We take for granted the fact that both men and women have the right to vote, but there was a time when that was not the case. Her Naked Skin is a play by Rebecca Lenkiewicz that is set in 1913 at the height of the Suffrage movement in England. It tells the love story of Celia (Bea Svistunenko) and Eve (Claudia Grigg-Edo) during the sometimes violent fight for women’s rights. It is directed by Rose Reade, and depicted the hardship faced by the women who rebelled, the hunger strikes and force feeding. The play contained several strong scenes, but also very tender scenes as the two lovers find each other. For those that want to know more I can recommend reading the preview on the Varisty webpage (and the review here). There is also a post in the Cambridge Tab about the play.
I saw the ad for the play and thought it sounded interesting so contacted the two producers Josie Wastell and Hannah Calascione and sent them the link to my photos from Thing with Feathers. They were more than happy to have me come photograph the dress rehearsal. I like theatre plays, you have great light on the stage, lots of things happening and human emotions.
For this rehearsal I mostly used my 50 mm lens. It was a great focal length for everything that took place at the front of the stage. There were some occasions when I would have wanted to zoom in or out, but overall it was just about right. I arrived a bit early to get a chance to talk to the cast and crew, and get some information about what would happen during the play, if there were any particular things I should not miss. They excitedly told me about the steamy mattress scene, but forgot to mention a short fight scene in the parliament that caught me unawares. I shot in manual mode, which meant I had to stay constantly aware of the light levels as they changed between scenes, but I am getting better as it went a lot smoother than the last time.
It was an amazing play. If you have the chance then go see it. The show is running until Saturday May 17th (2014). It took me way longer to edit all these photos than I expected, but I enjoyed looking at each photo and then trying to make adjustments so that what the actors were feeling came through to the viewer or to enhance some detail in the photo that I thought was important. I did a lot of selective brightening and darkening of parts of the images to lead the eye to my main subjects. It was an interesting journey reliving the play in front of the computer over the last few evenings.