Playing Up Theatre – Knives in Hens

Another fascinating play with an excellent cast. I’ve been photographing Playing Up Theatre for a number of years and they never disappoint. “Knives in Hens” follows a love triangle in pre-industrial Britain between a ploughman, his young wife and a miller.

Shakespeare Live – Taming of the Shrew photos and video

Shakespeare Live put on another fine outdoor performance at Lackham college in Wiltshire. This was the fourth year I have taken photos and filmed the play for them, always tricky given our uncertain weather! Outdoor theatre is extra challenging to video because the stage can be very wide and shallow, making it difficult to get a wide shot that isn’t so wide everyone appears tiny, or a side shot that is back-of-the-head rather than over-the-shoulder, but with three cameras and a separate audio recorder I managed to capture everything fairly well. Luckily multi-camera editing is straightforward in Adobe Premiere, so I can usually edit an entire play in less than twice the length of the play (i.e. less than 4 hours for a 2 hour play).

The above photos were all taken during the dress rehearsal. When I video a play I prefer to do so during a performance because the audience reactions improve the video hugely.

Playing Up Theatre – Death and the Maiden

Got to photograph Playing Up Theatre again, performing Ariel Dorfman’s “Death and the Maiden” at the Rondo Theatre in Bath. On all this week 18-22nd Feb at 7.30pm.

Kelvin Players – Black Box

“Black Box” is a collection of short plays, including one by Mat Rees who is a Kelvin member, and three by Beckett, all performed in a simple black box setting. I can’t say I enjoy Beckett but the coats worn by the three women in “Come and Go” are wonderfully colourful :)

Theatre Photography – two plays in one day

theatre photography

A tale of two plays. Last Sunday I shot promotional photos for two plays, still at the rehearsal stage.

First was for Kelvin Players inside their theatre, modern costumes, overhead fluorescents, backlit by daylight through high windows (the theatre used to be a church), with a double speedlight as keylight. I was taking photos while the cast rehearsed the opening sequence, with them all moving around the space in a complex pattern at various speeds. I set my light up, set the camera to balance my flash and the available light (mainly daylight) and spent about two hours capturing whatever happened that looked interesting – great fun!

Second was for Shakespeare Live’s outdoor Macbeth. For this promotional shoot we wanted the actors in costume but only two costumes were available (the others are still being sewn) so I had Macbeth and Lady Macbeth to work with. I found an interesting location in the shade (so my flash guns didn’t have to work so hard against the daylight) and we set up some poses.

Shakespeare in the Green Park – Midsummer Night’s Dream

Shakespeare in the Park, a group which performs an outdoor play each summer in Bath, is this year putting on “Midsummer Night’s Dream” inside Green Park Station. As the setting is Victorian so are the set and costumes, with including winged fairies. I was asked to capture some promotional shots during a rehearsal – the set was there but no lighting yet (everything will have to be put up/taken down each day during the run!) so I used a couple of my speedlights to add some depth to the scenes.

The production will run from 18th-22nd June 2013.