You Wanted the Input of a Seasoned Theater Goer…

I saw this in the very recent stream of tweets from The Crucible performance this evening in London. When I got over to Bryan Thomas’s profile, I was curious about his background with theater. It didn’t take long to find out this is someone who has seen a lot, and if you want to know what, he’s listed the performances he’s seen since 1972. There are performances other than theater listed, but read the list and you will know Bryan knows whereof he speaks when he made that tweet.

I would love to hear more from Bryan!

edit: Well, I’ve now spent a couple of hours at Bryan’s site, which has been registered since 1999. He’s not only a theater lover, but a helluva photographer. There’s a story with him, and if by some freak chance he comes over to look at this crazy fan’s site, I really would love to talk to him.

22 Comments

  1. Reblogged this on Armitage Agonistes and commented:
    I would love to hear more from Brian, too.

  2. Oh, yes, me, too. I really love hearing from the RA fans, but to hear from those who are simply seasoned theatre goers with lots of performances from a variety of actors—I think that speaks volumes for the overall quality of this production.

  3. I think so too! Love the fans reporting in, but also someone like Bryan who knows his way around the various shows. We all know now that this is a monumental performance from Richard.

  4. Wow, this guy has seen an incredible amount of theater! Impressive.

  5. I’d like to hear more from Brian too! This is the kind of evaluation I am expecting, people with knowledge and experience that can judge (fairly, you hope) the production without “any” bias towards RA. I know I can’t be fair. I know I will love him anyway and I lack any theater experience to judge the whole production. So yes, this tweet is precious. Thanks for posting! :-)

  6. Undoubtedly someone who *knows* what he is talking about! I’m so impressed by how knowledgeable he must be and his reaction to this performance! I too would love to hear anything else he might like to share about it.

  7. Hello everyone. This is Bryan.

    First of all, let me thank you for your very flattering end probably undeserved comments. As you can probably tell if you have visited my website (http://www.lifeofbryan.co.uk) I LOVE theatre and music and have seen a lot in my time so – yes – my euphoric comments about “The Crucible” were a true indication of how truly remarkable I feel this production is.

    Richard Armitage (who – if I am being brutally honest – I was not really aware of before this. Sorry!!!) gives a mesmerising performance as the central character John Procter but he is only one of a phenomenally impressive cast, all of whom give flawless performances. The young female accusers in particular give a truly frightening insight into what mass hysteria can lead to.

    The play – all 3 hours 45 minutes of it (so not for those with short attention spans!) is perfumed in the round. I was in the second row and felt totally involved in what was happening literally feet away from me. The tension is palpable throughout and I felt totally drained by the end of it. Goodness only knows how the cast must feel!

    If you are in London and can get a ticket, just go!

  8. That should have been “PERFORMED” in the round by the way! LOL!

  9. Bryan, thank you for sharing that. No need to apologize about not knowing Richard Armitage. In fact, perhaps it’s a good thing. Makes you less biased either way, so that we are reasonably assured you are not a gushing fan and can give a more objective reaction.

    You can tell we are anxious for him to succeed. We have enjoyed his work and been watching his career for a long time. And no, that’s not a royal we. There are many fans reading your words. We collect in cyber world to talk about how much we enjoy Richard’s work, and a significant number of them are theater fans, but I doubt they have the experience you have.

    I really am enjoying looking at your site by the way, and your photographs are excellent. You have done a lot. You need to blog! :)

  10. Bryan, Thank you for taking time to come by & share your thoughts with us – I really enjoyed hearing from you!

  11. Internet, this is why I love you. People connect, share interests & experiences and appreciate each other’s views and opinions. Thanks for reaching out to Bryan, Frenz. And Bryan, thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  12. A pleasure to “discover” you! As for blogging myself: 36 days, 22 hours and 34 minutes before I retire and have more time to do things like that (not that I’m counting!!!)

  13. LOL! I don’t blame you for counting. I was in an early retirement and loving it but came back to do something else. Not this, but it does involve blogging in some form. If or when you get ready to blog, let me know, and I would be happy to help you. I’ll send you an email as well. Thanks again for sharing with us!

