24/02/12 ' 8/04/12
For over 25 years Simon Annand has been given unprecedented access to the secret backstage world of London's West End, shooting everything from Chekhov to Panto. This spring, Idea Generation Gallery will showcase a stunning exhibition of his dazzling photographs, including shots from his 2008 book The Half, as well as a series of new and unseen images of some of the world's most illustrious stage actors. The Half or 'final call' is the half an hour before the curtain rises, when an actor is left in solitude to focus on the performance ahead of them. This world of preparation is intimate, yet Simon Annand has witnessed these intriguing moments that the audience never sees. Portraying each actor as a worker, his subtle, engaging and intimate portraits allow the viewer to see the physical and mental preparation that is required as the actor leaves their day behind, in readiness for performing on the stage that evening.
Annand's eloquent photographic style reveals the private time of some of the worlds best loved entertainers including Anthony Hopkins, Cate Blanchett, Daniel Day Lewis, Judi Dench, John Gielgud, Vanessa Redgrave, Jim Broadbent, Jeremy Irons, Glenda Jackson, Jude Law, Charlotte Rampling, Michael Gambon, Maggie Smith, Martin Sheen, Felicity Kendal, Kevin Spacey and Ralph Fiennes.
In addition to the works from his 2008 book The Half, the gallery will be exhibiting a series of new and unseen works that bring to life the flamboyancy of British musicals and pantomimes. Vividly striking, these works feature today's top performers; Amanda Holden in Shrek the Musical, Kelly Brook in Calendar Girls and Danielle Hope as Dorothy. These larger than life productions are at the heart of British theatre and have made London a landmark destination for wider audiences. Simon Annand's subjects revel in the success of musical theatre and his photographs have captured this thriving industry as never before.