Amygdala Wonderland

Yesterday I did a photo shoot with Sam Grabiner and Luke Sumner for the play Amygdala Wonderland. It is a one-man show written by Sam, starring Luke, that has been running this past week at the ADC Theatre’s Larkum studio. The set designed by Zoe Higgins includes 3 tons of sand covering the floor.

Not everyone has a private beach in their apartment.
The candle monologue. By shifting the candle a little bit left or right we can dramatically change the shadows on Luke’s face.
We ran through a few scenes, and also did some staged photos.
This is an interactive piece, where the audience got to participate. For example one of the audience members (here Sam), gets to play the piano while Luke sings.
Composite shot, with some of the different characters played by Luke.
The tape recorder scene, where he talks to his ex girlfriend’s recorded voice. You know, the usual. I tried several different angles, to make the tape recorder be more in focus.
A staged photo, here I wanted to backlight the tape using one of the spotlights.
We had not really taken advantage of the fact that there was sand on the floor. So this photo was born.
With small means they transformed the set to a night-time beach with a tent.
This is cold water. Here I wanted the droplets backlit by the spot lights. There is one behind Luke, and another one to the side to give him a bit of light on his chest. I changed the white balance to give the photo a colder bluish tone.

Luke’s acting was first class, playing lots of different characters, switching back and forth seamlessly between them in the scenes. It was also fascinating to see how you can transform the Larkum studio with all that sand. The Cambridge Student review gave it 10/10.

– Johannes


George – Luke Sumner

Production Team
Producer – Alex Cartlidge
Director – Jordan Mitchell
Technical Director – Sam Draper
Lighting Designer – Bethany Craik
Set Designer – Zoe Higgins
Writer – Sam Grabiner
Associate Director – Catriona Stirling
Photographer – Johannes Hjorth
Poster Design – Jordan Mitchell

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