Glyndwr University Performing Arts | Alice in Wonderland Production

I’m not crazy. My reality is just different to yours” – Cheshire Cat

Above are some of my favourite images taken from the rehearsals of Glyndwr Universities performing arts classes as they are preparing themselves for their Christmas show “Alice in Wonderland”. I had approached Jenna Brooks the director of this show and the performing arts course leader during my open day in October. I had mentioned that I wanted to collaborate with the performing arts department and gain experience by taking pictures of shows, rehearsals, prop making, make-up and set designs because this type of photography is certainly something I am interesting in pursing to a career. From there she was 100% interested in the collaboration and had said she’s wanted to do so for years. From what I’ve learnt it sometimes takes the first person to make great things happen. After that we had exchanged email addresses and she’d sent an invitation to attend rehearsals in the Terry Hands studios and then another invitation to attend a dress rehearsal in the Catrin Finch venue where the performance will be taking place in front of a live audience from 8th December till the 10th December.

Above are again my favourite images but this time from the dress rehearsal. What I loved most was seeing the progression of this show from rehearsals a few weeks before the show, then the stress on the week before, to the dress rehearsal where tiny mistakes were impacting the nervous of the main characters, to their last performance filled with enthusiastic smiles to then ending with a not so quiet drink in Wrexham and a sigh of relief that everything went so well. It was nice capturing this shows journey and the feedback for the images were great.

(Image above is of my name featured in their programme)

In addition to rehearsal photography I did organise some time to create a poster to showcase and promote the show with the help of the marketing director Christopher James Bawden. Jenna had arranged for us to discuss ideas and what he would like to see on the poster. From what he had said I believed it would be great to introduce the other film and photography students to this project and almost work together to create something great. I had mentioned the collaboration during a lecture and almost all students were happy to get involved and were already sharing ideas with me. From there a day at the studio was booked and we managed to collectively take great images of the two Alices.

The video above was simply made using my Gopro and it is capturing the afternoon we had taking images for the poster. Unfortunately these images were never put towards the poster because Chris made the decision to use an illustration on the poster instead of a photograph. Furthermore retrieving some images from students was difficult and I believe the work load for many became too much for them to continue working with the performing arts department. It was a shame because it was so much fun and the creative process and the amount of ideas was great to see however sometimes working alone or with only a selective few that are definitely interested is for the best. Some of the images were however put towards a mural during the shows so that the theatre students, friends, family and the general public could see the work that both we and they had done.

Lastly me and another student (Isabella Nunns) had arranged to do headshots of all the performers in the show in order to add to the mural as well. We had taken a time slot on everyones break and managed to set up a last minute studio. It was in there performance space. We had found a large white board as a reflector, black curtains as background and two spotlight lamps as “natural light” on the performer. In addition Izi had a flash gun on her camera and were ready to go. This was very much educational for both Izi and I because we were learning to think on our feet and to adapt to our surroundings. I believe we did a great job however we did have a few hiccups. Unfortunately no one had told the students that we were taking headshots therefore no one had time to prepare and make themselves look more smart. In addition many people did not take a picture and we did not know because there was no list of names of an estimate of numbers given. However we have learnt from that mistake and now know this information for next time.

After the success of this show, Rebecca Woodford-Smith a senior lecturer at the performing arts course had approached me asking whether I would like to take part in next years productions and she had shared ideas that she had in mind. From having that discussion with Rebecca I am now looking forward to May where hopefully I’ll be taking part with the Level 6 students performing an adaptation of Complicitie’s The Street of Crocodiles. (http://www.focuswales.com/arts_eng/street-of-crocodiles-theatre/)

Until then.. thank you for reading.

To be continued… :)(:

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