The Witch of Edmonton

November 14th, 2014 by Helen

Shvorne Marks as Winnifride, Elspeth Brodie as Katherine, Eileen Atkins as Mother Sawyer and Timothy Speyer as Justice in The Witch of Edmonton.

Several weeks ago I went up to Stratford-upon-Avon to photograph the Royal Shakespeare company’s production of The Witch of Edmonton. Written in 1621 by William Rowley, Thomas Dekker and John Ford, and supposedly based on real events at the time, it tells the story of a woman, Mother Sawyer, accused of witchcraft in the village of Edmonton. Mother Sawyer was played by the excellent Eileen Atkins, and has received great reviews. The Observer said of her, ‘There is a marvellous offhandedness about her performance, of the sort only an experienced actor at home on stage would dare to pull off’. The show runs until 29th November and has completely sold out – an indicator of the quality of the RSC’s productions and appeal of seeing Eileen Atkins in such an intimate setting. Here are a few more production images from the play:

Ian Bonar as Frank Thorney in the RSC's The Witch of Edmonton.

Elspeth Brodie as Katherine and Dafydd Llyr Thomas as Cuddy Banks in The Witch of Edmonton

Ian Bonar as Frank Thorney and Faye Castelow as Susan in The Witch of Edmonton

Ian Bonar as Frank Thorney and Elspeth Brodie as Katherine in The Witch of Edmonton

The Company of The Witch of Edmonton in the Swan Theatre in Stratford Upon Avon

Shvorne Marks as Winnifride in The Witch of Edmonton

Eileen Atkins as Mother Sawyer The Witch of Edmonton by the RSC

 

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Beauty and the Beast

November 1st, 2014 by Helen

Production photos of Beauty and the Beast ©2014 Helen Maybanks

Last month I was asked to travel to Istanbul to take production photographs of Beauty and the Beast. It is an international production currently travelling around the world to a diverse range of countries including the Philippines, Thailand, Greece, Italy, United Arab Emirates and of course Turkey. I had never previously seen the show and I was very impressed – it has a fantastic score, beautiful large scale dance numbers and the set is a vivid extravaganza of colour – perfect for a photographer. The young cast were extremely talented, many of them had stared in the show in the USA. I shot two dress rehearsals, including one with an invited audience who were extremely appreciative. Large-scale musicals of the sort we see on the West End or in Broadway are relatively new to Turkey, but judging by the audience’s reaction they are becoming extremely popular. If you do find yourself in a city with it on, I would recommend you check it out.

Production photos of Beauty and the Beast ©2014 Helen Maybanks

Production photos of Beauty and the Beast ©2014 Helen Maybanks

Production photos of Beauty and the Beast ©2014 Helen Maybanks

Production photos of Beauty and the Beast ©2014 Helen Maybanks

Production photos of Beauty and the Beast ©2014 Helen Maybanks Production photos of Beauty and the Beast ©2014 Helen Maybanks Production photos of Beauty and the Beast ©2014 Helen Maybanks

Please click on the thumbnails to see large images.

Production photos of Beauty and the Beast ©2014 Helen Maybanks

Production photos of Beauty and the Beast ©2014 Helen Maybanks

Production photos of Beauty and the Beast ©2014 Helen Maybanks

Production photos of Beauty and the Beast ©2014 Helen Maybanks

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Henry IV at the Donmar

October 23rd, 2014 by Helen

Clare Dunne and Jade Anouka in Henry IV

In 2012 I photographed Julius Caesar, the first of the all-female Shakespeare trilogy directed by Phyllida Lloyd, and it was one of my favourite shows of the year. I was delighted when the team asked me back to photograph the second installment, Henry IV at the Donmar Warehouse. Like Julius Caesar, Henry IV is set in a woman’s prison and stars the excellent Harriet Walter, in this case playing King Henry.

Harriet Walter as King Henry in Henry IV

Cynthia Erivo and Jade Anouka spar in the boxing ring

From a photographer point of view it was an excellent production to shoot. The Donmar is an intimate venue and I was able to get right up close to the action. In this scene The Earl of Douglas and Hotspur are preparing for battle, but as it is set in prison Cynthia Erivo and Jade Anouka spar in the gym.

