Richard Armitage in The Crucible trailer

Exclusive: The Hobbit actor takes to the big screen again in screenings of the Old Vic’s five-star play

By Kat Brown    8:35AM GMT 29 Oct 2014

The witching hour approaches for much-anticipated cinema screenings of the Old Vic’s staging of The Crucible – starting with the trailer, which you can see first here.

The theatre’s sold-out production received glowing reviews when it played this summer, with The Hobbit actor Richard Armitage taking the lead as Arthur Miller’s fallen hero, John Proctor.

Director Yaël Farber took Miller’s American play, which looks at the McCarthy era witch hunts through the lens of the Salem witch trials, and had the cast play it with Yorkshire accents to five-star acclaim, including from The Telegraph.

In his review of The Crucible, theatre critic Charles Spencer said the production was “electrifying” and had “the intensity of a thriller”.

Armitage recently announced the screenings in a video, which featured a clip of the play.


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Northmen – A Viking Saga

A band of Vikings are stranded behind enemy lines on the coast of Alba as their longboat goes down in a dreadful storm. Their only chance of survival is to find a path to the Viking settlement, Danelag, traversing an unfamiliar and hostile land they have never known. The journey becomes a race for their lives when the King of Alba sends his most feared mercenaries after them. But when the Vikings meet a kind Christian Monk who preaches with his sword, the hunters become the hunted as the Vikings set deadly traps, mercilessly decimating their pursuers one by one, culminating in a final and deadly encounter.


USA March 2015
URO Oct. 2014

Northmen - A Viking Saga (2014)

Marco Polo – Netflix December 12

Marco Polo, Netflix’s grandest show, Release Date, Cast, Plot and Spoilers: Featuring the Court of Kublai Khan
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Kara Michelle First Posted: Sep 29, 2014 08:01 AM EDT


Marco Polo, Netflix’s grandest show, Release Date, Cast, Plot and Spoilers: Featuring the Court of Kublai Khan

Marco Polo Netflix release date is set this December 12, 2014. It has been reported that this could be the grandest and biggest show Netflix have to offer so far. It starts off its first season with ten episodes and pretty much go from there. Marco Polo Netflix series will be about an epic action adventure filled with sexual intrigue, martial arts, horseback battles and more.

Marco Polo Netflix cast include the newcomer Lorenzo Richelmy as Marco together with Zhu Zhu, Joan Chen (Empress Chabi), Benedict Wong (Kublai Khan), Remy Hill, Olivia Cheng and many more. They will be filming on a fifty-acre studio built from a cleared jungle that was transformed to look like Kublai Khan’s thirteenth-century capital.

According to the show’s producer Harvey Weinstein “It’s a giant adventure. The only thing on TV that matches it, production-scale wise is ‘Game of Thrones'” We can already guess how much the studio have spent for each episode with that remark alone.

Although Netflix has over fifty million subscribers worldwide, they cannot leverage yet the appeal their upcoming series is to have with their audience. Still, they consider it a good move into building brand awareness for possible Asian expansion. This is with the story mostly being filmed in Malaysia and other parts of Asia.

Even with the silence of Netflix about the plot of this series, we can already assume that a father-son dynamics is to play a core part in the story line. If you are interested to find out more details about the show, you may visit Marco Polo Netflix IMDB page.


The Passing Bells – BBC One, Nov 03, 2014

Marking the centenary of World War One, the five-part series sees the conflict of the unfold through the eyes of two very ordinary young men.

The Passing Bells was filmed in Poland and is written by Tony Jordan (EastEnders, Hustle, Life on Mars).

Paddy Gibson (What Richard Did) and Jack Lowden (The Tunnel) star as Thomas and Michael, two young men for whom the war has little mercy, no matter which side they might be fighting for. Over five chronological years, The Passing Bells follows their lives, as they grow up, lose friends and find love amid the horrors of the war. Back home, their families and loved ones anxiously await news from the front.

The cast also includes Charles Furness, Brian Fletcher, Wilf Scolding, Hubert Burton, Felix Auer, Ben McGregor, Mark Burghagen and Matthew Aubrey.

The Passing Bells begins on BBC One next month.

The Passing Bells 2014 (BBC One)


Dearest, loveliest Meg – Part Thirty



Chapter Thirty

Even when a stab of remorse pierced my heart, I could not, for the world, have stopped myself from reading Douglas’ diary. The thoroughly feminine urge of a woman, to delve deep into the secrets of the man she loved, washed over me. I wanted to know my Douglas and everything that was in his life.

This year’s diary’s first entries in January were about his stay with his cousin on the isle of Jamaica and reports about the tobacco plantation. I rapidly browsed through them, but the entries made little sense to me. Every now and then an entry appeared in black ink while the reports were in blue. Those entries were in some kind of code; there was always a sum of money, usually about two pounds, and initials, some of them recurring and others new. I could not figure out what they meant.

The pattern stayed the same until February when Douglas made a note of a letter from his solicitors, announcing Sir Matthew’s death. From then on, he began preparing for his journey home:


Made an agreement with Captain Whitaker of “The Valiant Maiden”. She sails for Bristol in a fortnight and I plan to be on board. Cousin John and I are settling our business as I will not be back soon. He gave me the handsome sum of 1250 pounds, which I will need, once I am back in England. God only knows in what state I will find Watcombe Manor.

