Tag Archives: Pattison College

Richard, our Terpsichorean Delight: TAE Word for the Day


I know many of you have seen the above video clip before, but it never hurts to be reminded of Mr. A’s dancing background. This was from the Cats rehearsal at the New London Theatre in the West End in 1994, back in Richard Armitage‘s musical theatre days.

I wish the quality of the video was better; still, it’s a delight to watch him move (in case you haven’t seen it and can’t find him, Richard is the guy who jumps on the front of the stage in the beginning. He’s wearing a blue¬†tank top/singlet, leg warmers and his long hair is pulled back in a ponytail. Oddly enough, he’s also one of the tallest dancers. ūüėČ )

All this talk about dance is due to our word for the day:

terpsichorean: (adj) of or relating to dancing; (noun) a dancer.

From Terpsichore, the muse of dancing and choral song in Greek mythology. Terpsichore is the feminine form of Terpsichoros, meaning to delight in the dance, a combination of the Greek word turpein (to delight in) and khoros (dance). it’s ultimately from the Indo-European root gher– (to grasp or to enclose) which is also the source of chorus, carol, choir, garth, court and garden.¬† Earliest documented use: 1825.

Richard, who trained in several areas of the arts whilst a student at Pattison College, initially pursued a career in musical theatre. Eventually, our shy and retiring guy decided it wasn’t the right fit for him, all that razzle dazzle, and he enrolled at LAMDA to study acting.¬† Musical theatre’s loss was our gain. If he’d stayed in musicals,¬†I’d have likely never seen him and¬†would still have¬†no idea who the amazingly talented and versatile¬†Richard Armitage even was. *shudders*

Richard (third from the rear) as part of a touring musical theatre company of “42nd Street” in Blackpool.

Richard rehearsing a dance with Sophia Myles, his future “Spooks” co-star and fellow actor in the play “The Four Alice Bakers.”

He may not be a professional dancer anymore but Richard’s grace, elegance, flexibility and economy of movement still shine through in his dramatic performances.¬† Lucas climbing like a¬†sleek black cat¬†through windows, engaging in punch-ups with a balletic grace; Porter’s amazing dexterity in his prison yard fight with the giant, Guy’s delicious slinky stride through the castle corridors and much more.

Quite simply, the man is poetry in motion. *sigh*

Young Richard and the Woman of Great Influence


That's Miss Pat, founder of Pattison College on your right. Recognize the tall, lanky, smiling student in the center? Yep, that's young Richard.

A good teacher can make a great difference in a young person’s life. He or she can inspire, encourage and instruct about more than the subject matter at hand.¬†Good, caring teachers¬†can share important life lessons, too, that stick with their pupils long after they’ve left their classrooms.

The lady known to Richard in his teen years¬†as “Miss Pat” made¬†that sort of¬†strong impact on the budding peformer.

The following is an excerpt from an article on Annette’s site,
www.richardarmitageonline.com¬† For those of you who are educators who may sometimes wonder if all your efforts and hard work are worth it, know that it is. Who knows–one of your students might become as stellar a human being as Richard Crispin Armitage . . .

Between the ages of 14 and 17, Richard Armitage attended Pattison’s Dancing Academy in Coventry (now Pattison College), a stage school where he learned dance, drama and music.

In September 2010, the founder of the college, Miss Betty Pattison, died at the age of 90.

The Coventry Telegraph (25th September) reported her death, and quoted from a letter that Richard had written to her family, “I think it‚Äôs safe to say that it was the most influential time of my life and really laid the foundations for, not only my subsequent career, but also my character. At the beginning I was afraid of disappointing Miss Pat. But by the time I left I was concerned about disappointing myself.”

A memorial service was held in Coventry Cathedral on Friday 19th November 2010.

Richard was one of many past pupils and colleagues who paid warm tribute to Miss Pat, as she was known. Although unable to attend the service in person, he had recorded an audio tribute. He began by quoting from one of his old school reports from 1986, which commended him for gaining a distinction in his Grade 5 Speech examination.

A pleasing examination report. Richard has gained confidence, and should now widen his sights by doing more acting.

He continued, “Well Miss Pat, you were right, and the reason that this tribute is being delivered in a recording is because I’m sitting in traffic on the M6 after a day of acting at Shepperton Studios, where I’m lucky enough to be filming Captain America. But I wouldn’t be doing that if it hadn’t been for your school report.

“Miss Pat, you were the most influential teacher I ever had, apart from my parents. You didn’t just teach me to sing, dance and act, but you gave me discipline, self-respect, tenacity and stamina. I feel very privileged to have been one of your students.


“From the freezing kitchen on a winter morning at Beechhurst, forcing down lumpy porridge, to the opening night in Showboat at the Butts Theatre, speeding up the motorway, terrified of your driving, to demonstrate the IDTA syllabus, passing my own driving test, my A levels, my cello exams – you made sure it was all there.

“And on behalf of myself, and all the other students you have nurtured over the years: thank you.”

He finished, “Oh, and by the way – you still owe me six quid for playing an elf in The Hobbit at the Alex Theatre in Birmingham, in… I think it was November 1986. But we’ll call it quits.”

He then read an extract from An American in Paris, one of her favourite musicals.

”]Cover of "An American in Paris [Blu-ray]&...