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Photographer and filmmaker Rankin celebrates theatre returning #BackOnStage with Rankin Live project

Hira Desai

By Hira Desai First Published 16 September 2021, Last Updated 8 October 2021

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, today announced the autumn season of his Let’s Do London Campaign which includes a one-of-a-kind project from famous British photographer and film maker, Rankin, that celebrates the return of theatres #BackOnStage as well as the incredible on and offstage talent across the London theatre industry.

Known for his fast, fresh and electric work, Rankin today unveiled details of one of his biggest projects to date: PERFORMANCE, RankinLIVE x West End Theatre – a series of portraits of leading stars, writers, producers, and backstage heroes from a multitude of live West End shows and iconic theatre venues this autumn and winter.

Working in partnership with the Mayor of London and the Society of London Theatre – the not-for-profit organisation that runs Official London Theatre – the live shoots will take place throughout October with Rankin inviting stars and key collaborators of London’s West End shows into the RankinLIVE studio. Staying true to the ‘Rankin Live’ style, the shoots themselves will be captured on film and streamed on digital and social platforms, allowing viewers a window into the project.

The results of the shoots will be showcased at the Fujifilm House of Photography from November in a unique three-month exhibition taking over all three floors and splashing the West End faces across its windows.  Additionally, a programme of events, workshops, live interviews, and screenings is currently in development – underpinned by a fundraising drive in support of both the homeless and cultural workers, with a portion of the funds raised being donated to the Theatre Artists Fund.

Photographer and filmmaker, Rankin, said: “I’m thrilled; not only to be part of the ‘Let’s Do London’ campaign but also to get the opportunity to photograph and showcase some of the finest talent in London theatre – from the stars on the stage to the heroes behind the scenes who make it all happen. It’s an ambitious project and probably the first time there has ever been a complete portrait of a West End season. But after the last year, it feels like we need to go big and really take the opportunity to celebrate the amazing community of people who make up the cultural jewel in the crown that is London’s West End theatreland.”

Marking the reopening of the West End’s most iconic shows at historic venues, alongside celebrating new talent, emerging voices and aspiring talent, there really is no better way to honour the return of theatre than this landmark cultural event. Follow along on our social channels for more updates and, if you’re in Theatreland from November, be sure to add this to your list of must-see stagey events, we most certainly will be.


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