Circles, π, Fifty Ships, and Michael Kitchen — boundless in their beauty and perfection.

Foyle's War: Fifty Ships: Michael Kitchen holding synchromesh gear

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mesmerizing michael kitchen love at first sight

Mr. Kitchen is possibly the eighth wonder of the world. Never flashy … but nevertheless the center of every frame in which he appears.hikari

From John Powers’s review of Foyle’s War on NPR:

What makes the whole thing irresistible is Michael Kitchen’s enthralling performance as Foyle, who, in his reticence, sly humor and triumphant decency, is our fantasy of the ideal Englishman.


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michael kitchen foyle's war the funk hole mouth shrug

Foyle, the master of brevity, knows when he’s said enough to bring the guilty party to his knees.

And Michael Kitchen knows how to use his incomparable mouth shrug and eyes to maximum effect.

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michael kitchen brian pern john farrow closeup1
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More John Farrow in 2017?

Hopefully, more adorable outtakes, too.

michael kitchen giggling1 pern outtake
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michael kitchen giggling3 pern outtake

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michael kitchen white heat easy on the eyes

Casually easy on the eyes.

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Foyle and the colors of fall.

Foyle's War: The German Woman: Michael Kitchen: fall colors 1
Foyle's War: The German Woman: Michael Kitchen: fall colors 2

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Goodbye, Mr. Foyle.

KT said:

John Donne said, “No man is an island, entire of itself.” but, I’d argue, that Foyle comes as close to proving him wrong as any fictional character and MK played that perfectly.

This is inspired. Thank you for sharing, KT. In light of your comment, I particularly got a kick out of this New Yorker cartoon. →

Mary McNamara of the LA Times makes “a case for an Emmy (or more) for Foyle’s War:

Created and written almost entirely by bestselling novelist Anthony Horowitz, “Foyle’s War” is the Mona Lisa of television: small, quiet, utterly hypnotic and mysteriously perfect.

A small and often silent man, as kind as he is morally rigorous, Foyle stands guard over basic humanity as the whirlwind of war and modernity threatens to uproot the good with the bad. Year after year, he has been brought to vivid vibrant life by Kitchen, an actor of rare and controlled brilliance. Each season, he gave the performance of a hundred lifetimes while appearing to do little more than shrug off his coat, bite his lip and refuse endless offers of tea.

…the final episode of the series, “Elise,” is what the American-based Acorn TV, which has co-produced the series since its return, will submit in all the relevant television movie categories — some of which it better win, despite the low-key nature of its radiance and, perhaps more significant, the famous long-standing refusal of its leading man to do any publicity.

Neither should matter at all if the awards are truly about excellence.

Kivrin has written a lovely Foyle vignette that picks up after this final scene.

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Out of Africa: Michael Kitchen as Berkeley Cole 1
Out of Africa: Michael Kitchen as Berkeley Cole 2

Michael Kitchen is all sun-kissed gorgeousness and gentlemanly charm as Berkeley Cole in Out of Africa.

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Michael Kitchen makes even the most mundane dialogue interesting to watch.

A Times critic put it another way (Nov. 29, 2003):

“…Michael Kitchen — an actor capable of making even the most banal dialogue sound as if Chekhov had written it.”

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michael kitchen dalziel and pascoe bones and silence

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michael kitchen the last contract head turn

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michael kitchen richard crane reckless

Beautiful Michael Kitchen/Richard Crane.

anonymous said:

Thank you KF, you always make my day! Perhaps Reckless should have been titled Breathless? At least that’s how MK playing Richard Crane leaves me feeling. ;- )

Seems we do a good job of making each other’s day.  Completely agree about that feeling of breathlessness MK brings on whenever he appears in Reckless.  🙂

Nope, I wouldn’t either, Richard.

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michael kitchen foyle's war a lesson in murder closeup

Another one of the gorgeous closeup shots of Michael Kitchen from A Lesson in Murder. ****

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Freud reminisces about happier times when von Fleischl generously picked up the tab and took him under his wing.  Even a big, bushy beard can’t hide the adorableness of Michael Kitchen’s smile that’s replicated the following year in Out of Africa.

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michael kitchen caught on a train profile
michael kitchen caught on a train profile

In appreciation of Michael Kitchen’s nose and five o’clock shadow…

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foyle's war the eternity ring michael kitchen smiling lights up room

Christopher Foyle/Michael Kitchen smiles, and the room lights up…

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Having an actor as gifted and exacting as Michael Kitchen interpret one’s work is undoubtedly a huge boon to writers, but it’s not without its challenges as Anthony Horowitz has described in interviews:

Michael is as responsible as I am for the character of Foyle. Michael Kitchen has always been one of our most revered actors here in Britain. He had never done a long-running television series until Foyle’s War. The only reason he took it on, I think, was because I was able to persuade him that it wouldn’t just be a case of him getting a thud of an envelope through a door every two weeks with a new script; he would be very much part of the creative process. That is what we have done for nearly ten years. It’s not always been easy. Michael is very demanding. One of the funny things about him is that he’s the only actor I know who demands fewer lines. He’ll look at a speech and say to me, “Actually I can do all of that — five lines — with one look.” And the annoying thing is, he’s always right; he can — which means I have to write more dialogue for the other actors to fill out the episode. – PBS Q&A for Series 7

Curiously, he had never taken the lead in a long series. In part, this may have been down to his reputation for being ‘difficult’. …Was he difficult? He was certainly demanding – utterly focused on the character with a rigid determination to ensure that the integrity and the quality of the drama would never be compromised. Sometimes, he would cut or rewrite a scene hours before it was due to be filmed, and I won’t pretend that this wasn’t frustrating. But for him the performance was everything, and the result is there on the screen. I have no doubt at all that a huge part of the success of the show was down to Michael. – Daily Mail (Jan. 5, 2008)

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Enjoyed this beautiful Earth Day weekend by climbing to my nearest edge of the world overlooking the Shenandoah Valley.

