The final show of the 2018-2019 Altrincham Garrick Playhouse season is an adaptation of Andrew Llloyd Weber’s seminal 1981 sung-through musical based on T.S Eliot’s “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats”. It plays from today until Saturday and you can get tickets online here

I must admit to being a bit of a philistine in that prior to photographing the dress rehearsal of this production I’d never actually seen a prior production of Cats (though was well aware of it, particularly its iconic one-sheet of complete darkness, illuminated by – of course – a pair of gleaming cat’s eyes).

I used a double camera set-up for the rehearsal (using Blackrapid’s Double Breathe camera harness) and called upon my Nikon Z6 and D850 to get the shots below. It was a frantic and difficult show to photograph, mainly because the majority of action was set in darkness and so alongside cranking up my ISO, I used negative exposure compensation to enable a faster shutter speed to freeze the action.

The set-build was rooftops (instead of the musical’s original junkyard setting) and that, interestingly, was one of the provisos for the staging of this particular production. It was designed by the man who introduced me to the Altrincham Garrick Playhouse and whom I’ve known for many years, the brilliant Film and TV designer, Stephen Bradshaw


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