Skip to content

Posts from the ‘Theatre’ Category

Rehearsing Plays at Heidelberg Theatre Company

Today is my quiet day, thought I would show you the latest photos of the play I have been taking down at Heidelberg Theatre Company.  I told you about the play a couple of weeks ago, it is called Little Murders, and you can go to the previous post if you would like more information about it, Murders with Some Drama.

I am just going to add some photos now.

Murders with Some Drama

Well, not real murders of course.  I have been back to Heidelberg Theatre Company to photograph rehearsals for a new play they are doing.  The director is Paul King, and for those that have been following me for a long time will remember that I have worked with Paul before and I photographed his play Summer of the Seventeenth Dolls around 2 years ago.  He has asked me to come back and do the same thing for his latest production, Little Murders.

I stole this from the website, I’m sure Paul won’t mind.  This is what the play is about.  Little Murders is a pitch-black comedy about an everyday dysfunctional American family trying to survive in the urban jungle of late 1960s New York. This is a city where random shootings, garbage strikes, air pollution, power failures and obscene phone calls are the norm. When daughter Patsy brings her new boyfriend home to this embattled atmosphere to introduce him to the family, his passivity in the face of danger leads to more conflict – and comedy. The play was written by Jules Feiffer.

LeanneCole-htclittlemurders-20140526-9569It was nice being back and seeing a cast make it’s way through the dialogue and trying to work out where they were going to go or move.  The director trying to keep his head as a million ideas are thrown at him.  This was taken at the beginning, I think it was the first time they were doing this scene, so Paul was talking to them about what he wanted.

LeanneCole-htclittlemurders-20140526-9612Sometimes the director just has to get up there and talk to them as well.  Help explain what he wants them to do.  You will notice with most of these images the actors have their noses in their scripts for most of it.

LeanneCole-htclittlemurders-20140526-9563One of the things that I also enjoy is watching the set come together.  Slowly over the next few weeks this will evolve into a lounge room with a dining room up the back.  Walls will appear, some will have windows in them.  The furniture will change. By the time the play starts it will look like a real room,

LeanneCole-htclittlemurders-20140526-9614One of the things I was really excited about when it came to taking photos was getting to see how the Nikon D800 would handle the crap lighting in a theatre.  When I’ve photographed plays before I had my D300s, and while it was a good camera, it was terrible at low light and the noise in the images was shocking.  I have to say the D800 handled it like a trouper.  It was so good.  I hardly had to do anything to them to get rid of any noise.  I started at ISO4000, but ended up at ISO2000.  Now that I have seen the images, I will probably do things a little different next time.  The above image stood out so much when I started going through.  It was so crisp and sharp, I had a look and saw that I had taken it with the 50mm.  I think I love how that lens takes photos.  It is fast becoming my new favourite lens, well for some things.  Maybe I need to consider getting the 35mm.

LeanneCole-htclittlemurders-20140526-9656I forgot how much fun rehearsals can be.  There is a lot to laugh about, especially as some things are done over and over.  You do sit there and just laugh.  Sometimes I get so caught up in what is happening on the set that I forget to take photos.

Paul wants me to continue going back to get photos of the play.  At this stage I’m not sure whether I will do posts on it every week or every second.  I will try and include information about photographing the play and how I do it, where I can.  Here is a gallery with some of the images I got.

Rehearsing All Dressed Up

Last year I told you that I was hoping to take some photos of the play August: Osage County at Heidelberg Theatre Company.  Well, I got to take some, but I didn’t get to take photos of the rehearsals and show you the play developing, I was told that I wasn’t needed, or something like that, whenever I asked.  This post is very hard to write, I’m afraid.

sc20130428-0466It is a massive play and the set is huge.  It was also, from the ones I’ve shot last year, the hardest play to photograph as I had no idea what was happening.  I have seen the play before, but it was a few years ago.  I never remember them that well, so I missed so much stuff because I didn’t know it was happening or where on stage.  It is probably the worst experience I’ve had photographing a play for that reason.

sc20130428-0176It is a good play, don’t get me wrong, I love it, and I know quite a few of you out there feel the same about it.  It has a strong cast and regardless of my feelings about photographing it, it is well worth seeing.  

sc20130428-0188Like I said the set is massive and takes up the whole stage, I don’t know how many other theatre companies would be able to stage such a massive play.  

