Men in tights and other surreal and funny moments make for some great photographic opportunities in this also dark and claustrophobic play. Concrete Ribbons was only on for a couple of nights at Manchester's Library Theatre but enjoyable for its in-the-know references to theatre, TV and the many troubled highways of the region
Maxine Peake and Charlotte Emmerson contemplate their fate as the, soon to be, troubled teachers in The Royal Exchange Theatre production of The Children's Hour. This was a slightly complicated image to bring together. Firstly there is the 'problem' of getting the idea out of the head of the art director then pulling the various elements into one place. The bell jar was the wrong size, the 'school' was virtual in every respect but still more real than the surreal light emanating from the jar.
My bit was straight forward; set up lighting and get in some snacks for actors just off the train from London. Charlotte's four month old baby showed impeccable timing, having been the picture of relaxed ease, bursting into tears the second I started shooting. A team of photographer, assistants, actors and directors had to wait until feeding time was over. And rightly so.
The rest of the next day was spent briefing the retoucher. Re-briefing and generally going round in circles until we got to this image, which is actually pretty close to what I had in my head and I'm sure Maxine (marketing dept) also had in mind. A delight to work on.