My thoughts today as I cast my vote in a blue county amidst a sea of red. The destruction of all that’s good in this country by ignorant, corrupt white men needs to be stopped.

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Newly listed on eBay, a press photo of Michael Kitchen as Dick Foster, who joins a biker gang in Hell’s Angel (1971), one of the episodes in the first series of BBC’s Play for Today.

Excerpted from a review by Leonard Buckley for the Times, Jan. 22, 1971:

So if your adopted son takes to a motor cycle as Dick did, and becomes a Hell’s Angel you will think him a cuckoo in the nest. Though with his anti-glare glasses and his rearing handlebars he looks more like a praying mantis. And if you are the rich widow, Cynthia, doting on your real son, Conrad, you will find him an absolute menace.

But these are arbitrary attitudes. You, your politician friend, Sir Geoffrey, and the others of your generation are all intent on your own selfish conventions. Dick needs love. You are lonely. Conrad is delinquent. But nobody really communicates. And when the Hell’s Angel and his companions beat up your stately home during the dinner party from which you have excluded him, you tell your guests that it is the gardener’s son.

This was an engrossing bitch of a play in which Mr. Agnew exposed the generation gap, the social divisions of our times and much that was disquieting besides. Katharine Blake as Cynthia, Richard Morant as Conrad, Michael Kitchen as Dick and André Morell as Sir Geoffrey sustained the unlikeable characters they were given to complete conviction and Angharad Rees as the one honest girl among the hypocrites provided the right sounding-board for our conscience.

The same generation gap and social divisions that can be seen in Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s Vietnam.

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michael kitchen the cage does no one ever read these things

Actually, I’m not convinced Trump can read above a third-grade level, while key members of his administration are determined to keep their heads deeply buried in the sand as they wage war against science and the environment.

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Couldn’t resist after reading Frank Bruni’s New York Times op-ed,
Sarah Huckabee Sanders Makes the Heart Grow Fonder:

…she dwells without evident compunction in a gaudier fairyland of grander fictions. There’s no panic. No squeak. Just that repulsed expression, as if a foul odor had wafted in and she knew – just knew – that the culprit was CNN. …Sure, every administration indulges in self-serving narratives and laughable spin. But this administration takes both to perverse summits, and Sanders is its mountaineer extraordinaire.

michael kitchen falling god what a dreadful woman

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Image source: the Michael Kitchen site

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From the somethingawful.com forum:

One of my favorite character actors is Michael Kitchen, now probably best known for playing Foyle in the Foyle’s War series, but he’s played villains, romantic leads, supporting grey-moraled characters, etc. and he always always turns his characters into real people living in the present moment. It’s like you can see him going through the process of making decisions (as the character), you can see him thinking and having mental revelations and shifting loyalties and all other sorts of dynamic internal processes that real people have in their daily lives. All of his body language and facial expressions seem like personal quirks of that particular character occurring organically in the moment, rather than gestures called for by the script.

I’ve never seen him be himself in an interview, and I couldn’t begin to tell you what the guy is like in real life because he so completely disappears into his roles and makes them feel like real, distinct, individual living people. Is he gregarious and charming? Is he quiet and cold? Who knows?

Also, take the character of Foyle for a moment — the character is emotionally very guarded and more cerebral. Michael Kitchen can be standing there with a poker face and (in-character) convey nothing, but to the audience, you somehow know exactly what’s going on in his head. He’s working on two levels.

Love this take on Michael Kitchen and his acting. I do hope we haven’t seen the last of his mastery on screen, as he seems to have vanished altogether of late. Wherever he is and whatever he’s doing, here’s hoping he’s enjoying a very happy birthday today.

