Category Archives: theatre

Station to Station at The Barbican

I just filmed Pedro Reyes’ conversations at Station to Station at the Barbican for  The Lisson Gallery. South American artist, Reyes contucted a series of investigative conversations with a range of different spiritual leaders from Rastas to Shamans, over the course of a weekend and called it Spiritual Speed-date. This is Reyes with a Suffi Muslim and a Catholic Priest.

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Pedro Reyes with a Suffi Muslim and a Catholic Priest

Whilst there I wandered into Marcus Coates’ workshop area and took this portrait of him. I’ve enjoyed his artwork since I went to see his classic film…. CLICK HERE!

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Marcus Coates portrait

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And some of the others

Cirque De La Quirk at the Isle of Wight Festival

The Midnight Bakery were asked to transfer their unique combination of hedonism and circus performance to the Bohemian Wood stage and area at the Isle of Wight Festival this year. They had the entirety of Saturday to enthral festival goers with performance, games, magic, music and a kissing booth. I was employed to get the shots. The stage was perfectly positioned in a wooded area between the two main stages and was a pull for the more boutique crowd looking to escape the more conventional side of the festival (ie watching Blur with a pint warm cider). These are a few images that I think capture the essence of it all.

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Many thanks to all the hard working people who created this high level freakiness.

Cirque de la Quirk Portraits

Molly McQueen and Jackie Jibbles portraits

Molly McQueen and Jackie Jibbles portraits

I was asked to shoot portraits and document the performers at Cirque de la Quirk last Friday night. It’s the latest project from the delectable Molly McQueen, formally of noughties band The Faders. Her vision is to create a cabaret party brand that can traverse the festival circuit. There was definitely something of the festival atmosphere as the heady crowd (elaborately dressed in steam punk and burlesque couture) were bedazzled by magicians, dance-offs, hoop-girls and (yes of course) live DJ sets.

Wolfgang Guy Geuth portrait

Wolfgang Guy Geuth portrait

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Rob Voodoo portrait

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Party girls portrait

This fine event took place at the strangely named club/bar “The Stillery” in Camden Town. The word “stillery” is a fictional one and a bizarre name for a club space although arguably not quite at silly as its former name of “WKDs” which, in all fairness, really was a bit of a dive. (Remember being forced to go there due to the limited late night options for one last whiskey and coke?) What makes the name even more questionable is the fact that it suggests a distillation process has taken place on the premises at some point in its history. Given that it’s part of the monstrous Sainsbury’s development that opened in 1988 I can safely say that any notion that it was once a distillery is a self-perpetuated myth. Incidentally, the man responsible for this architectural blotch on the Camden landscape is Nicholas Grimshaw (the architect not the smug faced DJ) who I happen to know resides in the area. I hope he weeps each time he pops out for bread and milk…. *fade out rant, fade in thumping techno*

Paul Bhattacharjee R.I.P

Paul Bhattacharjee portrait

Paul rehearsing at the Tricycle in 2011

I’ve just come home from Paul Bhattacharjee’s memorial service which was held for a packed out house at TARA Arts this afternoon. Paul was not only a fantastic actor but a political activist and a warm hearted friend. Over the course of the afternoon memories were shared, often hilarious, often very sad.

I’ve taken several photographs of Paul in the past but this is one of my favourites of him. He’s in action rehearsing a one-off piece to mark the handover of the English PEN Presidency from Lisa Appignanesi to Gillian Slovo in 2011. It was a fundraising event for English PEN also featuring actors Ben Kingsley, Matthew Macfadyen, Bill Paterson and Harriet Walter. I remember being somewhat intimidated by this formidable line-up as I entered the Tricycle Theatre to document it. However, Paul jumped up to greet me and with this trademark glint in his eye and hand on my back introduced me to the cast as his friend. This ice breaker made my job infinitely easier and sums up Paul’s generous and egalitarian nature.

I’ve included a link to his obituary in his beloved Guardian HERE. What the piece fails to portray was his culinary prowess; his theatrical nickname of “Battery Charger” (like Bhattacharjee but different) and his unflinching devotion and continuing work with anti-fascist pressure groups.

So long comrade – your work will live on.

(This document of Paul’s acting legacy was available at his memorial – apologies for the stains which are testament to the ample amounts of pakora and samosas on offer)

Stoppard wins the PEN Pinter Prize 2013

English PEN just commissioned me to document this year’s PEN Pinter Prize at the British Library. The prize went to playwright Sir Tom Stoppard. I’ve been a fan of Stoppard since I discovered his early play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead when I was a teenager. I was impressed by the play’s irreverence, absurdity and its sense of other-worldliness – he complimented perfectly my teenage diet of Pink Floyd and beatnik literature. The 76-year-old gave an address at the event, which also featured readings from his plays.

