News: Simon Annand’s virtual exhibition of stars of screen and stage backstage extends to Christmas

The thrilling experience of seeing actors live on stage is under threat during the present Covid restrictions. This new book reminds us of what we are missing while theatres are closed. Through the eyes of this legendary photographer we observe how performers get ready to astonish their audiences.

The virtual exhibition that was launched early October to celebrate the publication of Simon Annand’s Time To Act ( showcasing selected images from the book has now been extended until Christmas. Many of the photographs, in small editions, are for sale, which would make an excellent gift, including those of: Simon Callow, Sharon D Clarke, Kit Harington, Tom Hiddleston, Mark Rylance, Annabel Scholey, Josette Simon and Layton Williams.

The exhibition will be regularly re-hung to show a changing selection of photographs from the collection together with a commentary on the images.

Because the first UK edition of the Time To Act has now sold out, a reprint is underway to ensure delivery well in time for Christmas. As before the publishers are making a donation from the sale of every book in the UK to The Theatre Artists Fund.

Simon Annand has been shooting photographs backstage at West End theatres in London for 35 years. In these meditative portraits, often shot in the intimate space of the dressing room, he witnesses the focus and tension of world-class actors in the moments before they go on the stage. With an introduction by Cate Blanchett, Time To Act continues to explore the moments of vulnerability which every actor experiences before they go onto stage no matter how long they have been working. Amongst the over 230 images are insightful portraits of Gillian Anderson, Cate Blanchett, Orlando Bloom, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Sharon D Clark, Paapa Essiedu, Jake Gyllenhaal, Lenny Henry, Anthony Hopkins, Andrew Scott, Josette Simon and Judi Dench.

Photo credit: Simon Annand

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