Worlds Collide…again! #RABlogReunion


Well, well, well, it seems everything around here is still in working order after nearly TWO YEARS!!  How can that even be?!  I didn’t have any kind of major mood shift that made me step back from the fandom – more like just a series of life altering events that diverted my attention to different things in the short term and ultimately changed the make up of my days so that blogging became something I could no longer accomplish during my normal “computer time,” and my normal “computer time” became so encompassing that logging onto a computer outside of that time became less than appealing.

If I’m truthful, I’ll also cop to the fact that the major Armitage project at the time, Berlin Station, left me pretty cold about half way through the first season.  I like a good convoluted spy thriller as much as the next fangirl, especially if there’s a regular chance of OOA sightings, but Berlin Station just did not do it for me.  Right around the same time, my kids and I moved out of our house for a few months as my marriage hit it’s terminal stage.

Now happily divorced for just over a year and back in my castle, professional life on relatively established path, I’ve noticed that I’ve been veering back to the Armitage oeuvre more and more.  First, I really, really enjoy the animated romp that is Castlelvania – the third season of Trevor Belmont and crew was particularly fantastic!  I have become pretty reliant on what I can easily access from one of my streaming platforms (or even add to my Amazon prime channels with one click) so I was delighted to find (thanks for the tip Servetus!) The Stranger on Netflix.

I settled down on a Saturday afternoon where by some strange planetary alignment, nobody but a particularly insistent lapsitting cat interrupted me as I binge watched the first half of the series.  I do like a complicated mystery, and I thoroughly enjoyed the twists and turns of this Harlan Coben story.  I guess that I must have mentioned having watched a new RA work to my oldest child (formerly Showbiz Kid who I shall now refer to as Drop Dead Diva), because a few weeks later, my world’s collided again like they had something like 8 years ago!

A little bit of context:  My Drop Dead Diva began transitioning to her true female self right around the time that my ex and I separated (in retrospect, surely NOT a coincidence), and one of the things that she had always been interested in and is now far more open about sharing is the world of drag performers. (there are a lot more layers to this world than I ever knew) I’ve never not been aware of drag – after all, it is a huge element of classical drama, but until recently, I wasn’t really aware of the wide ranging appeal of contemporary drag performers, especially in the wake of the popularity of the RuPaul’s Drag Race series.

This would be the obvious place to wonder how these dots connect…

While it is probably quite likely that Richard Armitage has worked in some form of drag in some theatrical production at some point in his career (I could probably look this up, but, LAZY.), it’s certainly not the first association that comes to mind.  However, one of the things DDD has introduced to our YouTube watching is a little Netflix sponsored YouTube series called, I Like to Watch,”   featuring American drag superstars Trixie Mattel and Katya.  Hilarious.  Definitely moments that are NSFW, but nevertheless, Hilarious.

Here’s where my day to day world and the RA world collide – it turns out that there is also a UK version of I Like to Watch featuring British drag queens The Vivienne and Baga Chipz, and guess what they like to watch?!?

You got it – The Stranger!  The video above is FULL of spoilers, so if you haven’t watched The Stranger, consider yourself warned.  As I laughed out loud all the way through this video, I realized that there do seem to be persistent hints that my worlds are indeed still connected.  Things may evolve into something that looks a little bit different around here, but I think (I know that I’ve said this before but…) I think that I may still have some things to say from time to time since it still seems that, “I Like to Watch,” too Richard Armitage!


38 comments on “Worlds Collide…again! #RABlogReunion

  1. Servetus says:

    As you know I still have to watch both The Stranger and this vid, but I’m looking forward to it!

    Glad to see you here again.

    In service of my pathological need to share information, re drag:

    • obscura says:

      I knew someone would do the references for me!

    • wydville says:

      In which case this will interest you:

      Photographic evidence shows RA in a 1998 LAMDA production of Pericles, Prince of Tyre in which he played Bawd in drag. He is dressed in a leopard print skimpy top, a tiger print mini skirt, black stockings and black stilettos. He is wearing a big blond wig, has very badly applied drag make-up and carries a cigarette in a holder. He appears very much worse-for-wear: sort-of after a very messy night out, heh.
      The photograph is hanging in a corridor of LAMDA which is not accessible to the public.

      • obscura says:

        Goodness gracious! (I was just starting to work through the weekend’s emails when I saw this reply).

        It’s a proper “walk of shame” look! I was just thinking that every man should give drag a try at least once…if for no other reason than to share in the torture cramming ones toes into pumps!!

      • Servetus says:

        Thanks for this info. Do you mind me asking what your source is? Have you seen the photo yourself? which is highly reliable gives his role in that production as Antiochus the Great. (Not excluding the possibility he could have played both.) Thanks for any additional provenance you can provide.

