatre was very busy. We spotted some of the Hobbit cast there, as you all know.  I tried to stop Orlando but he just smiled and disappeared in the crowd :) I missed Sir Ian. Anyway, I got a very good seat on the upper circle, quite far from the stage but good (C22).

I can't express how I felt when I heard that music again....it's still playing in my mind now. The atmosphere is striking...the lights… the music...I held my breath again!

I didn't know what it would be like seeing the show again after few days. It was press night, and I figured that Richard would give his best that night (yes, I know he always does...but you know what I mean!) ........I didn't imagine he might be so amazing! YES! He was even better than the first time I saw the play. I felt it when he first came out on stage, in Betty's bedroom. His attitude was different, I don't know how to explain it. I'm sure those lucky to see the show more than once will notice a difference between the different performances.

I think Richard used all his voice that night. It was amazing how he was able to modulate it in the different scenes. He sounded incredibly bossy during his confrontation with Elizabeth, painfully broken-hearted when she is brought to jail, deeply regretful when confessing his sin, crying “Forgive me, forgive me...” desperate when he was accused in court... (Pointing at the judges and the girls surrounding him, turning around like a fool) …“God is dead....and we will burn...we will burn together!!!” Those lines made me shiver … his wild eyes and his thundery voice rumbled again in the theatre...oh I can still hear it! And I swear, I heard people releasing their breath after that.

The last act was even more passionate than it was in my first view. You could really feel his sorrow...it almost made me cry! The way John and Elizabeth tenderly forgive each other in their reconciliation scene is incredibly moving. The last part of the show is the triumph of Richard's powerful acting, "(with a cry of his soul) Because it is my name! Because I cannot have another one in my life! Because I lie and sign myself to lies! Because I am not worth the dust on the feet of them that hang! How may I live without my name? I have given you my soul; leave me my name!” …........ I feel like crying! This is one of the best parts of the play.  I suddenly feel like seeing it again! I really hear him now shouting those lines.
Seeing The Crucible was an unforgettable experience.

That night was a success for the cast and the director, so many good Five Star reviews! There wasn't a standing ovation. I think 70% of the audience were journalists. After the show there was a party and I saw family and friends of the actors waiting at the stage door. There was a very short queue and Richard, beautifully dressed, came to sign autographs and take pics. He looked happy! I didn't smell him this time, I didn't need to! He filled the air with his perfume...wow I was going to faint!

Photo Property of Valentina - Do Not Post Without Permission

I was so lucky to get another ticket for Saturday night from a very generous girl. I must be honest and say that at first I didn't accept the ticket, I didn't want to see it again so soon. It is quite painful to watch and I was probably worried about spoiling my enthusiasm with the play and seeing Richard on stage. After a while I thought I was a fool! What have I done???  I told my friend to ask somebody else if they wanted the ticket and if nobody was available I would go again...and guess what? I went to see the play again after only two days! I knew it would be different to the others. After the matinée the actors looked all tired, or so I noticed.

Photo Property of Valentina- Do Not Post Without Permission

I wondered how Richard could manage to keep that “rumbling voice” every day, and twice in the same day! In fact, he didn't. I can say his voice was much lower compared to the other two shows I attended. He must have been really exhausted. I also feared he couldn't actually reach the same tone in some great scenes I saw on Thursday night.

The entire show was a bit different, some scenes were faster (they gained 15 minutes, the show now finishes at 11.)  I also noticed that some lines weren't said on the press night, and came back on Saturday. I heard many more giggles from the audience. It seemed they enjoyed some lines or probably they needed to laugh to ease the tension off a little bit.  And William Gaunt with his Giles Corey surely helped!

The washing up scene lasts a little bit more so you can look at a shirtless Richard for a few more seconds. I already described how strong his shoulders and his arms are ... but last time I noticed he's really thin! You can almost see his ribs! I laughed when my friend S said he was “tiny”....TINY???!!! She expected him to be much bigger...wow he looked tiny to me too on Saturday! I hope he will keep himself healthy during the summer, he looks really, really, exhausted already! The strange thing is that Richard's stage presence is really impressive, he looks so massive!

So I found some differences from the first scene, but the whole show was still amazing, I shivered again when the music started. Surprisingly Richard's full voice came back in the second part. He was outstanding!!!!!! I think he might not strain his voice too much during the entire show, or at least not when he plays two shows in the same day.

The theatre was full, tickets were sold out. At the end of the show everybody stood up for a long applause, it was the first time I saw a complete standing ovation! I was almost in tears! Our lovely man was on stage accepting all the praise. I was so happy! He even hinted at a tiny smile.

I understand that this show ends with him being hanged, but I thought all the praise would make him happy!

Photo Property of Valentina - Do Not Post Without Permission

I also noticed that Richard has changed a little bit his approach to the fans at the stage door.  He is incredibly sweet to come out every night to meet the fans (on Saturday there was a very long line) although he's probably very tired. However I’ve noticed that he's now more distant. The first week he was more cheerful and hugged everybody. Now he's always in a hurry. That is understandable, but the fans congratulating him should still make him happy. I don't know why but I find him very serious lately. (I’ve seen him four times over the last two weeks).

Please don't judge me roughly, these are just a fan's impressions...

I would go to see The Crucible again and again! The tickets are sold out almost every night. I am very happy for Richard, he deserves all the praise :) I miss his smile though!

I realise that meeting him so many times makes you see him from different points of view. The first time (at Waterstones') I couldn't even talk to him, I was really nervous and I don't even remember what he looked like!

The second time I saw him at the stage door on the opening night of The Crucible. He was so adorable! I talked about that incredible day here: http://whiterosewritings.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/valentina-meets-richard-armitage.html

My third meeting with him was on Friday the 27th when I finally attended the show. I went to the stage door again and congratulated him. He signed my Crucible book and posed for a picture with me and Judit. He was really adorable!!!!!!!

Then I went again to the stage door but I only took pictures for my friends. I didn't want to bother him again, especially because I have a wonderful picture of him and me already! Oh! I just realised that I met him 6 times already...wow! I'm so lucky! Every time is different and I now feel the need to chat with him properly...which is very unlikely to happen! I think everybody would love to talk to him in a normal conversation. I know somebody who had this incredible opportunity! I always hope to bump into him on the street by chance, maybe one day. It seems I'm quite lucky with these RA encounters!

I wish I knew him better... ah ah ah who wouldn't? I've never been a great fan of actors or singers. I think I don't like that you never get to “know” these people. It’s disappointing! But this is the way things go and we can't change it.

I truly love this guy as an actor and a person, for the little I know about him and I will always follow and support him.

Thank you for reading!

Until next time ;)



I want to thank my friend Valentina again for trusting my blog to publish her interesting and insightful eyewitness accounts of seeing The Crucible at the Old Vic and meeting our magnificent main man Richard Armitage so many times at the stage door.  I am having fun sharing her story with our fellow Armitage well-wishers. (Though I'm also weeping on the inside because I'm not there watching Richard on stage too! LOL).  Fabo

Photos are property of Valentina - Please do not publish without her permission.  


  1. These are lovely memories of your The Crucible experiences! Thanks for sharing them with us Valentina. And thanks to Fabo for hosting you! Cheers!

    1. Thank you Grati - glad you enjoyed reading Valentina's story


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