Mo Blog

Monday, 28 November 2011


In one long overdue sweep of the hand, here comes a round-up like never before. Over the next few weeks i have a deep reservoir of work to excavate from the last few months. Live music, theatre, pop-up events, some celebration and the man in the street. The countdown is on to plaster up the blog before the new year arrives and with it that elusive "blank slate." And i don't want to be the one sitting on mountains of unsung footage while everyone else is off playing in the lush glens of paradise this new year now, do i?

To kick off the deluge of imagery is some of the rehearsal coverage from the the recent NTS production Truant. That December is rolling in, full of glowing fanfare and frosty promise and, for many, it inevitably ends as the year began, at home with family. Truant shines a cold light on youth and adolescence as much as it does on the family unit. Depicting the broken home from every class across the full spectrum of hurt and negligence, it hits our idea of truancy and family from every angle. It is an emotional confrontation that beautifully balances terse and very human dialogue with daydream sequences of abstract movement.

I was very happy to be able to be part of Truant's development. It is always exciting to see a performance slowly tighten up over rehearsals until it uncoils itself in the theatre. It has finished its tour in the theatres and community centres of Glasgow but hopefully this is not the end of the road.


Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Frame On : November

This month's frame holds a still from a a tech of 27. The show is a National Theatre of Scotland production that ran at the Lyceum Theatre this month. Starring Maureen Beattie as Sister Ursula, an old story of faith and virtue in a closed orthodoxy, is clashed against the contemporary threat of the bitter, sprawling pharmaceutical economy.

However, none of this is in my image. It tells of a dilemma. It as much depicts someone on the margins of dark thoughts as it does directly project a darkness of its own in its composition. A bleak black backdrop, all detail is swept away and the image we remain with is a very sparse and morbid scene of contemplation. Over all the other images of our shoot, with the spectacular set and subtle expression of the actors, this stands out almost as a single image summary of  Ursula's pervading doubt.

Since this was shot in a tech rehearsal (for the lights and stage) rather than a performance, I was lucky to see this in a moment where the actors were waiting for their cues. It wasn't scripted or rehearsed, it was altogether unintended.

Perhaps the moral of this month is that the image that screams loudest does not always have the best story.

Thursday, 17 November 2011