A Midsummer Nightmare

“If someone had told you that tomorrow you would be wrapped in cling film in a tree, would you have believed it?” For Bethan Davidson that was just what happened, but let us rewind a bit and start from the beginning. Cambridge University Amateur Dramatic Club (CUADC for short) is staging A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the Edinburgh Fringe. I met up with the cast and crew yesterday to do some promotion photos with them. Sarah Stacey and Chloe Slattery explained that they were going for a dark and nightmarish midsummer night’s dream. We gathered at St John’s College at 4pm, and got permission to photograph there as long as we did not disturb anyone. The college were in the middle of preparing for the upcoming May Ball on Tuesday next week.

I can not remember if it was Sarah or Chloe that got the idea, but where better not to disturb anyone than by hiding inside one of the big trees on the college grounds. I half expected the porters to come wondering what on earth we were doing and then throw us out, but they never came.

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Katurah Morrish loves trees.
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Alice Carlill and Hannah Calascione playing two lovers both wore matching red dresses, which made them stand out against the leaves and branches in the background.
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This photo of Alice Carlill is one of my favourites from the shoot. We had staged a photo with both Hannah (on the ground) and Alice (in the tree), but something about the upper half of the scene caught my eye, and I snapped this shot before continuing photographing the whole scene.

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“Love looks not with the eyes but with the mind.
And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.”

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Tom Chamberlain and Bethan Davidson as the king and queen of the fairies.
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Tom Chamberlain and Bethan Davidson.
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Sarah Stacey looking up lines in the play for Tom and Beth to recite while we photographed.
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Tom and Beth share a love/hate relationship on stage.
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Reconciliation. Here I am trying to frame them with the branches.
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Eleanor Mack and Jack Needham. Eleanor’s character is in love with Jack’s, who does not want anything to do with her.
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Behind the scenes.
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A fairy love potion later, and the Jack’s character is now hopelessly in love. “What is going on?”
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Eleanor Mack found a patch of light in the tree.
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Beth getting ready for her big moment.
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In the play Titania goes into a cocoon, so we came up with the idea to procure some cling film to represent the cocoon. Here she is getting wrapped to one of the bigger branches.
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With the sun coming through the leaves it looks quite nice. You get a feeling for Titania being reborn. Imagine if the porters had showed up at this point.
Chloe Slattery and Eleanor Mack admiring their wrapping of Beth.
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Ronald Prokeš (as Bottom) and Bethan Davidson (as Titania, breaking free from her cocoon).

“That you have but slumber’d here While these visions did appear.”

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Bethan Davidson, Eleanor Mack, Alice Carlill, Katurah Morrish, Hannah Calascione, Jack Needham, Tom Chamberlain and Ronald Prokeš.
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Bethan Davidson, Eleanor Mack, Alice Carlill, Katurah Morrish, Hannah Calascione, Ted Loveday, Charlotte Randall, Jack Needham, Tom Chamberlain, Ronald Prokeš, Sarah Stacey and Chloe Slattery.
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Bethan Davidson, Eleanor Mack, Alice Carlill, Katurah Morrish, Hannah Calascione, Ted Loveday, Charlotte Randall, Jack Needham, Tom Chamberlain, Ronald Prokeš, Sarah Stacey and Chloe Slattery.
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Sarah Stacey and Chloe Slattery.

One thing I found out while doing these portraits was that my eye could not really tell the difference the reflector was making, but for the camera it made a huge difference. See if you can spot which ones of the portraits we used reflectors for.

Keep you eyes out for this play, and also check out the production of Titus Andronicus that are joining them at the Edinburgh Fringe in August. Many thanks to the cast and crew for a most interesting and fun afternoon!

 

Cast
Puck – Katurah Morrish
Bottom – Ronald Prokes
Oberon, Theseus, Peter Quince – Tom Chamberlain
Titania, Hippolyta – Bethan Davidson
Lysander, Peaseblossom, Francis Flute – Hannah Calascione
Demetrius, Cobweb, Tom Snout – Jack Needham
Hermia, Moth, Snug – Alice Carlill
Helena, Mustardseed, Robin Starveling – Eleanor Mack

Production Team
Co-director – Sarah Stacey, Chloe Slattery
Co-producer – Sarah Stacey, Chloe Slattery
Set Designer – Jonah Coe-Scharff
Costume Designer – Nell Whittaker
Stage Manager – Ted Loveday
Make-up Designer – Talia Robertson
Publicity Designer – Charlotte Randall
Sound Designer – Michael Davin
Lighting Designer/Technical Director – Ryan Watson
Photographer – Johannes Hjorth
Movement Choreographer – Lucy Moss

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