Updated: Mar 29, 2022
Paul PW Photography went behind the scenes of The Silver Bell - a breathtaking new play about love, grief, and trying to find decent sausage rolls in a universe that never invented Gregg’s.
"What shall I put this down as?" asked Alan Flanagan, the writer and half of the cast of The Silver Bell, which opens this week at the King’s Head Theatre in Islington. "Is it an event? Shall I put it down as an event?"
The Silver Bell is well and truly an event.
Co-starring Brendan O'Rourke as James and directed by Dan Hutton, The Silver Bell is an outstanding hour of drama. The two leads demand every second of your attention as they take you on a wholly unexpected journey through a complex and authentic relationship that's so recognisable yet completely unique. I almost forgot I had to work.
My involvement with The Silver Bell began at the start of February as rehearsals were underway. Alan had asked me to pop along to capture some behind the scenes activity and to get some material they could use for publicity purposes. No problem at all.
The main publicity photo, above, not only symbolises Alan's character Mico's role as a carer in his relationship - physically and metaphorically there to catch James as he falls - but goes deeper. Director Dan wanted a long exposure that gave James almost an ethereal quality. He's there, but also not. Mico is waiting to catch him, but when he does is it a dream, an echo or a glimpse of a future to come? We tried a series of exposures, as time after time Brendan fell into Alan's arms - acting is definitely hard work. Fall after fall after fall is not easy, but despite no tripod and no natural light we eventually found the sweet spot. With my arms wedged against the table and the lens set at 28mm, we got it at f11 and 3.2 seconds.
Following a successful preview run, The Silver Bell had its dress rehearsal on 28 March 2022 and I was invited back to take photographs of the cast in action. The show runs from 29 March to 2 April. You can watch a behind-the-scenes look at the play here, and you can buy tickets from The King’s Head Theatre's Website. Highly recommended.
You can book event photography (including backstage publicity photographs and headshots) at www.paulpwphotography.com.
Laid-back photography... taken with a smile.