Photographing the King's: Industrial Change

King's photographer Anneleen Lindsay captures the large-scale change taking place at the theatre as the redevelopment project continues. 

In these three stunning photographs, we can see the breadth of change taking place at the King's Theatre since the project began in February 2023. In this article, Anneleen shares her observations with us, specifically her approach to expressing the sheer contrast and scale of her subject.

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King's auditorium © Anneleen Lindsay Photography

"My eye is drawn to repeating patterns in both the decorative architectural features of the King's and the contrasting practical technical constructions of the building site currently occupying it. Aesthetically, to me, the metallic colours of the gilt plasterwork on the boxes and of the shimmering silver of the scaffolding, simultaneously complement and jar with each other. It feels a bit like a spaceship has landed in the auditorium. A cool-toned, fluorescent lit alien structure filling a familiar space that is normally decorated in rich tones and under warm lighting.

As a photographer, it is fascinating to explore the changing sense of space and atmosphere. A room usually packed full of people, collectively experiencing a creative occasion, whose captivated imaginations travel together beyond the physical space they are in - is instead empty apart from a couple of builders and myself, doing very practical work. It is a very different way of being in the space and experiencing it."

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King's stairwell © Anneleen Lindsay Photography

"Standing at the bottom of the hollowed out shell of this backstage staircase, looking up several storeys toward the roof, was very disorientating. Having climbed these former staircases many times it was dizzying to see the gaping hole where they had once been. The disappearing ghostly traces of the old steps along the walls, and the doors leading to nowhere brought to my mind a famous picture by M.C. Escher called 'Relativity' - where multiple staircases defy the laws of gravity. The black and white of the stairs also made me think of his woodcuts and lithographs."

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King's new roof © Anneleen Lindsay Photography

"This image is from the end of last year, when the new grid level was being installed on the roof. This will be housed within the new flytower 4.5 metres higher than the old one, creating more space for productions to fly scenery on stage. I was struck by the symmetry of the beams of this huge structure, and the contrast between the industrial, mathematically precise form and the undulating shape of Arthur's Seat looming on the horizon. There are spectacular 360 degree views of Edinburgh from the roof of the theatre; I've included famous landmarks in my images of the construction work up there to provide a sense of context and the sheer scale of it."

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