New York in a Flurry

I was in New York during the blizzard a couple of weeks back. I was there on business – the business of looking after 40 international students in unseasonable weather. The first alarm bells rang before I left, when I checked the weather app on my phone. It was -6°C during the daytime… in March! Perturbed, I packed an extra pair of long johns and off I went.

It was great to be back, 13 years since my last visit. It’s hard not to be impressed by the place, even if they have crap weather, which is saying something as a Brit. They described the incoming blizzard as a Nor’easter, which is a bastardisation of the word northeaster, meaning the direction of winds that create these conditions. It is quite possibly the ugliest word known to man, and discombobulating when it comes in mid-march, shortly before Easter.

One of the best things to do in New York is to traipse around the place and take photos of whatever comes your way, in keeping with the historic street photographers (Garry Winogrand, Lee Friedlander and Vivian Maier spring to mind).  It is the best playground for a photographer. The light creeps between buildings, creating amazing shapes and shadows, and the people of New York seem so busy they don’t have time to be offended by your camera. However, the wintry weather created an unusually quiet Manhattan. Our hotel was three blocks from the Empire State Building, and the only people outside were the shop owners desperately trying to keep their stretch of pavement clear of snow.

The weather was harsh on the poor students, who were supposed to use their free time to visit museums and galleries connected to their subject specialisms, but couldn’t because of the snow day. As a photographer, all I had to worry about was my feet getting wet from the slushy puddles forming around intersections.

We explored the city a lot during our free time, but it felt like I only scratched the surface. It would be nice to return without the responsibility of looking after students, and with the sole intention of taking photos.

New York in a Flurry

new york in a flurry


New York in a Flurry

Bonnie & Clyde – Wilburton Theatre Group

Bonnie & Clyde – Wilburton Theatre Group’s latest show, is about such a well known story it barely needs an introduction. What is less known is that there is a musical about the story, which follows the couple from childhood through to their grizzly end (spoiler alert!). The set is of a minimal design, but there is a great on-stage 1930’s style car, and newspaper print from the time decorates the stairs at the back of the stage.

Bonnie & Clyde is a violent story, which obviously means that there is lots of blood and guns. To chime with the minimalist theme, the guns are wooden cut-outs, but are made to the exact size and shape of the originals.

What really sets this show apart is the quality of the singing. All of the cast have done really well with what are very difficult songs to sing. I was very impressed by the harmonising in the multiple duets throughout the show.

If you are interested in seeing the show, you may be out of luck as all of the tickets are sold out online, however there are one or two available on the door if you fancy taking a chance. For now, you can see the photos from the show’s dress rehearsal below:

Bonnie & Clyde - Wilburton Theatre Group

Bonnie & Clyde – Wilburton Theatre Group

Annie The Musical – Cambridge Operatic Society (CaOS)

It’s been over a month since I photographed Annie The Musical – Cambridge Operatic Society at Cambridge Arts Theatre, so it’s high time these pictures were shared on the blog. The delay was mainly down to prioritising the sending of DVDs to cast members, but now that’s done I can freely post my favourites.

I was fortunate enough to be asked by CaOS to photograph the rehearsals due to the work I have done for Cambridge Theatre Company (CTC) and Wilburton Theatre Group (WTG). Acronyms aplenty! Photographically speaking, the fun part of this show was the size of the cast – there were two groups due to the amount of children required to put on this show. It was deemed unfair to put so much pressure on one set of kids, so they had two teams – Hooverville and Washington. This meant that there were nearly 30 cast members in all! It also gave me two shows to photograph, and two chances to catch decent shots of the performances.

Having not photographed in Cambridge Arts Theatre before, I was a little unsure about how to go about photographing the show. The lighting designer needed to have a pretty clear view of the stage most of the time, so I was very conscious not to plod about in the middle for too long. This also meant I bashed my legs into the arm rests a lot, as I rushed between the different rows. Suffering for your art is part of the job!

As far as I could tell, the dress rehearsals went without a hitch. The lighting looked great, and the singing and acting was of a high standard. The show has finished its run, but CaOS will be putting on a new show around this time next year. You can keep an eye on their latest productions by clicking here. The photos have been split into three sections – Early rehearsals, Washington Dress Rehearsals and Hooverville Dress Rehearsals.


Washington Dress

Annie The Musical - Cambridge Operatic Society

Hooverville Dress

Annie The Musical – Cambridge Operatic Society