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Posts tagged Darlinghurst Theatre Company
Photographing the arts: invisibility by design

There’s an inherent irony to photographing performance, I think - and, at times, to designing for the stage, especially for drama.

The ideal is, sometimes, not to be noticed; for your work, however complex or difficult it may have been to complete, to just be accepted as part of the production; not showy, or calling attention to itself, and jolting the audience out of the experience. If someone thinks ‘wow, what a great lighting cue that was!’ then it possibly wasn’t, because they noticed it. A truly great cue would be subtle, almost subliminal; and it would have the emotional impact that moment required, without necessarily being detected by the audience.

And so it is with photography - the ideal is for the camera, and the photographer, to be completely invisible - both to the performers on stage, and equally to the person viewing the photos later - and for the images to be a clear portal into the production, in a sense.

So, ironically, the better I am at not being noticed in the construction or design elements of an image, the more successful that image usually is…

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Photographing the arts: the poster / promotional shoot

I’ve written before about the range of different ways a photographer can be involved in creating images for a production; and in my other essays on photographing the arts I’ve tended to focus on the actual production stills taken on stage, so it’s about time I looked at the poster / promotional image side of things.

There are a thousand different ways to go about creating a ‘teaser’ or promotional image for a show, so this is just an example of what we did in this particular case; but for me, the overall approach is usually the same: get to know the script, the characters and their relationships, find out about the design & directorial concepts for the production, come up with some visual ideas that underscore elements of what’s being created, and (if necessary) scout for locations that will work for what we want to achieve.

In this case, for the Darlinghurst Theatre Company production of Once, my feeling was that connection lay at the heart of the story - the relationship between Guy and Girl (as the characters are known), supported by the community of musicians they encounter through the course of their story…

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Photographing the arts: how do I support design decisions through production images?

Six characters in search of a voice, Small Mouth Sounds is a near-silent play featuring a group of individuals sharing a silent retreat, the quiet broken only by the pronouncements of the self-declared guru they’ve come to learn from. But will they learn anything from him, or each other?

The play is as much about the baggage the characters bring with them to the retreat, and how each of them handles their own failures and weaknesses - or, completely fails to - over the course of a few days together. In silence…

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The Rise And Fall Of Little Voice, at Darlinghurst Theatre Company

I’m really pleased to be spending time with Darlinghurst Theatre Company this year - their whole mainstage season, in fact - not only because they do good work, but they’re also really lovely to work with. So it’s great to be ducking over to the Eternity Playhouse on a regular basis, all through 2019!

Our first production in this collaboration, which is on through 24 February at the Eternity Playhouse, is The Rise And Fall Of Little Voice - starring the amazing Caroline O’Connor as Mari, and the wonderful Geraldine Hakewill as her daughter “LV”.

Directed by Shaun Rennie - who I also worked with on Only Heaven Knows at the Hayes - it’s a dark comedy about finding your voice, breaking out of old relationship traps, and being true to yourself…

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Ride & Fourplay at the Darlinghurst Theatre Company

I've been doing a bit of work recently with the lovely folks at the Darlinghurst Theatre Company, who are based in the (amazing!) Eternity Theatre, not far from my office in Surry Hills here in Sydney.  

Their latest show, Ride & Fourplay, which opened last week, is actually two one-act plays by author Jane Bodie put together for the first time; curiously though, they feel absolutely right together...

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