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The uncertain glory of an April day. – The Two Gentlemen of Verona

Really couldn’t have asked for a better final scene between Foyle and Sam. Almost as good as their first scene together.

…an ending that is genuinely tender and touching and moving – in a thoroughly buttoned-up, British, 1940s kind of way, of course. “I’d really like it if you’d be the godfather,” Sam tells Foyle (she’s PWP, pregnant without permission). “Honoured.” “Thank you.” “Pleasure.” And a kiss, the first and last. – The Guardian

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Foyle's War: War Games: Michael Kitchen: riding in car with Devlin
Foyle's War: The Eternity Ring: Michael Kitchen: riding in car with Hilda

The questionable professional ethics of Foyle’s ride companions are on his mind while they zip through the pastoral surroundings of Hastings in War Games and the austere streets of London in The Eternity Ring. Professional ethics certainly don’t concern Trump and his appointees as they daily violate with little repercussion the rules and laws governing their offices.

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Monday Motivation.

By all appearances Foyle is in an unusually forgiving mood when he’s allowed to return to the office, flashing the most genial of smiles at Collier, who thinks he’s gotten away with murder. Foyle soon dispels the illusion, his knowing smiles disappearing as he reveals the full extent of Collier’s crimes and the motivation behind them.

Foyle's War: The Funk Hole: Michael Kitchen: listening to Collier

One aspect of Foyle’s War I’ve always admired is the coherence of the culprits’ motives. No obsessive lovers or crazed lunatics killing by reason of insanity on Foyle’s patch, thank goodness.

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Give every man thy ear but few thy voice. – Hamlet

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Foyle's War: The Funk Hole: Michael Kitchen: Andrew is wounded

Concern and relief.

Foyle's War: The Funk Hole: Michael Kitchen: Andrew is wounded

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From Sir John Gielgud: A Life in Letters a note from the actor written during the U.S. tour of No Man’s Land in 1976:

The Pinter play is a huge success, thank God, and we have packed houses and a throng of people coming round after every performance. So I feel we are very lucky indeed, though the previous month in Washington was rather a bind, too big a theatre and a sticky lot to play to.

I once saw a musical at the Kennedy Center and agree with JG that the venue is way too big for musicals and plays. I imagine for much of the audience in the theater, it would have been hard to clearly see and hear the cast of No Man’s Land. Reading about the mad stampede last month for tickets to the upcoming run of Hamilton in D.C., I wonder how many of those who managed to get a ticket will be similarly disappointed by their experience at the KC this summer.

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Leave not the mansion so long tenantless,
Lest, growing ruinous, the building fall
And leave no memory of what it was!
The Two Gentlemen of Verona

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Maltese Tony takes out an unconventional loan.

Willesden Junction according to this tweet. Always fun to learn the location where a scene was filmed.

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Autographed photo and letter from Michael Kitchen along with script for Reckless.

From the eBay listing:

…they are all from the same source – a gentlemen who bought them at a charity auction – I have the covering letter from the school for autism that held the charity auction after they sourced the original autograph. The date was 1998.

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Foyle's War: War Games: Michael Kitchen quick smile 

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Turns out Howard Paige and Rex Talbot are both alive and well, hanging out together at an after-party, safe in the knowledge that they’ll never bump into Foyle there.

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Finished listening to The Great Train Robbery today. One of my favorite movies is now one of my favorite audiobooks as well. Michael Kitchen’s expert narration gave distinct voice to each of the characters in the large cast, vividly bringing the personalities to life. Loved all of the additional historical background provided in the book. And the exposition on the physics pertaining to a moving train made Pierce’s feat of traversing the train cars all the more thrilling and amazing.

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Newly listed on eBay, the program for the National Theatre’s production of No Man’s Land at the Lyttelton Theatre which ran from January 20 – February 24, 1977 with Michael Kitchen in the cast.

As in a theatre, the eyes of men,
After a well-graced actor leaves the stage,
Are idly bent on him that enters next,
Thinking his prattle to be tedious;
Richard II

Perhaps the case for some supporting actors but not for Michael Kitchen, who would have beguiled even if both Sir Ralph Richardson and Sir John Gielgud had left the stage.

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Trying to enjoy National Puppy Day on a day when terrifying hawks are foremost on my mind.

Viv finds a stray puppy at her door, and who can resist a puppy?

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Marking World Water Day with an excerpt of Michael Kitchen reading Roger Deakin‘s book, Waterlog:

From the Irish Times, May 5, 2001:

Swimming without a roof over your head has become a subversive activity, says Roger Deakin – and it’s one he pursues with glee as he breast-strokes, crawls and occasionally paddles his way around some of the UK’s more esoteric swimming places, from lazy ox-bow rivers to icy glacial lakes, from the balmy Scilly Islands to the Norfolk Broads. This is eccentricity elevated to an art form, a meditative hymn to the atavistic pleasures of water, which is expertly accentuated by Michael Kitchen’s abrasively English reading. It’s one to listen to again and again.

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Alibi Michael Kitchen International Day of Happiness

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No time like the vernal equinox to watch all the characters in Alibi spring into action!

Greg tries to stop Marcey from revealing all, but he’s foiled by Danny. Why does Danny have Greg’s car key, though?

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“Brookie” laughs at Foyle’s picks for the football polls, but true to form, it’s Foyle who will have the last laugh.

The random system may not be a bad approach to choosing a March Madness bracket this year.

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