Shiloh Coke as Mortimer

Clare Dunne as Hal in Henry IV

The production is fantastic, as with Julius Caesar it has been one of the best shows I have worked on all year. There are too many great performances to single out, as all the cast are so good. It has received excellent reviews and I cannot recommend it highly enough. Please click on the thumbnails to see larger images.

Henry IV at the Donmar Warehouse The new King = Clare Dunne talks to the crowds Harriet Walter as King Henry Sharon Rooney as Lady Percy with Hotspur

Ann Ogbomo as Worcester

Cast members of Henry IV, including Ashley McGuire as Falstaff

Henry IV at the Donmar Warehouse

Jade Anouka as Hotspur

The characters in masks during Henry IV at the Donmar Warehouse

 

Update: The cast have released a single featuring Sharon Rooney, performing a cover of Daddy’s Gone to raise money for Clean Break, Justice for Women and the Donmar’s outreach work. Buy the single on iTunes and Amazon.

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Shrek the Musical Promotional images

September 28th, 2014 by Helen

Portraits of Fiona and Donkey from Shrek the Musical

During the summer I was asked to take promotional photographs for the Shrek the Musical Tour. These images were needed for use in advertising and marketing for the show across the UK and Ireland. Taking high quality images for a show like Shrek is a real team effort, and it was a privilege to work with such talented actors, costume makers, make up artists and all the other creatives that combine to work on a top musical.

The Three Little Pigs

Ugly Duckling, the Mad Hatter, Lord Farquad and the White Rabbit

photos of the cast of Shrek the Musical, including the Three Bears and Pinocchio

 

When I shoot production and rehearsal photography I use digital SLRs as they offer the best combination of quality and speed. However for advertising studio work I like to use medium format cameras which give both the largest and the best quality images. These were shot with a Phase One IQ180 which gives 80 megapixels. As an example, here are Princess Fiona and Donkey zoomed in, and you can see the quality.

 

Close ups of Donkey and Princess Fiona

When shooting in the studio I work with a team of assistants to get the best results. Ben Peter Catchpole was first assistant and in charge of the excellent lighting, Oliver Rudkin was second assistant, Alex Cornes was in charge of digital workflow, and I can highly recommend the three of them. Thea at White Dwarf Retouch did an excellent job of post production. Shrek created a ‘behind the scenes’ video of the shoot, so please take a look to get a better idea:

 

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Chris and Jack

September 19th, 2014 by Helen

Chris and Jack in the grounds of the BMA

Last weekend I photographed the wedding of Jack and Chris.

Islington Town Hall

The couple were married at Islington Town Hall in London.

The wedding of Chris and Jack

The wedding of Chris and Jack

The wedding of Chris and Jack

The wedding of Chris and Jack

The wedding rings

The couple had their beautiful engraved wedding rings made at The Ring Workshop in Oswestry.

The wedding of Chris and Jack

The wedding of Chris and Jack

Inside a black cab

After the ceremony everyone got in London taxis to get to the reception venue, the BMA House on Tavistock Square. Both Chris and Jack looked extremely stylish in their dapper jackets.

The wedding of Chris and Jack

The couple are originally from Malaysia but have lived and travelled all over the world. Friends flew in from across the globe to celebrate their special day.

The wedding of Chris and Jack

The wedding of Chris and Jack Waving to the crowds The wedding of Chris and Jack

The wedding of Chris and Jack

The lunch was held in The Prince’s Room. They had clearly put a lot of thought into the decorations and the room had lots of lovely personal touches like Chinese lanterns and sunflowers on the table.

The wedding of Chris and Jack

Chris gave a lovely welcome speech to his guests.

Chinese lantern Bird place name A guest enjoying the wedding receptionf

The wedding of Chris and Jack The wedding of Chris and Jack The wedding favours

Chris and Jack at the BMA

The wedding of Chris and Jack

The wedding of Chris and Jack

The wedding of Chris and Jack

The wedding of Chris and Jack

After lunch there was an excellent singer, the talented Vilija Leitanaite, who sung a range of songs including a beautiful version of Pasti, originally by Ning Baizura.

