I have been working with theatre companies since the 1990s, documenting rehearsals and performances in order to help develop permanent visual archives of new productions, to support the promotion of the theatre's activities, and to assist artists both in the development of their roles and in their own promotion through personal websites.
Cumbria Opera Group - Don Giovanni
Cumbria Opera Group has brought a new production in English (translation by Joe Davies) of Mozart and Da Ponte’s masterpiece Don Giovanni. The performance features an all-star cast from Glyndebourne, Garsington and the Royal Opera House and an outstanding chamber orchestra. It's an amazing achievement to be able to present such a sharp, musical and moving production to Cumbria. I'd recommend anyone able to make it to Grange-over-Sands this weekend to book a ticket. Photos of the performance can be found at Mozart's Don Giovanni.
Cumbria Opera Group - La Voix Humaine / Frauenliebe und Leben
Jonathan Danciger’s production of Poulenc’s 'La Voix Humaine', stars Sofia Kirwan-Baez and is accompanied by Alex Norton. Danciger’s radical take on Poulenc's one-woman masterpiece comes to the Cumbria Opera Festival, paired with a staged version of Schumann’s 'Frauenliebe und leben'. Linked by themes of isolation, loneliness, and love, these two masterpieces combine to create a fascinating evening.
Cumbria Opera Group - Swallows and Armenians
The World Premier of Swallows and Armenians took place at Battlebarrow House Gardens, Appleby, over two beautifully sunny days in early July. The actor/musician production was directed by Persia Babayan-Taylor. Swallows and Armenians explores the relationship between the Altounyan family of Aleppo and Coniston and Arthur Ransome - who went on to write the classic children's adventure book, Swallows and Amazons. The performance took place in the garden of a Victorian mansion built in 1860 in the gothic style by a prominent Appleby family who Beatrix Potter visited regularly with her husband William Heelis. If you'd like to see more pictures from the dress rehearsal, go to Swallows & Armenians.
Cumbria Opera Group - Cosi fan tutte
Cumbria Opera Group's performance of Cosi fan tutte was a sell-out success, and deservedly so. It was such a good evening, with the only possible reason for regret being there could be so few performances after all the work that had been put in. I hope the images here give you something to remember the show by if you were there - and a reason for booking next year (when the Opera comes back to Cumbria) if you weren't! For more photos go to Cosi fan Tutte.
Cumbria Opera Group - rehearsal / workshop
After a long long time it's been good to start to work with music theatre again. Cumbria Opera Group was established in 2016 and is the organisation behind this year's Cumbria Opera Festival. I've been documenting two productions, a double bill of chamber opera's by Leonard Bernstein (Trouble in Tahiti) and Samuel Barber (A hand of Bridge), and Mozart's Cosi fan Tutte. Images from the workshop / rehearsals for the chamber operas can be seen at: Trouble in Tahiti and A hand of Bridge.
Teatr Lalka - Warsaw
Teatr Lalka is Poland's leading theatre for puppets and humans. It was originally established in Samarkand as the Blue Almonds Polish Puppet Theatre by Janina Kilian-Stanisłaska, one of a group of Polish artists deported to the Soviet Union after World War II. In 1950 the company had returned to Poland and eventually won the support of the post-war Polish State with the new name of Teatr Lalka. It is now based in Warsaw's Palace of Culture and is currently directed by Jarosław Kilian, who is also the author of the new production The Fine Greenbird which is documented here.
A theatrical tale of betrayal, hatred, and
a quest for lost happiness. Based on
a story by Italo Calvino, Jarosław Kilian's new text
brings together supernatural beings, spells and
curses, miracles and wonders, and
a mysterious green bird.
