When other blogs have already reported a new interview/tweet/IG post/video or any other piece of news of Richard, I always wonder whether there is any point in posting the news on my blog, too. That is basically why I have been silent on my blog the last couple of days. Both Esther and Servetus reported the Telegraph article and provided the opportunity for fans to comment. I did so on both those blogs, and also on Twitter. I am always wary of repeating something that others have already posted, mainly because I don’t want to split up already running discussions to yet another blog. It’s good to have it all in one place, imo. But then it also occurred to me that sometimes my silence may be misunderstood. I usually wouldn’t care, but since some of the contents of the Telegraph article seemed to be discussed quite passionately, I wondered whether my silence is ominous.
There was also a deliberate reason why I didn’t comment on my own blog. Because the piece of info that has been received so controversially, is no cause for controversy in my eyes *at all*. In fact, I consider anyone’s coming out or reference to their sexual orientation – whether straight, but particularly when gay – as total non-news. I don’t mean that in the sense of “taboo”/is not allowed to be mentioned under any circumstance, but rather as in “not worthy of discussion”. If we want to normalise non-heterosexual life choices, then I find any kind of discussion that focusses on someone’s sexual orientation counterproductive as it would again reinforce the idea that such info is *different* and therefore newsworthy. I believe that info on sexual orientation is secondary and that it should not have any impact on my opinion of another person. And it doesn’t. For the record, though, I’ll say this about my reaction to the article: For very personal reasons, I was deeply touched by RA’s admission that he deliberately kept his private life out of the public eye in order to protect his parents. It made me think about a close family relation, and the thought horrifies me that my family member could possibly act in a similar way, for decades. In that sense, I thought it was great that Richard has finally opened up. I take it as a confirmation that he is gay. “And it is a good thing”, to quote Berlin’s ex-mayor Klaus Wowereit (on his own public coming-out in 2001).
As for the manner of reporting, I agree with RA that the headline gave a spin on the article that did not reflect the contents. There was so much more in there than that personal piece of info. But mass media is what it is, and reporters do not necessarily have a say in how their copy is presented. Large publications such as the Telegraph have sub-editors who edit the journalists’ texts. I found Jane Mulkerrins’ reporting sympathetic and had the impression that the interview was conducted in a professional and polite manner, and I doubt that a professional actor with more than 20 years of experience in the entertainment business finds himself trapped into answers he is unwilling to give. I take the interview at face value. Mulkerrins asked, Armitage chose to answer. Unless he stipulated the reply was off the record, and she breached that unwritten rule of journalistic interviewing, then I see nothing wrong with the article. Nuff said. And I don’t mean to muzzle the conversation, but would simply refer readers to the above-mentioned blogs for further lively discussion where much has already been said.
So, to basically contradict myself on my policy of not repeating what has already been reported elsewhere, here is Richard’s latest IG post.
Glad to see Richard so comfy in his dressing room – in woolly socks and without trousers. 😂 What is happening there? “There is madness in this house.” At least we can assume that the dressing rooms in the Harold Pinter Theatre are cosy and warm. Is that a linen shirt peeking up from under the manuscript? I like this little glimpse into the dressing room and the preparation for his role, especially by way of the visible notes. (I think he has also photoshopped some scribbles off of the cover of the script.) Ovna and ovich are the patronym endings in Russian, i.e. they are added to a person’s father’s first name. (My Russified name would be Соня Ачимовна – ok, or in Roman script Sonja Achimovna.) – “Active, driving, force of disturbance. Front footed implacable task” – Astrov? Nice dog ears. Sign of much work on the text.
Well, it’s the final week of rehearsals before the first performance of the play on the 14th of January. Can’t wait!