The Turn of the Screw

Yesterday The Turn of the Screw premiered, and earlier in the day they had their final rehearsal which gave me an opportunity to meet up with them and take some photos.

‘Do you believe in ghosts?’

Miss Jessel is dead. A new governess arrives at the remote estate of Bly to find two children of absolute perfection.

But as she grows to love the orphans, strange occurrences start to haunt the house. As the secrets of the manor are revealed, the governess begins to doubt if she can protect the children or herself.

Here are the photos from the rehearsal, they are roughly in the order I photographed them, not necessarily in the order of the play.

Isobel Laidler writing on her essay while the set is getting prepared, also doubling as a photo model. There is one flash to her right, and one behind her to get a bit of rim light.
At the same time in the dressing room, Rose is helping Helena with her hair.
Lots of hairspray.
Rose is really making sure the hair stays in place. The aerosol is backlit by a flash.
Seth lit by one flash from the left.
Same lighting setup, but slightly moodier by just moving the flash slightly.
Helena Blair as the Governess.
Natalie Reeve
Helena and Isobel, rehearsing the final scene
I like how Isobel’s hair is flying in the scene
Helena looking out the window at the auditorium
Helena and Natalie

‘How did she die? Miss Jessel?’


Running through the auditorium looking for Miles. I saw Helena’s entrance from a distance the first time round, luckily they were doing the scene a few times giving me another chance to capture this.

‘You promise me, he’s not here? Where is he?’

Candle light gives beautiful light. Just hidden from view is the safety person with the fire extinguisher. They take their safety seriously in the UK.
Rose looking out the window seeing something.
Natalie and Helena

‘Strange things, happening here and there – I thought, perhaps if I ignored… they might go away’

Back to the tragic scene again, they did it many times.
Rose and Helena

‘I imagine I’ll be the one to bear the brunt of it. She’s scared he’s corrupting me – and I’ll be forced to admit it.’ ‘Admit what?’ ‘Who knows.’

There was time to do a few more scenes. Here Isobel is now in costume, playing the boy Miles.
Helena and Isobel

When did you hear these whispers, at night – who came to you?’

Helena and Isobel
Running the scene one more time.

‘You can’t frighten me like you frightened Flora, I lied, I made it up!’

While this was going on Rose was having fun writing prop-letters for the play in the dressing room.
Helena and Isobel, and the teddy bear.
I missed the kiss, as they kept doing a blackout right at the end.

Many thanks to the cast and crew! You can find more photos in the blog post from our poster photo shoot.

Reviews: The Cambridge Student (8/10), Varsity (3/5)

– Johannes

Governess – Helena Blair
Miles – Isobel Laidler
Flora – Rose Reade
Mrs Grose – Natalie Reeve
Uncle – Seth

Production Team
Writer/Director – Jocelyn Major, Greg Forrest
Producer – Freya Sanders, Adam Rushton
Deputy Stage Manager – Jennifer Green
Costume Designer – Christina Maurice
Production Photographer – Johannes Hjorth
Stage Manager – Margot Speed
Deputy Stage Manager – Frances O’Sullivan
Publicist – Hannah Taylor
Assistant Director – Gaia Fay Lambert

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