Watch out for fixed bayonet charges!
The production shoot for the Royal Exchange Theatre production of Henry V went splendidly and I managed to avoid the pointy end of a fixed bayonet charge...just.
Shooting in the round has its own set of problems and one of them is the number of directions actors may enter or exit by. I'm usually very good at not only checking an entrance before passing but also keeping away from them when shooting. In fact I've found I have got very good at anticipating movement as I pick up on the tempo of the play, but this time I got it wrong. I was lining up a shot as Henry V was mustering the troops at Harfleur and I had, I can only guess, decided all were on stage when a crash and scream from behind announced the beginning of the charge... and I'm stood where and unfortunate French aristocrat would have been.
I'd like to claim I responded with a calm body swerve without interruption to shooting, in the fine tradition of war photographers over the ages, but I think I was saved more by the swift change of direction by the actor and a cowardly jump into the stalls by me. Regaining my composure resulted in a cracking shot of Henry V venturing 'once more unto the breach'.
Great play which has been getting some very good reviews.
Posted by Jonathan Keenan