        • wydville says:

          No, not at all. Daughter had a weekend job at LAMDA for a couple of years before she went to drama school. As an employee she had access to the whole building; she discovered the photo in a less-frequented corridor and took a photograph of it. The caption below the photo gives the date, RA’s role and the name of the director, Rodney Cottier. Also in the photograph is another actor, Adrian Penketh, who plays Pandar.
          So, no, I have not seen the photograph itself, but have seen a photograph of the photograph.
          Another bit of info I only recently learnt, again from Daughter who has, over the years, done a lot of Shakespearean “stuff”: it is highly likely that “DRAG” is a stage direction invented by William himself, short for Dressed As Girl, as in, Enter x, stage left, dr-a-g.

        • wydville says:

          Apropos your comment regarding the possibility of one actor taking on multiple roles, I have spoken to a reliable source who tells me that, in their extended experience, there are enough students in any given year group to preclude the likelihood of a student playing more than one significant role in a production. LAMDA puts on several productions a year (including showcasing final year examinations) allowing each student, in turn, to shine. This does not mean that RA did not play Antiochus, but it is unlikely.

          • Servetus says:

            Back in the day I asked how the research for that page at RichardArmitageOnline was done — and it was done very carefully, involved at least two people looking for stage roles / programs, and was based on sources / archives. I only asked because both are small roles, i.e., while Antiochus is significant to the plot he only appears in Act I, scene I, and Pericles only has about 40 lines in two acts. So this would be an easy double. However, in other cases, RichardArmitageOnline did list when Armitage had more than one role in a particular production. I’ve found a total of three mistakes on that page in ten years, which makes it a highly trustworthy source in my book. So I don’t know. Maybe they had a faulty source. It happens.

          • Servetus says:

            sorry, BAWD only has 40 lines in 2 acts.

  2. Esther says:

    Oh, it’s lovely to read you again! Good to hear you’re in a better place since your divorce. As for the Baga Chipz & Vivienne video reacting to The Stranger – someone pointed it out somewhere (was it you? Or Servetus?) and I watched it then and I laughed so hard! They are very spot on in their comments, loved it.
    I always enjoyed your blog so I selfishly do hope you can get back to it a bit in some form. 🙂

    • obscura says:

      So nice to “see” you!!! We are all doing very well – sometimes things just need to change :). I think I mentioned it to Severus and she posted it a while back – their Tiger King video is insanely funny too!

      I like the idea of being back too – it is just plain fun!

  3. Nat says:

    I’m glad you posted today! The name “Obscura” sounds very familiar, but I don’t know that we’ve “met” online before, so HELLO! 🙂 I have not seen “The Stranger” yet, but think I will as soon as I finish Berlin Station. It sounds like you are in a good, happy place in life. 🙂

    • obscura says:

      I think we may have “met” on Tumblr? I’m also behind the RASnarktastic tumblr if that rings a bell. Thanks for hosting this event – I’m having a great time catching up!!

      • Nat says:

        I never had a Tumblr account, but I did visit Tumblr sites back in the day. I just googled RASnarktastic, and it pulled up a post where I left a comment back in 2015 telling you that I liked your site and you replied that you liked Stick Figure Richard. 🙂 🙂 🙂 So we HAVE “met.” (I have the worst memory.) Good to see you again. 😉

  4. Guylty says:

    Oh Obscura!!!!!!!! I am seeing this post of yours just as I am settling to bed. This needs a
    far longer reply than this but I can’t go to sleep without at least shouting a loud “hooray” into your general direction. So good to read from you. More reply tomorrow.

  5. Traxy says:

    Glad to hear things are going well for you! It’s funny, but I really didn’t expect to like RuPaul’s Drag Race, but episode one of the UK version came on after the Graham Norton Show one night, and I didn’t get my bum off the sofa to go to bed so started watching … and it was actually really interesting – in a loud, colourful way. (Both the Vivienne and Baga were contestants on it!) Ended up watching a few of the episodes in the end, including the final. 🙂

    • obscura says:

      Thanks for stopping by! I really hadn’t expected to enjoy it much either – my kids and some work colleagues are huge fans- but now I have definitely picked my favorites as we work our way through back

  6. Perry says:

    It’s good to hear from you, Obscura. I always missed you after you took a permanent break. Glad to hear things are going well for you and your family.

    • obscura says:

      Likewise!! Everything had settled into a new version of normal until very recently, but my little nest of introverts has fared pretty well in the relative isolation of the past months.

  7. wydville says:

    You’re back! Yay!! Made my day seeing your post.

    Have watched The Stranger – twice. Clever with twists you just don’t see coming. One of the stars of the show – apart from Richard, of course! – is the house which is evidently on someone’s locations list as I have now seen it in two other productions!

