The Half: Photographs of Actors by Simon Annand

Originally published on Thurs 31 March 2011 at

The Half‘ – a stage term given to the 30 minutes before the curtain goes up at the theatre. It’s got a special name because it’s a special moment, when actors begin to shed their own personality and take on the life of their stage characters.

It’s a moment that’s been encapsulated in a series of photographs by Simon Annand, soon to be on display at Scarborough Art Gallery and the Stephen Joseph Theatre. Capturing faces from stage and screen over the past 25 years, there’s glimpses of young unknowns from the 1980s – now household names – including Anthony Hopkins, Colin Firth and Daniel Day Lewis.

Annand’s unprecedented access offers a rare glimpse not only into a personal moment in an actor’s preparations, but also serves as a documentation of theatre history. Each actor is caught in the midst of their routines and rituals, preparing to transform into a new personality for the stage.

The Half is being held – appropriately – in two halves. The largest part of the exhibition is on display at Scarborough Art Gallery, consisting of black and white shots, moving into colour photography at the Stephen Joseph Theatre Gallery.

Simon Annand will visit Scarborough Art Gallery to discuss his work on Friday 20 May, from 12.30 – 1.30pm.

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