News: virtual exhibition of Simon Annand’s backstage photography to accompany new book Time To Act

New virtual exhibition of stars of stage and screen, including Andrew Scott, Dame Judi Dench, Cate Blanchett and Jake Gyllenhaal, backstage by legendary theatre photographer Simon Annand

The thrilling experience of seeing actors live on stage is under threat during the present Covid restrictions. Theatres have been closed and this new book – Time To Act – reminds us of what we are missing. Through the eyes of this legendary photographer we observe how the performers get ready to astonish their audience.

To celebrate the publication of Simon Annand’s Time To Act, a virtual exhibition will be launched on 5th October (TimeToActPhotos.com) showcasing selected images from the book; some of which will be available for sale. The virtual exhibition will be re-hung on a weekly basis until early November.

The publishers are making a donation from the sale of every book in the UK to The Theatre Artists Fund.

“We are delighted that £1 from every sale of Simon Annand’s new book TIME TO ACT will be donated to The Theatre Artists Fund. We must continue to support the freelance workforce who contribute so much to the theatre industry in this time of crisis” Julian Bird, CEO SOLT

Simon Annand has been shooting photographs backstage at West End theatres in London for 35 years. In these meditative portraits, often shot in the intimate space of the dressing room, he witnesses the focus and tension of world-class actors right before they go on the stage

Simon’s first collection The Half was published in 2008 alongside an exhibition at the National Theatre which has subsequently been seen in various other theatres across the UK including Huddersfield’s Lawrence Batley Theatre in 2019.

“Simon Annand is one of the most amazing photographers I have had the pleasure of working with. He is an individualist with an eye for the unusual.”  Dame Judi Dench

With an introduction by Cate Blanchett, Time to Act continues to explore the moments of vulnerability which every actor experiences before they go onto stage no matter how long they have been working. Amongst the over 230 images are insightful portraits of Gillian Anderson, Cate Blanchett, Orlando Bloom, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Sharon D Clarke, Paapa Essiedu, Jake Gyllenhaal, Lenny Henry, Anthony Hopkins, Andrew Scott, Josette Simon and Dame Judi Dench.

“It is as difficult to capture actors and creative teams in unselfconscious action as it is to arrest birds in flight [but] there lies Simon’s skill.”  Cate Blanchett

Photo credit: Simon Annand

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