The wedding of Chris and Jack

The wedding of Chris and Jack The wedding of Chris and Jack The wedding of Chris and Jack

The wedding of Chris and Jack Weddings cards for Chris and Jack at BMA House The wedding of Chris and Jack

The cakes were made by Rachelle’s Beautiful Bespoke Cakes in South London.

The wedding of Chris and Jack

Craig and Paul

September 9th, 2014 by Helen

A portrait of Craig and Paul

Recently I photographed the wedding of Paul and Craig at The Conservatory at The Barbican.

Paul's mum Bernadette

Judy walks her son Craig into the wedding

Craig’s mum Judy and Paul’s mother Bernadette walked their sons down the aisle.

Exchanging the wedding rings

Craig places the wedding ring on Paul’s finger.

The wedding ceremony

Singing the register

The signing of the register.

The wedding of Craig and Paul

Enjoying the reception The string quartet Enjoying the reception

Enjoying the reception Enjoying the reception Enjoying the reception

Paul is originally from the US and his mother from Belgium so family and friends had flown in from around the world to celebrate the couple’s wedding.

A black and white portrait of Craig and Paul

A portrait of Craig and Paul

The Conservatory at the Barbican is London’s second largest Conservatory and home to 2000 species of tropical plants and trees. It was a great setting for some portraits of the couple who looked very stylish in their charcoal suits, Craigs was from Hackett and Paul’s was Charles Tyrwhitt. The cake was made by Victoria Bakery and the florist was Flower Fantasies.

The wedding of Craig and Paul

The wedding speeches

The wedding of Craig and Paul Enjoying the speeches Paul's Dad Jim enjoying the speeches

Enjoying the speeches Enjoying the speeches Enjoying the speeches

Rohit the Best Man

There were some lovely speeches including a funny and touching one by best man Rohit.

A black and white portrait of Craig and Paul

 

Sarah and Dominic

August 8th, 2014 by Helen

The wedding of Sarah and Dominic

The wedding of Sarah and Dominic

I recently had the pleasure of photographing the wedding of Sarah and Dominic at the OBE Chapel at St Paul’s Cathedral.

Wedding make up

Wedding make up Wedding make up Wedding make up

I started at the Grange St.Pauls Hotel where Sarah and her bridesmaids were getting ready. Dominic’s sister Katharyn did a fantastic job with Sarah’s make-up.

Walking up the aisle at  the OBE Chapel, St Paul's Cathedral

The couple were married in the OBE Chapel at St Paul’s Cathedral. There is no photography allowed during the ceremony but I was allowed to capture the entrance, exit and the signing of the register.

Signing of the register

The wedding of Sarah and Dominic

We were allowed to take some photographs with the magnificent dome behind the couple. We then took some portraits of the couple around St Pauls and on the Millennium Bridge. Sarah looked beautiful in her dress by Kathleen McKee and Dominic couldn’t keep his eyes off his bride.

The wedding of Sarah and Dominic

The wedding of Sarah and Dominic

The wedding of Sarah and Dominic

The wedding cake Table tennis The wedding of Sarah and Dominic

Laughing during the reception Looking through the giant Connect Four game The wedding of Sarah and Dominic The wedding of Sarah and Dominic

After the wedding everyone went to the reception at City of London School where the couple had arranged for giant Connect Four, chess and table tennis for their guests. The superb cake was made by Carol Mintz.

Cutting the cake

The wedding of Sarah and Dominic

There were some lovely speeches, including a very funny one by Dominic’s best man Matt.

Listening to the speeches The wedding of Sarah and Dominic The wedding of Sarah and Dominic

The wedding of Sarah and Dominic The wedding of Sarah and Dominic The wedding of Sarah and Dominic

Dominic smiles at his bride during the best man's speech

The wedding of Sarah and Dominic

After the speeches it was time for the first dance with a superb jazz band, The Jazz Bopsters.

