Focus on the famous at joint display

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PHOTOS of well-known actors preparing to go on stage can be seen at Scarborough Art Gallery and the Stephen Joseph Theatre this week.

The exhibition is called The Half, after the theatre term for the 30 minutes before curtain up.

This is when actors are reputed to shed their personality and take on the life of their stage character.

Simon Annand captured portraits of some of the most familiar faces of stage and screen during these tense and vulnerable moments.

Simon has been granted unprecedented access to actors’ dressing rooms during this sacrosanct period of stage productions for the last 25 years.

The result is a collection of glimpses of well-known actors at the height of their powers, such as Eric Porter readying himself for King Lear in 1987.

The exhibition features portraits of the young Kenneth Branagh, Anthony Hopkins, Colin Firth and Daniel Day Lewis in the 1980s, before they became household names.

Each actor is caught in the midst of routines and rituals; visualising lines and moves, smoking or simply staring into space – whatever it takes to remain calm and poised, ready to become someone else.

The photos were initially displayed at the V&A Museum in London and are now touring the country.

The largest part of the exhibition is at the art gallery, where black and white photos can be seen. The SJT has Simon’s colour shots.

In association with the exhibition, a photography workshop will be run on 6 May by local freelance photographer Tony Bartholomew, who often takes press shots of SJT shows.

The exhibition runs until 26 June.