For the decade of the 1980s I had the pleasure of being the Company photographer for the Queensland Theatre Company. Whilst all performances were difficult to document – Kodak Tri-X film pushed to 800 ISO, 35mm Nikon, GRAIN, and rapid turnaround times requiring overnight processing and proofing, the results were of a good quality.
Oh, to have been shooting today with a digital camera!
So after 27 years it was a great thrill to be asked to find and supply some photographs to be used in a series of essays about various Shakespeare productions around the world. My copy of Shakespeare and Emotions arrived by airmail from London last week.
Finding the negatives was not a difficulty with one of the few organised things in my photography career having been a reasonably well kept index of client commissions and film material used. Additionally scanning the negatives was relatively simple. It is interesting to see which images were chosen for publication.
As the performance was deliberately set by Geoffrey Rush in a 1940s environment created on and around the outdoor Albert Park Rotunda, the use of such devices as a Queenslander house, Brisbane trams and the ubiquitous XXXX beer logo were integral to the play’s context.
I could not disagree with their choice of the front verandah of such a house in this publication as it provided a clear platform for a lot of the dialogue to be presented.
But it would have been nice to have seen the Castlemaine Perkins XXXX logo used in its gloriously iconic typeface in a book published in Great Britain.
Another reference to post-war Brisbane was the almost life sized tram that circled the rotunda’s stage area at times during the production; and a fleeting reference to the infamous “dunny-man” and the bucket on his shoulder.