I knew that I wouldn’t have long to take his portrait as he was in hot demand but I had sneakily set-up a single soft box in the green room and collared him as he came off stage. After about a minute the groupies descended on him and the shoot was disrupted but I had something to show for it at least. Stoppard then spend an hour signing books before attending a high brow dinner in the British Library restaurant with the likes of Antony Gormley, Melvyn Bragg, Trevor Nunn, Margaret Drabble, Martin Rowson, Antonia Fraser and many more.

Sir Tom portrait

Sir Tom portrait

Stoppard also announced he had chosen Belarusian journalist Iryna Khalip as the recipient of this year’s writer of courage award. The prize recognises an international writer who has been persecuted for speaking out about their beliefs. The Guardian featured his acceptance lecture HERE and used my photo.

 

Melvyn Bragg and Trevor Nunn

Melvyn Bragg and Sir Trevor Nunn chin wagging

The British Library resaurant

The British Library resaurant

Miriam Margolyes portrait

Miriam Margolyes portrait

Miriam Margolyes portrait

Miriam Margolyes recently read some extracts from Barbara Pym novels in the library at St. Hilda’s University in Oxford and I was booked to get a photograph of her in action and then take her portrait. The reading itself was superb and opened my eyes to the novelist Barbara Pym – the 20th Century novelist widely regarded as an overlooked great. The event was put on in close collaboration with the Barbara Pym society which is a very active and passionate organisation. After the reading I had about a minute to do the portrait but had completed an extensive reconnaissance mission earlier and was able to get her into position super quick. I used uplighting to accentuate her theatric demeanour. Click click

 

Miriam Margolyes reading

Production photos of The Domestic Crusaders at TARA Arts



I was recently employed by TARA Arts to do the production photographs of their new play The Domestic Crusaders by Wajahat Ali. Ali’s domestic comedy provides an incisive commentary on the nature of the American Dream post 9/11. I shot the dress the rehearsal the day befroe the play opened and nerves were clearly frayed. Its hard to get a good appreciation of what the work is like when your running around a stage deabting ISO’s and whilst changing lens but it did seem like an interesting one and great people has said great things about it:

“This play is brilliant. Moving. Shapely. Clever. Funny. And the cast is amazing!” Toni Morrison, Nobel Prize winning author

“The Domestic Crusaders is exactly the sort of theatre we need today. The gulf that separates cultures must be bridged and Art is one of our best hopes. I’ll be supporting this all the way – please join me and Wajahat in building this bridge!” Emma Thompson, Academy Award winning actress and screenwriter

“Wajahat Ali is writing about contemporary and essential matters, a source not only of laughter but, more importantly, of understanding.” Booker Prize Winning author of Life of Pi, Yann Martel

“The Domestic Crusaders peers onto the heart of a Pakistani Muslim family finding their way in America. It is a play at the crossroads of inheritance and discovery, with shocking secrets and penetrating insights. Go see this play – it could change the way you see your country, your family, your faith, maybe even your path.” Eboo Patel, President Obama’s Advisor on Faith

The play is on for a month or two at TARA Arts space. This is a link to the play on TARA’s website site is HERE

Production Photography for The Miser

These are a few of the production shots that I did recently for TARA – a South London based theatre company.

TARA production shots

TARA production shots

It is an adaptation of Moliere’s classic comedy, The Miser, and is transported from 17th century France to modern Mumbai and enacted in a Bollywood style. I was struck my the quality of the entire piece: concept, script, acting, set and music were all fantastic. The only problem I had was trying to hold my camera still as I laughed out load.

Instead of regurgitating the blurb from the TARA website I’ll give you a link to it instead HERE

Inspiring Armitage and Heaney

On Sunday night I was covering an event at the Tricycle theatre where the two poets Seamus Heaney and Simon Armitage selected 10 pieces of writing – verse or prose – that had inspired them. They were on stage introducing each piece which were then delivered by the actors Charles Dance and Jenny Jules. The event was a one off fund raser for English PEN, called Inspirations, and was sold out weeks ago.

It was a tricky gig for me as, unlike production photography, this was covering a live performance (instead of the dress rehearsal): subtlety was the order of the day although that is easier said than done. I was keen to get a least one charismatic image of Seamus Heaney – a veteran poet whose works I admire. Its always tricky to photograph live performance and actually enjoy the work but I did get a kick out of the extract of the Beckett play, Waiting for Godot. Just a few lines reinforces the fact that life is tragically futile yet the gentle simplicity of the writing somehow suggests that reason is restored.

 

Seamus Heaney and Jenny Jules portrait

Heaney enthralls

Seamus Heaney, Jenny Jules, Charles dance and Simon Armitage

Seamus Heaney, Jenny Jules, Charles dance and Simon Armitage present

Full house at the Tricycle Theatre

Full house at the Tricycle Theatre

Sameer Rahim covered it nicely for the Telegraph. They also used my photograph HERE