                Had a row with Regalia. She wants me to take her to England but John refuses to make her a free woman. Shall miss her. She was a good girl and gave me much pleasure. Could not take her with me since she is as black as ebony. I tried to explain it to her. Said I had barely enough money to keep me alive, let alone the two of us. Poor girl, she wept her heart out.


                Regalia, I thought. That was something I had to ask Douglas about. Had she been his mistress or was she just a prostitute he visited? I was a bit taken aback. This was certainly one side of my future husband I did not know. Was this what men did when they had no wife of their own? Or when they needed to lie with a woman and they did not have enough love from their wives? Would Douglas do this after we married? The thought was appalling! Again I realised I did not know much of life or men – a sudden sorrow pierced my heart.


The next entrance that drew my attention was made on April 25th:


Father’s lawyers again told me what I already knew – I must marry before August 22th or I will not inherit. What I did not know was that Phineas Wilkinson now lives at Watcombe Manor. Apparently, he has taken residence there when I left for Jamaica. Father never wrote me about that. I wonder why.

Yet, I can understand his need to have his heir under his roof and become acquainted with him.

Blast! If only Christina were still alive! I would have married her in an instant, provided of course, she was still free.

Oh, Christina … I never encountered anyone like her after I left for the Caribbean, though I tried hard enough! How well I recall my deep distress when I realised I could not give my heart again to anyone. Christina imprisoned it for the rest of my miserable life.

There have been a few affairs which gave me pleasure but nothing more. No attachment, only relief. That is why I was drawn to Regalia. She accepted me as her lover without asking for anything. I  paid her handsomely for her services and pretended not to see the hurt in her eyes. I liked Regalia but I did not love her. Love, for me, is forever forbidden.


Dear God! How lonesome Douglas must have been all these years! And how much he must have loved Christina ! That thought burned my heart like a brand.

No, Margaret, stop it! What nonsense! Douglas loves me now. He proved that on numerous occasions during the few weeks I was with him. With determination, I continued my reading:


                Moving to Devonshire today. Will take Jack with me, for he has nowhere else to go and I have grown fond of the boy. He is smart, witty and loyal. Could be the best friend I ever had. Oh, the irony!


April 30th, I saw. The next entrances were scarce. Mostly, they reported on how he had fitted the house and how he had to juggle his finances in order to pay his bills. May was uneventful. He visited Wilkinson and was received very coolly. He attended some parties in Torquay but found himself thoroughly rebuffed. Now, we knew that had been the Bernards’ work. I flipped the pages to the beginning of  June until I found what I was looking for.


June 4th. Had a most interesting experience today. Someone shot me and an angel came to my rescue. Her name is Margaret Dashwood, my dainty damsel. Margaret, Meg … Meggie. So beautiful and lively! She actually bullied me into letting her care for me and she did not listen to anything I said about her reputation. With the patience of an angel, she took care of my wound and brought me home. She stayed with me until the healing woman came. I had to banish her with my most stern attitude. Even then, she was very reluctant to go. But she had to. I am poison for dainty damsels.


An angel! He called me a bloody angel! Drat!

In my recollection, I had not behaved in a very angelic way, at least I had not wished to do so. How is it that no matter how much we try to present ourselves, people always seem to see the opposite side of us? I continued to read:


                June 8th. Feeling like bloody hell! My shoulder aches like the blazes and my spirits are as low as they come! The gypsy woman has come to look at the wound and she said all was fine and healing splendidly. Would that she could also make my spirits heal!

Oddly enough, I find myself being besieged by some strange mood changes – feeling black as the devil at one time and exhilarated with joy the next. The exhilaration usually comes when I think of Miss Margaret Dashwood, my dainty damsel, which is stupid, of course. She is barely out of the schoolroom and still very pure.

I do not understand myself in this. Except, of course, if this strange attraction is caused by the fact that I have never bedded a virgin and am now relishing the thought of it. Blast!


Oh, my sweet Douglas … so he was attracted to me from the start, at least physically. I would say it was a good start then. Physical attraction, and the actions that come with it, are a good start for any marriage.


June 29th. I am doomed. I have fallen for Meg and it took me nearly a month before it finally dawned on me. She came here tonight, half naked and confused and upset and … I did not know what to do; I just wanted to pick her up and take her to bed. I could not, though. My heart turned to water when I saw her distress. I did not trust myself to even touch her or take her in my arms, so I tried being cool and distant. I sent her home though my heart broke when I saw her leave in the curricle with Jack Twinkler. I think I love her.


Reading Douglas’ confession of love started a glow deep down inside me, and I swallowed. So he had loved me since that night, or perhaps even earlier? It seemed that both our feelings had risen and grown from the first day we met. And I, in my foolish inexperienced way, had had no inkling of that …

The study door opened to let Raleigh in. He bowed and solemnly announced a visitor.

“Mrs Dashwood of Barton Cottage, Miss!”