I love theatre, it’s so up close and personal, as if you’re right there, a part of it. And if you turn up for the latest offering from the wonderfully cuddly and rather kooky Slung Low Theatre Company, it’ll be as if the actors are speaking directly to you. Actually, they will be, because all the audience will be handed headphones, it will be a very personal experience.
The White Whale, Slung Low’s modern-day version of Herman Melville’s classic Moby Dick, is to be performed where the whale will feel at home, the water. The entire action will take place at Clarence Dock, Leeds. near The Royal Armouries, with the audience not sitting, but standing out there in the elements, with the action coming direct to their ears.
Along with fellow photographers from Exposure Leeds, I’m helping to record the transformation of the stretch of dirty water into a floating stage ready for the first performance on 4 September. So far, so good. Men with serious-looking drills and hammers are clanking and splashing away.The Pequod is taking shape.
At Theatre HQ, one of the many empty shops in what was supposed to be a retail and residential flagship for the city, they are busy making all the preparations, from hanging out the costumes to charging up the headphones. For me this is a fascinating insight into way a production takes shape, so I’m right in there taking the photos.
At least they don’t have to worry about box office sales, the White Whale is sold out already, and there’s a waiting list. Damn, I wish I’d booked mine!