Tag Archives: theatre poster

The Iliad

Ben Turner as Achillies at Lyceum Theatre
Ben Turner as Achillies at Lyceum Theatre

The Iliad – and the question of art direction

I recently shot these images for The Royal Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh’s production of Homers The Iliad. It’s Mark Thomson’s Final show as artistic director there and quite the epic to end on.

Right from the start I pictured a form of multiple exposures to show the main characters in not overly dramatic poses but also showing the chaos they create by the use of blood. I could see it in my mind but I couldn’t show it to the client in advance. Fortunately, Ben Jeffries, Director of Communications at the theatre, was trusting enough to let me try this approach. This is hugely appreciated! It highlighted to me the lack of faith I feel there can be in photographers abilities to bring their own vision to bear on a creative project that all too often can be entirely art directed in advance of any communication with the photographer themselves. There are times I feel it would be more appropriate to don a white lab coat in the exercise of ‘now copy this,’ style of uncreative art direction. The best course is a balance, bringing the ideas of the art director at the early stages of a project to the photographer to see how their creativity together can help create something greater than the sum of the parts. Often a final photograph is the best idea of a non photographer. I wouldn’t dream of telling a designer how to layout their page, it’s not my speciality. So why does it happen the other way around!

Poster for The Iliad at Lyceum Theatre by Homer. Ben Turner as Achillies, Helen by Ameira Darwish and Thetis by Melody Grove
Poster for The Iliad at Lyceum Theatre by Homer. Ben Turner as Achillies, Helen by Ameira Darwish and Thetis by Melody Grove
America Darkish as Helen in the Iliad at Lyceum Theatre
America Darkish as Helen in the Iliad at Lyceum Theatre
Melody Grove as Thetis at Lyceum Theatre
Melody Grove as Thetis at Lyceum Theatre

Nicola Daley as Hedda Gabler

Nicola Daley as Hedda Gabler

Had the pleasure of shooting Nicola at Hedda Gabler in the studio the other day. The production will run at Edinburgh’s Lyceum Theatre. 

It makes such a huge difference when you have a team on a project like this. I love it when the actors turn up with a hair and makeup person as well as with just the right costume. It means I can spend my time on the lighting and feel of the shot and not be running about looking for safety pins and hairspray! And having a talented actor helps of course. Nicola had no problem getting the intensity of the character across. The students on placement seemed to enjoy standing in for Nicola too, bunch of posers!

Actor Nicola Daley as Hedda Gabler for the Lyceum theatre
Nicola Daley as Hedda Gabler