Curtain Call – A Year Backstage in London Theatre – new photography book

Gypsy, Savoy Theatre. © Matt Humphrey - Curtain Call (2016).

A glimpse backstage at the Savoy Theatre during  a performance of Gypsy, as taken by Matt Humphrey

A photographic glimpse behind the footlights of some of London’s leading theatre productions is the subject of the first in a series of new books.

Curtain Call – A Year Backstage in London Theatre is the brainchild of photographer Matt Humphrey and actor/director John Schwab. Inspired by the 40th anniversary of the Olivier Awards and benefiting from exclusive access backstage, the book offers a star-studded peek behind the scenes of nearly 60 London theatre productions from the 2015/2016 season.

International names including Nicole Kidman, Kristin Scott Thomas, Damian Lewis, Imelda Staunton and Mark Strong are among the performers featured in a collection of stunning photographs.

The book which will be in stores from 28 March also includes a foreword by David Suchet and extended interviews with the chief executive of the Old Vic, Sally Greene; the Royal Court’s artistic director Vicky Featherstone; casting director Jessica Ronane and actress Kate Fleetwood.

Curtain Call is a new company founded and managed by Schwab and Humphrey who met when they were both working at the Old Vic in 2009. The pair were given unprecedented access to productions including Benedict Cumberbatch’s Hamlet at the Barbican Theatre, American Buffalo starring John Goodman, Damian Lewis and Tom Sturridge at the Wyndham’s Theatre; and the Apollo Theatre’s The Audience with Kristin Scott Thomas.

Announcing the book’s publication, Schwab said: “I am very grateful to all of the cast, crew, creative, production teams and agents that allowed us into that wonderful space that is backstage during a show. Having spent nearly 20 years on stage in London and around the world, it is an absolute pleasure to invite the public to take a glimpse at this magical world and gain an insight into what it’s like to be a theatre professional backstage during a London theatre show. I look forward to starting something that we hope will become an industry staple for both the theatre fan and professional alike.”

Humphrey added: “The backstage life of a production can be as intriguing, beguiling and choreographed as the show itself. I feel extremely privileged to have been allowed to photograph such an array of productions throughout the year, each of which has their own unique character. This book is a celebration of the expertise, diversity and extraordinary talent that characterise this thriving industry.”

The book is currently available to pre-order from ahead of its 28 March publication date.

Angela Thomas

Readers may also be interested in:

Curtain Up exhibition at V&A celebrates 40 years of theatre in London and New York – News


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