After touring in Continental Europe Macbeth (ETG webpage) has finally arrived in Cambridge for the home run. They have received great reviews in Varsity (5/5) and The Cambridge Student (8/10). The Tab also has a review, but I have given up on understanding their grading scheme. I photographed their first dress rehearsal before the tour (blog post), which was a lot of fun but unfortunately we did not have time to run through the entire play. Things overran and we had to stop right before the big sword fight in order to transform the Fitzpatrick Hall stage back into a badminton court for the people that had booked it afterwards. The director Nicholas Hulbert mentioned that they would have another dress rehearsal when they returned to Cambridge, so there would be a second opportunity to photograph. I have been looking forward to their ADC dress rehearsal for a few weeks now. On the day of the dress rehearsal I arrived a bit early to also get a few behind-the-scenes shots of the cast preparing.
The second dress rehearsal was even stronger than the first one with more intensity, and the sword fights at the end choreographed by Bea Svistunenko and Robbie Taylor Hunt were fierce. If you compare with the old photos you can also see that Shanti Daffern and the crew have had time to tweak the lights, giving it a more refined look. Having the hazer on pretty much non-stop also added to the atmosphere. I have tried to give a short comment on each photo, with my thoughts around it and a bit of background.
If you compare these photos with the ones from the previous dress rehearsal you might see that there is more variation in the angles the first time. At both dress rehearsals I had the opportunity to walk around on stage for all but the fight and fire scenes. At Fitzpatrick Hall the stage was level with the audience, since it was just used for rehearsal, so I could easily move between the two spaces. Here at the ADC the stage is raised, and also a bit smaller, so I preferred to shoot mostly in front of the stage to get a bit more distance, allowing me to fit more in the frame with my 50 mm lens.
When photographing I usually have my white balance set to auto since that is the one thing I can adjust freely in post processing. For scenes with a very strong colour like here, where the blue channel almost drowns all other colours, I sometimes try and warm the scene up a bit to bring back some of the other colours, and increase the colour contrast. Much of what I do in post processing is about making the subject stand out more in the scene, be it with colours, contrast or selective blurring.
Avaunt and quit my sight! Let the earth hide thee!
Thy bones are marrowless, the blood is cold;
Thou hast no speculation in those eyes
Which thou dost glare with.
You lack the season of all natures, sleep.
The Thane of Fife had a wife. Where is she now? What, will these hands ne’er be clean?
My name’s Macbeth.
The devil himself could not pronounce a title
More hateful to mine ear.
Of all men else I have avoided thee,
But get thee back, my soul is too much charged
With blood of thine already.
I have no words;
My voice is in my sword, thou bloodier villain
Than terms can give thee out.
Tell thee, Macduff was from his mother’s womb
Hail, King of Scotland.
I really enjoyed this second dress rehearsal. While I was showing some of the photos on the back of the camera afterwards, Tom told me that there were a few times where he could see me move into position for a photo, so he had stalled for a second to give me the shot. Little things like that help a lot.
If you liked the photos, then go see the play, it is even better in real life with great acting and atmosphere! You can find tickets for the play on the ADC Theatre webpage. If you have a bit of time then go read Will Bishop’s post about their tour on Varsity and if you want more photos, have a look at the previous dress rehearsal.
Macbeth – Tom Russell
Lady Macbeth – Laura Waldren
Macduff – Alasdair McNab
Banquo – Guy Clark
Malcolm – Declan Amphlett
Lennox – Ed Limb
Duncan – Will Bishop
Witch – Rhianna Frost, Julia Kass, Kate Reid
Tour Manager – Harriet Webb
Business Manager – Joe Winters
Director – Nicholas Hulbert
Production Manager – Jamie Balcombe
Company Manager – Greg Forrest
Assistant Director – Isolde Penwarden
Education Officer – Marthe de Ferrer
Production Designer – Louise Banable
Stage Manager – Hannah Edwards
Lighting Designer – Shanti Daffern
Chief Electrician – David Wood
Publicity Designer – Emily Newton
Fight Choreographer – Bea Svistunenko, Robbie Taylor Hunt
Technician – James Murdey, Catja Hamilton, Kathryn Dodds
Assistant Production Designer – Charlie Clark
Dress Rehearsal Photographer – Johannes Hjorth
Publicity Photographer – Atri Banerjee