Photography exhibition goes backstage at Birmingham REP

Published: 14 June 2019
Reporter: Steve Orme

A Birmingham photographer who spent a month backstage at Birmingham REP taking hundreds of pictures is to have an exhibition of his work in the city.

Fraser McGee was given access to all areas of the theatre during a residency in 2018. He shot more than 600 black-and-white images capturing the spirit and fundamental nature of the only producing theatre in the city.

He said, “as someone who’s always trying to find interesting and unique narratives to tell through photography, I found that the opportunity to work in residency at the REP to tell the story of the unseen, almost industrial side of the theatre really grabbed me.

“Walking through the backstage area of the REP isn’t what you might expect. Passing through the workshop, you can’t help but be struck by the sheer size of the space. The array of manufacturing material and equipment, the aroma of freshly cut wood and the smell of newly welded steel all add to the feel of a factory.

“The exhibition is essentially about the culmination of the hard work, skills, dedication and the passion of all the people at the REP that results in each and every production.”

Production features 100 black-and-white photographs from McGee’s residency including a large panoramic picture of the theatre’s main stage and auditorium.

The exhibition will be held at Medicine Bakery and Gallery, the old gallery space of the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists, on New Street, Birmingham from Thursday 27 June until Monday 5 August. Admission is free.