Since 2022, Anneleen Lindsay has been photographing all things King's Theatre, from its people, stories & heritage - to its current redevelopment into a fully accessible venue.
With the redevelopment project picking up pace - we're putting the spotlight on some of Anneleen's work - starting with her spectacular portraits of those working behind the scenes at the King's. In this article, she shares with us her creative approach behind each photograph, and what connects each subject with their chosen King's backdrop.
"Jim has been a scenic artist and a theatre technician for over 40 years. Most of this time was spent at the King's and he retired the same time as it closed for renovations. We did his portrait behind the paint frame, where theatre backdrops used to be painted, above the stage on the fly floor.
I wanted the picture to hint at the length of time he had spent in the building and so included the surrounding objects in the composition. The window to the side of Jim lets in the only natural light in the stage, auditorium and much of Front of House and backstage parts of the building. Many artists have a special appreciation for natural light and how it falls, so it felt appropriate to use this in making the portrait."
"Andy is pictured in the LX (Electrics) office, beneath the stage at the King's Theatre; a world away from the spotlights. This space was Andy's domain as Senior Technician and his selected portrait location. Due to the redevelopment, it no longer exists. The LX office was part-workshop, part office and filled with drawers of parts and wires. My eye was drawn to the personalised elements - 'I heart 80s' and 90s stickers and drawings by Andy's child.
This room, the Stage Door office and the tech staff's tea room felt like the heart of the theatre to me; used every day by the people who work there all year round. Many people pass through a theatre, shows are constantly coming and going, audiences are different every night. Many of the tech staff have worked there, daily, for years. Photographing them in their spaces was a vital part of my work on documenting the theatre as without them there would be no shows."
"Heather McLusky is a senior lighting technician and chose to be photographed in one of the Grand Circle boxes, stage right. Cloaked in red velvet and gilt-covered, the boxes are now used to support a lighting rig, traditionally for the privileged to get uninterrupted views of the stage. The views from the boxes aren't actually the best anyway - they were more for being seen than for watching the performance!
I liked the contrast between the gilt plasterwork and the imposing wires and lamps - where backstage creeps into the auditorium. Just off-camera is Heather's baby - she came in during her maternity leave especially for the portrait session, which I'm very grateful to her for doing!"