    Hope you keep posting, Obscura, and really happy to hear that your family ife is “sorted”.

    PS Hope your email address hasn’t changed as I’ve sent you something I think will both interest and amuse you…

  8. One of the things I struggle with is finding content to watch with my older teens. I would have seen the other seasons of Castlevania already if they had liked it. They are anime fans after all. The boy has promised he will watch Dead Still (acorn tv) w me. My college girl is even more picky but she wanted to start Snowpiercer on TNT because of Daveed Diggs (Hamilton cast) and looking up the cast on IMDb (I couldn’t place Alison Wright w blonde hair but she played Martha on The Americans!) I discovered that Sean Bean will be in Season 2. Boom my world will collide! I need to get back to the Stranger I was too distracted and still am obsessed w my Turkish actor Kivanç Tatlituğ. Good to hear your family is in a good place. I remember your blog but I’m not sure if I ever commented. I’ve always enjoyed your observations

    • obscura says:

      Thanks for stopping by! It is definitely a trick finding something we all enjoy – I got a massive 🙄 from my oldest this weekend when she wandered through to find me watching Death Comes to Pemberly!

  9. sparkhouse1 says:

    Yay! It was so lovely to read a post from you again! I’m glad you’re in a better place now and I’ll ready anything you post. About anything. You were missed.

    • obscura says:

      It’s so nice to hear from everyone!! Despite the recent chaos have definitely been looking up! I may just slot some blogging time into my Outlook (ugh – it pains me that this is a new reality 🙃)!!

  10. zeesmuse says:

    Good to see you! I’m sorry about the upheaval for you and your kids in the marriage department. I swear I will NEVER remarry! I hope things are setting down for you.

    1st season of Berlin Station got BETTER after the halfway point. 2nd season was okay and I wouldn’t waste time on s3. I downloaded it and filed it in the RA folder. I’ve only watched the 1st episode of The Stranger and am hoping now that remote school is out I can finish that this summer and if you’ve not given Castlevania a try…. it’s awesome (And I’m not a cartoon lover) Trevor Belmont is the hawtie bomb!!!

    Welcome back. Hope to see more of you.

    • obscura says:

      I can definitely say that the upheaval level was fairly minor (my sister was incredibly supportive) and we are all (ex included) happier now! I don’t really see a scenario where I’d remarry – I suppose I wouldn’t mind a friend with benefits though 😆

      I love Castlevania too – I see there is now a release date for Season 4!!

      • zeesmuse says:

        There’s a release date??? That’s odd. We didn’t get a release date for S3 until long after it was completed.

        • obscura says:

          Argh – I just actually followed the link – click bait about why it’s too soon for a release date. Boo.

          • zeesmuse says:

            It’s cool! I did earlier on and there was nothing lol!

            It’s too early to speculate when we’ll see it. The more episodes, the longer it takes. I’m thinking earliest late next year. But that’s just me. When I get home, i’m going to do a grand binge rewatch from S1. I should watch the Stranger. LOL!

  11. jazzbaby1 says:

    Hey, sidewinder! I didn’t get a chance to leave a comment when I read your post the first time and I’ve been thinking about you all day. STL meant a lot to me and I’m so glad you were my coconspirator. Thank you for kicking my ass when I needed it, for listening when I vented, and for keeping me focused on what we tried to accomplish. You definitely made me a better person by your example.

    • obscura says:

      Awww! 🥰🥰. I really love that project too!! I’ve become a kind of Demi lurker (thanks for coining that Perry!) too – I think of you whenever I hear Eddie Vedder or see a Dr. Seuss reference 😀. I couldn’t as for a better partner in “crime”!!!

  12. katie70 says:

    Good to hear from you again. Glad to hear that you have settled after your divorce. I happen to remember the last time you posted. I was sitting in my college housing bedroom (with my much younger roommates) trying to get myself though my 1st year of college. Well I made it and year two to graduate last May with an associates degree in science Occupation Therapy Assistant. Passed my boards and state license and looking for a job, nothing up by me. It’s weird that I remember your last post with all I was learning at the time, but it was one of those rare breaks I was not studying and coming home on the weekends with son2 who was also at the same college as well as son1. Son1 was done in a year and son2 graduated with me last May. With school I have not watched anything of Richards work, no time.

  13. SueBC says:

    So nice to see a post from you again! Has it really been 2 years? I really enjoyed The Stranger — best thing I’ve seen him do for a while. And that “I Like to Watch” episode is hilarious! As for the American version, I only know Trixie Mattel as a country singer — now there’s a world collision if I ever heard of one!

  14. Welcome back! More Greek sculptures, please, thank you.

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