Here are a heap of photos that I have processed for you, there are a lot I’m afraid.  

I am still trying to work out how to do these galleries and the photos are sort of backwards.  

Apparently there are still tickets available so if you go to the Heidelberg Theatre Company website you can book tickets online.  The play starts this Thursday.

I’m not sure what happened with this play and I think it will be my last play with Heidelberg.  I know they wanted me to do this so I could advertise the play for them, but I do feel a bit used.  I am quite hurt by the whole experience. So I will do it this time, but it won’t happen again.  I was really upset when I was there the other night and it seems quite obvious they don’t want me around, except when it suits them.  I could be wrong, but I can’t keep letting this happen.  So I know some of you enjoy the plays when I do them, but for now they will stop, unless I can find another theatre company who will let me do this.  

Places, House Lights Down, Open Curtain

Arsenic and Old Lace now showing at Heidelberg Theatre Company.

The dress rehearsal was great, and everyone who goes to see it is going to be well entertained.

This is probably going to be my last post on this play.  It will finish in three weeks and I think they will be playing to packed houses each night.

Photographing this play has been different to the last two.  Every time I went down I felt like a stranger, someone intruding.  I know I wasn’t, but the experience was nothing like it was for Summer of the Seventeenth Doll.  I got to know that cast and felt like I was part of it.  That didn’t happen this time.  I really didn’t get to know anyone really, I was just the person at the front taking photos.

I do wish them the best for the run of the play, though I know it will be well liked.

This is my last play for sometime now.  I won’t be doing the next play, though Joan Moriarty is directing the second play, and I think I will photograph hers.  I would really like to.  I think Joan is fabulous and her plays are always lots of fun.  I have worked with her many times, and she has said it will be okay.  She will be directing August: Osage County by Tracy Letts.

Arsenic with Canons

Last night I went back down to Heidelberg Theatre Company to see how rehearsals for Arsenic and Old Lace were going, and as the Canons are going back tomorrow, I wanted to see what they were like to use for photographing theatre.

This is on the wall out the front of the theatre.  It has turned out very strange.  I took this image with the EOS1100D.

I used the 600D for the photos that I am going to show you now.  I have to say that, while the 1100D is a nice camera, I really did prefer using the 600D.

It was great to see that nearly everyone has their lines learned and now they are moving into their roles.  The show is becoming very fluid and I found myself laughing out loud quite a bit.

The two aunts work off each other so well, and they are so cute together.

They are starting to use props a lot now, and the costumes are being fitted and worn.  Some are wearing wigs, and some wigs are being discarded.  Too funny.

More and more actors are there now, especially as the show is being run right through.

The Director has moved to the back of the auditorium and gives his notes to the cast after each act from there.

The cast listen to the notes to work out what they can do to improve, while the backstage crew start working on what they will need to do for the show as well.

I really enjoyed the play last night.  It is my first time seeing it from start to finish and it was a real treat.  There is lots going on and plenty to be entertained by.  I don’t know how sales for the tickets are going, but if you haven’t booked and are in Melbourne, I suggest you get in quick.

As for the cameras, like I said, they are being picked up tomorrow.  They have been great to use.  I would have loved to keep the 600D. Though I am curious to see what the other high end cameras would be like.  I have to say, if I were buying a kit for the first time now, I really don’t know what I would choose.

The Canons are very versatile, though, and photographing the theatre wasn’t great for them.  It can be done, as you can see, but there was a lot of noise that I had a hard time getting rid of, and they were very sensitive to movement.  I think that has more to do with the lagtime of the shutter, as my Nikon D300s has a fast shutter, and there is almost no lagtime.  If you wanted to shoot theatre, I think you would need to get a better camera.

On the plus side, for most of what I had the cameras for, they were fine.  They were very easy to use and carrying them around was lovely as they are light.  I would really recommend them to anyone who would like to start taking photos with a DSLR.

Nikon are, apparently, going to be sending me a camera as well.  A D5100, which is their equivalent to the 600D. It will be interesting to see what it is like after the Canon.  Though, I have to say, I have even considered selling my Nikon gear to try and buy the Canon. I will see what happens.  I would like to have the Nikon D800 though, but it’s too much money right now.  I need someone who would like to sponsor my blog, and pay me to advertise them or sponsor posts.