With live music composed by Grzegorz Turnau it's a
magical experience. For more images go to
The Fine Greenbird at Teatr Lalka. The cast
list for this production is:
Michał Burbo, Alicja Czerniewicz, Beata Duda-Perzyna, Aneta Harasimczuk, Aneta Jucejko-Pałęcka, Wojciech Pałęcki, Andrzej Perzyna, Anna Porusiło-Dużyńska, Olga Ryl-Krystianowska, Wojciech Słupiński
Opera Up Close
I've been involved in projects with Opera Up Close since 2008 and have covered all their new productions during this period. Working with the company both extensively and intensively has created great mutual trust and made possible an unprecedentedly intimate documentation.
A pitch perfect new English language production of Donizetti's Mary Queen of Scots (libretto by Robin Norton-Hale) will be touring the UK during 2019. Staged in historic sites such as the Elizebethan Old Church in Stoke Newington and Glastonbury Abbey, this is a great opportunity to get to know a rarely performed but very accessible work. For more photos from the rehearsal cycle go to Mary Queen of Scots - Rehearsals.
OperaUpClose return to Soho Theatre with this bold new take on a classic. With magic supplied by Glyn Maxwell’s mischievous poetry, Alex Beetschen’s witty orchestration and Valentina Ceschi’s theatrical creativity, this production re-invents The Magic Flute in fabulous new robes for the era of Trump and recessions. For more photos, go to The Magic Flute - Dress Rehearsal
The preparation for Magic Flute took place during August / September 2017. To see more of the rehearsal images go to The Magic Flute - preparation
Their most recent production is the Poulenc / Gide opera La Voix Humaine. This is a glorious one-hander for soprano Sarah Minns. For more images from the piece go to La Voix Humaine, at King's Place.
The production of La Traviata shown here opened to critical acclaim in London at the Soho Theatre, and has gone on to be toured nationally and internationally.
Bitter Pill Theatre Company
Bitter Pill is based in London and is committed to socially engaged theatre. The company has worked with a number of theatres in London including the King's Head, Tristan Bates and the Tabard as well as Xavier Project, a Nairobi based charity. An earlier production: Big Brother Blitzkrieg, is also featured below.
This is the first London production in 80 years of the classic refugee drama The Melting Pot by Israel Zangill. For images of the final rehearsal, see: The Melting Pot at the Finborough Theatre
Amici Dance Theatre Company
Amici is a unique dance theatre company integrating able-bodied & disabled artists and performers. Founded by Wolfgang Stange in 1980, its productions and workshops have had a major impact world-wide, challenging conventional attitudes about disability and the arts.
Amici returned to the Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith for a reprise of their productions Tightrope and 35 Amici Drive. These rehearsal images give a sense of what makes Amici such a special company. To see more, go to Amici Dance Theatre Company, Rehearsal.
King's Head Theatre, Islington, London
Since 2007 I've worked in close cooperation with the King's Head Theatre in Islington. This colloboration has enabled me to build a unique comprehensive documentations of new productions; a resource which has proved to be invaluable for promotional purposes, and which also provides an archive of seminal work.
This new production by Paul Higgins of Puccini's Madam Butterfly continues the King's Head Theatre Company's highly acclaimed opera series. Innovative and moving, this re-telling brings Yokahama to Islington. More images can be seen at Madam Butterfly at the King's Head.
Big Brother Blitzkrieg - Bitter Pill Theatre company's production of Hew Rous Eyre & Max Elton's new play puts Adolf Hitler in the Big Brother House and leads to some unexpected outcomes..
Christie in Love - a new Rough Haired Pointer production of Howard Brenton's 1969 play exploring the character and motivation of the mass murderer John Christie
Trainspotting - a co-production with In Your Face Theatre.
Teatr Polski, Warsaw
I worked regularly with Teatr Polski, Warsaw between 2002 and 2006, mainly as a cooperation with its then Artistic Director, Jarek Kilian. The images here are from Kordian (Dir. Tomasz Borkowski), a renowned Polish Romantic play by Juliusz Słowacki.
EARLIER WORK: If you would like to see earlier work in this area please visit my archived web site