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He turned to film and television roles when he noticed that leading stage roles went to actors with name recognition who could bring in patrons to fill venues.After twelve years away and having earned that name recognition, Armitage returned to the stage in 2014 taking his first leading role in a major production.Returning to England, he pursued a career in musical theatre – working as an assistant choreographer to Kenn Oldfield and performing in various productions, including the ensembles of 42nd Street, My One and Only, Nine, Annie Get Your Gun and as Admetus and Macavity in Cats.Armitage was also pursuing acting in dramatic theatre productions, including The Real Thing, Six Degrees of Separation and Death of a Salesman.



By fourteen, having secured a grant from the Leicestershire Authority, he successfully persuaded his mother to allow him to transfer to Pattison College in Coventry, an independent boarding school specialising in the Performing Arts so that he could focus on drama and dance.By 1992, he began to doubt if musical theatre was the right career path, so he enrolled at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) in 1993 to further study acting."I needed to do something a bit more truthful than musical theatre.Armitage never perceived John Thornton as the ideal romantic leading man role and was surprised by the overwhelming response.

Instead, he said that he felt personally drawn to the role, as his father's family had been weavers.

He played John Proctor in the highly successful and critically acclaimed production of The Crucible at The Old Vic, One of Armitage's trademarks is his baritone voice, which he has employed as a voice actor since 2006.