The Strip

This week the ADC main show is The Strip by Phyllis Nagy. The play is directed by George Kan. Yesterday evening was the tech rehearsal of the show, where they sorted out all the lighting, props and the different cues. As with all dress rehearsals there is a lot of downtime as things are getting sorted out, which means that here are photos both of the actors in character and out of character, goofing around, or expanding on the script for the fun of it.

We had a bit of time before the rehearsal started. There was a megaphone that Aoife Kennan (right) was playing with, which I thought could make for an interesting photo. So we went hunting for a friend (Hannah Calascione) and a fan to blow air on her. This is a backlit composite shot from two exposures, one with the megaphone and one with the fan blowing air on Hannah.
Rachel Bircher and Ben Breathwick, sharing a moment before the play starts.
The play starts with a pulsating disco scene, with the lights flashing on and off. It is really difficult to time your exposure so it hits during the flash, so I changed to a small aperture and a longer exposure time (1 second). Rather than trying to hold the camera still, I instead opted to spin it around. The strobing lights would make sure I got their faces and bodies relatively sharp despite the motion.
As the scene progressed the lights got brighter. Here are Joe Spence, Jack Needham, Katurah Morrish and Sam Fairbrother.
Katurah Morrish and Jack Needham.
Rachel Bircher and Joe Spence.
Ella Konzon as the mother who has fallen on hard times.
Sam Fairbrother and Ella Konzon.
Aoife Kennan posing for a shot between scenes.
I moved around to place Hannah Calascione centred on the pyramid to make her silhouette stand out better.
As it was the tech rehearsal there were lots of stops and restarts. In between the scenes during one of the longer breaks I asked Jack and Katurah to do a bit of acting so I could get a backlit photo with long shadows.
By shooting from a lower angle I could get Katurah to be the same size as Hannah and Jack in the background.
This happens in the play, but not really in this way. Taking some artistic liberties with the script.
Joe Spence with Tom Beaven’s silhouette in the background.
Joe and Tom in a testosterone fuelled arm wrestling duel. I moved sideways slightly so as to have the pyramid line up with their arms.
They did this scene several times.
Ben and Rachel, and the baby.
Ben Breathwick and Rachel Bircher.
Ben, baby being given away, and Rachel.
Ella and Katurah. I moved up on stage to get this angle of mother and daughter talking on the phone.
Katurah Morrish and Hannah Calascione.
Sam Fairbrother
Katurah Morrish and Hannah Calascione. The phone on the wall fell down, and we got a piece of excess tape which was put to good use.
Tom Beaven and Joe Spence.
Tom and Joe
The first act ended with a big explosion. We had one go at it, so I shot it at 1/3 second to get the light trails, putting the camera on the stage floor to steady it, with one hand flat under the lens to get the angle right. We finished Act 1 a bit past midnight, so there are unfortunately no photos from Act 2 and the pyramid and sphinx.


You can find your tickets to The Strip on the ADC webpage. The Varsity review of the play is up (5/5 stars). The Cambridge Student gave it 6/10 and The Tab (68/100).

Otto – Sam Fairbrother
Suzy – Aoife Kennan
Martin – Tom Beaven
Kate – Hannah Calascione
Tom – Ben Breathwick
Ava – Katurah Morrish
Calvin – Jack Needham
Tina – Ella Konzon
Lester – Joe Spence
Loretta – Rachel Bircher

Production Team
Director – George Kan
Producer – Chloe Slattery
Assistant Producer – Raniyah Qureshi
Costume Designer – Agnes Cameron
Sound Designer – Michael Davin
Publicity Designer – Ben Day
Assistant Stage Manager – James Lee
Set Designer – Jack Parham
Stage Managers – James Wright, Tom Hampson
Lighting Designers – Hope Chen, Bethany Craik
Technical Director – Ronit Wineman
Deputy Stage Manager – Cat Watts
Production Photographer – Amelia Oakley
Producer – Alex Gingell
Master Carpenter – Toby Molyneux
Trailer Cinematographer – Ben Day
Photographer – Johannes Hjorth

Joe Spence and Aoife Kennan.


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