Sollocks yourself!

I arrived this evening in Cambridge and half an hour later I was at King’s College to do a photoshoot with Bethan Davidson and Will Bishop for Private Lives. Director Sasha Brooks was also there for the first bit, but had to leave after a while. We recruited an unsuspecting thespian to help with the flash, I am not sure Catherine Foot realised what she signed up for. The photos here are loosely based on the play.

We did not have much in the form of set design ready, so instead we cleared out a part of the room at King’s and took out the flash to create some nice light and shadows. Here a dance from the play with Will and Beth. Sasha helping with the flash.
Elyot Chase (Will) and Amanda Prynne (Beth) seem to have a very dynamic relationship, going from seductive dancing to despair and fighting.
Robbie Taylor Hunt has done a great job with the fight choreography.
Here we wanted to play a bit with silhouettes. So the flash is aimed at the wall in the background, we have a snoot on it to restrict the light cone. In post processing I decided to brighten it so we could see more of Will and Beth.
A test photo. I like the framing with the door. Because I was shooting from a low angle the perspective was distorted, so tried to correct that using one of the warp functions in photoshop.
Sasha had to leave, which left us without a flasher. There was a floor lamp that we spotted in a corner, so we moved it out centre stage. Note how the heads are positioned to get a bit of light on their faces.
Unscripted lightsaber fight scene — or well, not quite, but that was what it looked like in our minds.
Action! The tables are turned.
A shift of mood. I have been experimenting with lower contrast editing in these photos as you might have noticed. There saturations of the yellow and orange are reduced, and there is a hint of green or blue toning added in the shadows.
You can use a lamp for many things, a bit of pole dancing?
Next we tried for a deliberately more staged photo again. Here we placed the lamp by Beth in the background to illuminate her, but that left Will in the shadows. Luckily the room was booked for a cancelled audition, so some of the auditionéers who did not know about the cancellation showed up. We recruited one of them, Catherine Foot, to help us with the flash. Cat is standing to the left with the flash.
A bit more dancing. Here Cat has climbed up on a table to the left, to give us a higher angle for the flash.
Shadows! We decided to play a bit more with them.
Cat likes rugby, so before she left we decided to include her in one of the photos.
With Cat gone, we placed the flash on the floor for this shot.
A portrait of Bethan Davidson. Will is standing to the left with the flash. The idea was originally to get his shadow profile on Beth’s face, but aiming it was tricky.
Private lives.
Will and Beth play a couple that used to be married, but then finds each other again. “Pretend that you are being busted.”
I like the contrast between Will’s and Beth’s expressions.

It was a really fun evening, and a great start to this Cambridge visit. Looking forward to seeing the full play later! Many thanks to Will, Beth, Sasha and Cat!

For more theatre photos, see the theatre tag on the blog.

– Johannes


Amanda Prynne – Bethan Davidson
Elyot Chase – Will Bishop
Victor Prynne – Tom Chamberlain
Sibyl Chase – Eleanor Mack

Production Team
Director – Sasha Brooks
Assistant Director – Sarah Stacey
Producer – Sebastian Constantine
Publicity Designer – Jordan Mitchell
Fight Choreographer – Robbie Taylor Hunt
Lighting & Sound Designer – Peter Lotts
Stage Manager – Kate Stevenson
Set Designer – Kate Stevenson
Costume Designer – Freddie Cooke

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