What a Gorgeous Theatre Photo

Changing my plans for today’s post because of this:

Unsure whether IG is showing up in my post, so without meaning to breach copyrights:

Photo: Graham Michael

*ooof*. Is this gorgeous or what. I rarely say that about photos in which RA is joined by other subjects but this one – I love it. This is quite clearly taken from back of the stage just before the curtain rises for the first scene, which Astrov shares with Nana. First of all – I love to see what it looks like for the actors as they are taking their place on the stage, Richard on the right, Anna Calder-Marshall on the left. Toby Jones isn’t really meant to be there at the beginning of the scene. I kind of find it telling/interesting that Anna is chatting with Toby there while RA is a solitary figure, concentrating on his own, undistracted, getting ready to be Astrov. (It sort of confirms the slight “loner” image I have of RA.) It’s an interesting insight in how individual actors approach their (daily) work.

Also, I find this is a beautiful picture in its own right, even without knowing who is in it, or without the information we can glean from it. There is the symmetry of the interior on the other side, the regularly spaced lights, the vague impression of the curved balconies. The soft folds of the curtain add some vertical lines, but the sheerness of the curtain almost make it looks like a soft vapour or mist – probably also because the fabric is slightly mottled. With the curtain backlit from the illuminated auditorium on the other side, and the stage in darkness, the actors stand out as silhouettes. And obviously only having been on the other side of that curtain, I had no idea that it was somewhat transparent – and the actors can actually see through. That is fascinating.

Like *any* good photograph, this one makes me think and wonder. What are Anna and Toby discussing? What is RA thinking? How aware of “the other side” are they?

A great image. Do go and check out Graham Michael’s IG. He has got many other pictures from BTS of UV on his stream, and there are some very beautiful images of the stunning UV set that are truly aesthetic in their own right.



31 thoughts on “What a Gorgeous Theatre Photo

  1. Yes, it is beautiful and suits the set. I love the lights like starlight too. You are so right about the postures, with lanky Richard standing apart. It’s a little unnerving to see how transparent the curtain is and that RA appears to be gazing out to the audience.


      • Don’t feel bad, there has been many a moment in Richard’s thankfully long career when things have been missed though not acting quickly enough (Urban) or in far away places ( NYC) so everyone has ‘ missed out’ I think.
        Surely it’s better to see a few photos than nothing.


        • Yes, that’s very true – having the photos is better than nothing (for me). I didn’t get to see Love Love Love, Proust and other opportunities. At least with having images and fans’ accounts one can imagine.

          Liked by 1 person

        • I try to tell myself that. But I have to admit that I also kind of felt left out or “over it” when there was much talk and many pictures of the Newcastle Film Festival showing of UATSC. Totally motivated by my envy, of course.


  2. This dream-like photo beautifully captures a glimpse into that moment for actors that is rarely seen just before the curtain rises. I wonder if for Richard, it is a moment of calm concentration, adrenaline rush or a combination of both? I also find it fascinating the curtain is transparent. That is exactly what makes this photo so interesting- the perspective the actors have behind the “veil”. This is probably one of my favorite photos related to the play.


    • Completely agree, D. The picture loot from UV is great, anyway. (In many ways, I find all the theatre stills much more evocative than the film stills we get – not sure why. Or maybe because the theatre photographers are more artistic?) But this one is particularly atmospheric. Definitely one of my favourites, too.


  3. Beautiful, beautiful photo, so dreamy and atmospheric. And top quality
    stuff for fangirls: I bet someone is already writing a fanfic about it.
    RA is looking art the audience through the curtain, and his eye is caught by…


    • He really draws the gaze – with his size and his stance. And only then do I notice the audience behind the curtain or the chairs in the middle of the scene.


  4. Oof indeed. His stance is perfect, expressing masculinity and as you say, loner-ism. The composition is great, with his large figure balancing the two smaller ones on the left, and the bright light in the middle. BTW we have watched the first two eps of “The Stranger.” We are being held in suspense (and with ep 2, growing confusion). It’s definitely got us hooked and Mr. A. is excellent in it. I just hope that some light is shed before too long…


  5. Quite excited to hear he is reading LJ Ross , I have read lots of her novels set around Northumberland.
    I am not familiar with this series though.
    Am sending you an email.


    • I really look forward to this audio book. I read a few blurbs about the character, and it sounds as if he is an interesting character with shades of dark. Also curious now about the accents…
      (E-mail received – will reply later :-))


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