The Taste of Arsenic

On Monday night I went back down to Heidelberg Theatre Company to see how rehearsals for Arsenic and Old Lace were going.  One of the first changes I saw was the difference in the set.

It is starting to look like a real house now.  Still a bit to go, but it is getting there.  I hope the walls aren’t going to be grey though, such an unflattering colouring, the actors also don’t photograph very well against it.

There was another change as well, quite a major one.

We have a new person playing the role of Abbie.  Unfortunately Sandy has broken a bone in her foot, I believe, and she has had to pull out, so 3 weeks in Paula McDonald has stepped in to play Abbie.  She is a great actress, and I am sure she will do the role justice, we wish you all the best Paula, and a speedy recovery to Sandy.

The other person here is Mick Poor, this is the first time I have seen him at rehearsals.  He is playing the vicar, I believe.  There is still someone else I haven’t see yet, but I am sure I will eventually.

I thought I would do some backstage shots today.  Over there on the very right, in front of the stage, are David, Mel and Bruce.  Bruce is the director, Mel the Stage Manager and David is Bruce’s assistant I think.  I am sure if I have this wrong, I will get told, Bruce?

Another thing that I noticed, was that everyone, except Paula, were not using scripts.  It starts to get interesting when that happens.

This was taken from the kitchen door, this is what the cast see when they walk out the kitchen door onto the set.

Right back stage, this is what you see, steps everywhere.  They really do go all over the place.  so many steps for one play.

This was taken through the window over near the door.  It is fun doing this sort of thing during rehearsals.  I will do more back stage images for you.  I know quite a few of you like to see what is backstage.

The play starts in, oh I don’t believe, in two weeks, so if you are planning on seeing it, and haven’t booked your tickets, you better hurry.  Tickets can be booked online here, apparently they are selling fast, not even sure I will get a ticket.

I have processed a lot more photos and will put them up on my facebook page a little later on.  I also might put them up on the HTC Community Page, this is a group page so anyone can post anything they like on it for the people of HTC, the link is here if you would like to join it.

Bag Update

My new Tamrac Expedition 7 arrived today.  I am so impressed, so far.  I haven’t had time to put all my gear in it yet, but just from playing around with it, I am so happy.  It feels very comfortable on, and had so many compartments in it.  I know I won’t find some stuff, haha.  I will put my stuff in it tomorrow, and try to take some photos of it for you.   If you want to see which one I got, I have the link here, check it out.

I have to say one thing  I really like is that it stands up, by itself.  My other one never did.

I really do want to thank Tamrac and C.R.Kennedy & Co for their help and support in helping me finding a new bag.  They really do provide good customer support, something I totally believe in.

Let Me Introduce You . . .

. . . to the cast of Arsenic and Old Lace, opening at Heidelberg Theatre Company on the 22 Novemeber.  What do you think, so today, I am just going to show you images of the cast and the roles they are playing.

Abby Brewster played by Sandy Green

Martha Brewster played by Wendy Drowley

Mortimer Brewster played by Andrew Pennycuick

Teddy Brewster played by Chris Baldock

Elaine Harper played by Theodora Neeve

Jonathan Brewster played by Andrew Van de Gumster

Dr Einstein played by Alastair Rice

Officer O’Hara played by Andrew McNess

Officer Brophy played by Colm Carthy

Officer Klein played by Ryan Purdey

Mr Gibbs played by David Dodd

Right, Bruce Akers Director and David Dodds, left, Production Assistant

That is everyone I have seen so far.  There are still 3 characters that I have not seen yet.  I am sure I will see them along the way.  Last night they were rehearsing the second part of Act II.  I am starting to see why it is so popular.  I have never seen the play, but I did see the movie once.

I decided tonight to show you individual photos of the cast as they are preparing for their roles, I hope you don’t mind this.  Next time I will do more rehearsal photos.

I spent most of today trying to organise my classes for next year.  It is exciting coming up with classes for Living Learning Nillumbik in Eltham for the first semester.  I have come up with 6 workshop type classes, hopefully they will work even better than the classes this year.  I am so thrilled they want me to come back and teach more.