  14. MaryJane, I love it too! There are so many fascinating and just plain nice people to know.

  15. So thanks Brian.
    But as a seasoned theatre goer, can you explain as to why our cities don’t get the full brunt of such amazing actors or productions ?
    We hear in Wales especially the North, are never really able to get to see these amazing productions as the cost is astronomical. Hence the reason I am unable to see this one. I am gutted not to see it.
    But isn’t it about time that the theatre world realised that the “out of towners” would also love to partake of some of the magic and golden actors at work?
    This is no spite on yourself who has been so wonderful with reviewing. But hope you will understand how annoying this becomes. For us here, play finishing at 11pm means wouldn’t get back home till maybe 3.30 4am…? Doesn’t seem fair really.
    But thank you for your wonderful support. Regards

  16. Hi Gwyn – interesting response!

    First of all, I have never claimed to be a “seasoned theatre goer” and certainly don’t feel able to act as a defence lawyer for, or justify the actions of, the UK theatre industry!

    That having been said, I TOTALLY agree with you! I spent my childhood and adolescence in a small Welsh town myself and I was 19 by the time I saw my first “real” (i.e. non am-dram, non-school) theatre production. Even that was on a holiday to London – so I absolutely empathise.

    I guess it’s probably all down to economics at the end of the day – London does, after all, provide a huge catchment of both locals and tourists who are prepared to pay sometimes obscenely high ticket costs to offset production costs and (over?)pay the “stars” (and before anyone takes offence, I am not talking about Richard Armitage who deserves every penny for his work on this production – but £96 minimum to see Angela Lansbury in “Blithe Spirit”…..really?)

    I think things might be slowly improving – perhaps TOO slowly – with initiatives from the likes of the National Theatre which now seems to send out touring productions much more frequently than ever before, and one of the good things about “The Crucible” is that 100 sponsored tickets are kept back at every performance for under 25s, priced at £12. I know that’s no consolation to you personally but I guess it is SOMETHING!

    Bryan

  17. Thanks for this lovely erudite comment Bryan! I am an ex-pat Scot living in Canada now and understand how nearly impossible it was to go see such productions, especially in my youth. Not only were they cost prohibitive, but the sheer logistics of going to London made such a thing out of the question. I did have cousins whose school put on (what seemed to me back then) wonderful productions of various Gilbert and Sullivan operettas, but that is the closest I came to theatre.

    However, I was brought up in Aberdeen and had the privilege of being able to go to His Majesty’s Theatre to watch such conducting greats as Walter Susskind and Sir John Barbirolli and some wonderful orchestras. Goodness! I HAVE dated myself now, haven’t I? As college students we were given special rates and if there was no choir performing we got to sit in what would have been their seats behind the orchestra! You have no idea just how thrilling these experiences were for me as a lover of classical music So I love the thought that under 25’s are being encouraged to attend “The Crucible” and I hope they take advantage of this. I’d be there in a flash if circumstances were different. My only hope is that TOV will come to realize just how hard it is for people to see things like this not only in other parts of the UK but elsewhere in the world and that they will find a way to release it for a much wider audience via TV or a DVD release. Fingers crossed! Sorry for this long comment.

  18. I hope they bring it to Broadway or off-Broadway. I’m not optimistic about that, but that may be my pessimist kicking in. Of course I would buy the DVD even if I did go to see it in NY LOL

  19. As I don’t see it *ever* coming to Western Canada I’m totally dependent on seeing it on DVD or the like. I know I would buy at least one copy! :)

  20. Bryan, I plead guilty to hanging the tag “seasoned” on you. :D

    I do think you have seen enough shows in your lifetime to give a very good reading of how well the show is doing by comparison. So on that basis, I really respect what you said about the performance.

  21. I’m having a London friend go and see the production for me, so I can experience through her! I would love to see this come to the US. One can only hope. Still holding out hope that ‘A Discovery of Witches’ will be made and we can all enjoy Richard playing Matthew Clairmont! #RA4MC.

  22. Just back from a week working in Tokyo and have updated my website to include “The Crucible” production photos and links to incredible UK newspaper and magazine reviews (which you’ve all probably seen by now!):
    http://www.lifeofbryan.co.uk/Site/The_Crucible.html


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