Actors are wonderful to photograph. Why do they make such good subjects? Well first and foremost, they know how to act, and as I discovered, that is the secret of all good people photography. Point a camera at an actor and they immediately go into character, assuming the role of the person that they are portraying. It made me realise that it is essential to perform for the camera, even if just being yourself in a still photograph.

"Equus - the nightmare"                                                    "Abiogenesis"                                                                "Bacchus"              

This picture from "Equus - the nightmare", from Peter Shaffer's play, performed by In Company Theatre was an idea of my own, shot at 2.00am after a late night performance. I often used long exposure and blurred movement to create different effects and here the blur of the horses adds to the nightmare of the boy Alan's suffering. "Abiogenesis" is an American dance company, here in their costumes as Gargoyles. As their venue was unsuitable, I took them up to the Royal Park and photographed on a granite outcrop. The image has gone through several neg-pos stages and solarised to darken the sky, ending up with this very striking apocalyptic light. The bust of "Bacchus" is one of my personal favourites. I was fiddling with the camera as the actor climbed into the cardboard box that formed the plinth for the statue, and looked up as he dropped into character, fixing the camera with this intense stare. It was all I could do to breathe "Don't move" and fire off the shutter - I just knew that it was the perfect image.

"Elizabeth"                                                                     "Heart of a Dog"                                                            Dramadillo   

"Elizabeth" is not from a production although it is from Edinburgh. We returned to our temporary home one afternoon, a large flat in an lovely old tenement block, to find the light cascading down the stairwell. Elizabeth, my daughter, is not an actress, but she does know how to pose! Double portrait is from Cambridge Youth Theatre's performance "Heart of a Dog". The members of the cast created the set - these two figures representing a corridor wall - a very clever piece of staging. The last in this trio, is Dramadillo, two performance artists and one musician from New Zealand, telling the story of the voyages of Jason and the Argonauts, acting out the mythical monsters encountered in acrobatic dances, with the most original music and sounds.

"Heart of a Dog"                                                       "Exit the King"                                                                       "Loot"     

Many of the images that I photographed were directly lifted from the production, but often the set or the costumes would suggest an image. Often this was just an interesting combination of elements from the production, but in this case seemed to encapsulate the entire play in a single image. My photograph from "Heart of a Dog" by Cambridge Youth Theatre did not occur in the production, but it immediately suggested itself to me, the dog - a symbol of the proletariat at the time of the Russian Revolution, turned into a man by the medical skills of the Professor - a symbol of the bourgeoisie intelligentsia, is returned to his canine state when he becomes too bellicose in his demands. His place is in his basket, under the heel of his master. On the other hand, my image of "Exit the King", works well as a photograph, but fails as an interpretation of the play. It is the king who should be fading away, not the courtiers. The picture from Jo Orton's black comedy "Loot" is also outwith the play - I caught one of the actors relaxing on the half built set during the dress rehearsal, but is a beautiful portrait of the character.

"Adam & Eve"                                                            "Puss in Boots"                                                                   "Sisik"         

The play RUR, which gave us the word 'robot', gave me the picture "Adam & Eve". As Rossums Universal Robots take over the world, destroying all human kind in the original technology gone mad genre pieces, the last and most sophisticated of the robots realise the immorality of the genocide and become the new heirs to a world in need of rebuilding, but a robot Adam and Eve rather than human. In Oxford Theatre's performance of Angela Carter's "Puss in Boots", the cast again formed the set - here the facade of a building which Puss must climb to the window of his masters intended lover. And finally, in Louise Tonkin's solo performance of her own play "Sisik", the stage is lit mostly by the light of a 35mm slide projector, throwing caricatures of her dead artist-lover's works as she recounts the story of their fraught relationship.