Back to the Stage

All eyes on deck!

At one fell swoop, here are my images from the recent and brilliant theatre productions I have had the pleasure of working on over the last month. All Scottish and all highly contemporary in their own ways.

First up, Ka-boing, is Random Accomplice’s The Incredible Adventures of See Thru Sam, which just finished its tour in Edinburgh’s Traverse a week back. Take a gander at their excellent website and admire Johnny McKnight’s comic book flair!

 And for my inner teenager, at my inner back of the bus:

I was invited to Perth to shoot Horsecross Theatre’s production of The Odd Couple last month. A rewritten female version of the classic 60’s play and film. Sensation overload: with a really sumptuously 80’s set, wardrobe and palette that I literally didn’t know where to look! On top of everything the downtown NY accents and antics had me rightly tickled.

Finally this month I had the pleasure of working for the first time with my fabulous Leith neighbours Grid Iron on their proudction of The Authorised Kate Bane, which finished its run at the Trav last week. It was a really atmospheric and wintery production and has done more to get me excited for the cold months ahead than all the tinsel and jingles that characterise the start of the season. It was great to work around such an intimate set and I was more than encouraged to get “in amongst it” which, as you know by now, there is nowhere else I would rather be.



Continuing our winter round-up, here is a selection of some live music i have been shooting between here and Glasgow for the Skinny the last few months. 

Gruff Rhys @ The Bongo Club

Muscles of Joy @ Orán Mór

Gillian Welsh @ Clyde Auditorium

The Dirty Dozen with Clean George IV and Riley from Aberfeldy

Many hands

Make light work, as the proverb says.  Still the work required of this festival is only for the hardy. And hard work is not taken lightly.

It has been hypnotically fascinating to watch the machine of the Edinburgh International Festival come to full fruition. While I am only around as the photographer for the peak of action, it is easy to spot a year of hard work embedded in the frantic activity that is August. Artists and ambassadors from polar corners of the globe, full crews and sets and companies appearing in Edinburgh overnight by what seems like calm coincidence. As diverse a production as any one that appears on its stages. Diverse to its very core, it is easy to overlook the local hands that keep the show afloat.

Thanks for a brilliant festival.

Staff at the Usher Hall wait at the stage door as a performance closes
An instructor from the Nrityagram Dance Ensemble keeps time during a dance class
Wardrobe staff prepare the dancers point shoes behind the scenes at the National Ballet of Scotland

A dancer practices classical Indian dance positions at the Nritrygram dance class
Legendary artist Wu Hsing-kuo performs on stage as King Lear

BBC crew prepare the lighting for the Review Show with the Legendary Music of Rajestan
Wu Hsing-kuo and the First Minister of Taiwan

A Rajistani musician tunes up before a recital
Pyrovision fireworks crew prepare a week early in all conditions for the ultimate Sunday night display

A festival patron on a touch tour of 1001 Nights where visually or hearing impared are guided through a performence using touch and description
Melvyn Tan customises his piano to play a percussion duet for his performance

A performer of Ea Sola prepares the mat floor backstage before a show
Pianist Yefim Bronfman
 Shen Wei dancers warm up with slow breathing exercises before a morning dance class

A weaver at the Dovecot Heirlooms exhibition spins fine silk on a traditional loom
Sally Hobson, head of programme development with the festival

Jonathon Mills, director of the Edinburgh International Festival

Festival : on

 It has arrived! Today is the first day of the Edinburgh International Festival and it is time to get to work.

I want to get a series of posts rolling over the next month that show the tiny mechanics of this great Festival. It is a performance of sorts itself, simply on sheer scale, and i am looking forward to documenting my way through all the smoke and mirrors. Without diluting anything with words, stay tuned and Behold!