The first dance

The first dance

The first dance

Dancing Dancing Dancing

Dancing Dancing A black and white photo of a couple watching the first dance

The wedding of Sarah and Dominic

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Matthew Bourne’s Lord of the Flies

July 15th, 2014 by Helen

Lord of the Flies at The Lowry

In April I travelled up to The Lowry in Salford Quays to take production photographs of Matthew Bourne’s Lord of the Flies. The show is based on the dystopian William Golding novel but rather than being set on a desert island takes place in an empty theatre. The show has received rave reviews and rightly so – it is a beautiful production, hauntingly tense with moments of great fun and even greater violence.  The show combines eight professional dancers with 24 new recruits in each city it visits, giving young dancers the opportunity to dance to a professional standard. Upcoming cities include Aberdeen, Cardiff, Liverpool and London and if you happen to be nearby I would thoroughly recommend it.

One of the young cast members runs onto the stage

Sam Archer on the shoulders of the cast

 

Layton Williams and other cast members in Lord of the Flies

Lord of the Flies

A yong cast member holds a spear

The cast of Lord of the Flies

Danny Reubens and other cast members

 

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Sikh Wedding

June 24th, 2014 by Helen

Arriving on horse-back for the wedding

One of the great things about photographing weddings is the opportunity to experience different cultures and religions up close and behind the scenes. I have shot many different weddings but I had never photographed a Sikh wedding until I was asked by Aziz Khan, owner of Muse Motion Pictures to second shoot for him. Aziz is one of the UK’s best wedding photographers and he has a lot of experience photographing Sikh weddings and so it was fantastic to shoot with such a talented and knowledgeable photographer. The wedding was in Leicester and with 800 guests was comfortably the largest wedding I have ever photographed. Aziz covered the bride, so it was my job to capture the groom and his family. I started at his home at 6am where the groom and his brothers were having their turbans put on. I then followed the day, from the grooms arrival at the temple on horseback, to the actual wedding ceremony itself (a very emotional time as this is officially when the bride leaves her family) to the reception which featured some of the biggest names in the Punjabi music scene and finally back to the grooms house. It was an amazing, beautiful, emotional and somewhat tiring day, and a big thank you to Aziz for giving me the opportunity to experience it. Here are some of my photos.

Putting on the young brother's turban

Putting on the young brother's turban

The groom putting on his turban for his wedding Putting on the young brother's turban Putting on the young brother's turban

The groom putting on his turban for his wedding

The groom putting on his turban for his wedding

Sikh Wedding

Portrait of the groom

 

Portrait of the groom

Sikh Wedding Sikh Wedding Sikh Wedding

Sikh Wedding

Sikh Wedding The Sikh wedding ceremony Sikh Wedding

The Sikh wedding ceremony

The Sikh wedding ceremony

The Sikh wedding ceremony

The Sikh wedding ceremony The Sikh wedding ceremony Sikh Wedding

The First Dance

The First Dance Dancing at the wedding Dancing at the wedding

Dancing at the wedding

Sikh Wedding

Dancing at the wedding Dancing at the wedding Sikh Wedding

Dancing at the wedding Sikh Wedding Dancing at the wedding

Dancing at the wedding

Sikh Wedding

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Lyric Hammersmith – Secret Theatre

June 12th, 2014 by Helen

Tour flyer for the Lyric Hammersmith's Secret Theatre

I was asked to take a promotional photograph of the actors from the Lyric Hammersmith’s Secret Theatre. The company is touring their shows around the UK and needed an image to give a glimpse of the five different shows they will be performing. It has been used on the promotional flyer (above) and general web and marketing use. The photograph was taken in one sitting with the ten actors dressed as one of their characters from Shows 1-4. It was lit using Elinchrom lighting and I was ably assisted by Sheila Udeagu. For those of you who haven’t heard of Secret Theatre I would definitely recommend it, it will be touring Newcastle, Edinburgh, Manchester, Leeds and Oxford.

Here is the original image:

Promotional photograph of The Secret Theatre

 

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