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I’ve never been one for astrology, but there just might be something in it…

The Element associated with Scorpio is Water. As opposed to the ‘roiling seas’ seen in other Water Signs, a better motto for Scorpios would be ‘still waters run deep.’ Those born under this sign are as emotional as their waterborne brethren, it’s just that they’re not as likely to show it. – astrology.com

Astrologers believe Scorpios are ruled by their desires, but that their strength is resourcefulness, and that their resourcefulness allows them to control their desires unless they have a plan to achieve them. Scorpios are analytical and meditative, and ponder data to create a realistic plan; self-deception is not something a Scorpio does. The Scorpio is secretive and intense, though their careful approach to planning and action can appear as a lack of intensity. The Scorpio is good at hiding their feelings, which can cause problems in their relationships. They do not try to please others, and do not care what the world thinks of them. – Wikipedia

Scorpio: Intrigue Them. It’s challenging to seduce secretive Scorpio, and hard to gauge their reactions. A good first move? Take their hand and trace delicate patterns on the inside of their palm, let your body do the communicating. – How to Seduce Every Zodiac Sign

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Patrick Redmond Photography

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An assessment that continues to ring true today, especially with a divisive hatemonger and cretin leading this country, so it’s good to be reminded by former President Obama in his speech yesterday that “[we’ve] got to embrace the longer and more optimistic view of history…” in spite of “a politics that threatens to turn good people away from the kind of collective action that has always driven human progress.”

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Peter Hall was also co-director, albeit a mostly absent one, with Alan Ayckbourn for the latter’s hit comedy play, Bedroom Farce, in which Michael Kitchen was one of the six original castmembers. In this marvelous video from the National Theatre Ayckbourn talks of rehearsing the play and how all the actors doubted their own abilities in the weeks leading up to the premiere:

By the time we got to Birmingham, the cast was suicidal…

I think every single one of them, including Joan Hickson, the great Joan Hickson, and Michael Kitchen – wonderful cast – they all came up to me and said, “I know I wasn’t the first choice*. Uh, but, uh, I want you to know that I’m- I’m rotten at comedy. I’ve never- I’ve never liked doing comedy. Uh, and uh, I was so sorry, I’m letting down your play, and uh, I’m rubbish.”

*Ralph Richardson and Peggy Ashcroft were on the original wish-list.

Hard to imagine that Michael Kitchen with his superb comic timing once thought he couldn’t do comedy. It hadn’t occurred to me that Bedroom Farce was indeed his first major foray into comedy. Thank goodness the Birmingham audience went barmy on opening night and Michael Kitchen went on to many more roles that showcased his comedic talents.

(Also on the photostage.co.uk site, photos of Michael Kitchen in Romeo and Juliet.)

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Michael Kitchen acted in two Harold Pinter plays directed by Peter Hall, No Man’s Land and Family Voices. Reading about Hall’s lifework today, I was intrigued by what he had to say about the pauses written into Pinter’s plays and the difficulty John Gielgud and Ralph Richardson had with them. I wouldn’t be surprised if Michael Kitchen was able to handle Pinter’s pauses with ease from the get-go.

Caricature art by Sam Norkin listed on eBay:

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To Michael Kitchen’s eight minutes in an eight-hour series.

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That would be me if I were so lucky. I should have chosen to vacation in Siena, despite the heat!

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Bizarre and dismaying to be hearing about my home turf in Irish news reports.

Grateful to have been taking in the views from Mount Brandon instead of sidestepping violent, murderous neo-Nazis invading my town with their sick and twisted reasoning.

Only one correct answer to this question:

Milner gets it right, unlike the craven, despicable man occupying the White House right now.

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Not only should Netflix retain Foyle’s War, but it should change its cover art for the show to this:

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Nothing like a coastal cliff walk on a sunny day.

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Robert Hardy as Henry Beaumont in The German Woman


But that has nothing to do with Greta. Nobody in their right mind could possibly imagine… What I’m trying to say is that if anybody has a grudge against Greta, they- they simply don’t know her. Greta never had any time for Hitler or the Nazis or…










Henry Beaumont’s lying, and Foyle knows it.

Commemorating the passing of yet another one of the distinguished actors who guest starred opposite Michael Kitchen on Foyle’s War.

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At the alarming rate that far-right judges are being appointed to lower-court benches, it won’t be long before we lose a vital bastion against Trumpism.

From The New Yorker:

McConnell didn’t just protect a Supreme Court seat for the next President; he basically shut down the entire confirmation process for all of Obama’s federal-judgeship nominees for more than a year. It’s the vacancies that accumulated during this time — more than a hundred of them — that Trump’s team is now working efficiently to fill.

McC now has the unmitigated gall to accuse Democrats of obstructionism?!

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Dunkirk was spectacular and kept me on the edge of my seat throughout, but at a fraction of the budget and scale, the treatment of the momentous event in Foyle’s War was no less affecting, if not more…

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