The world of child actors can be a tricky one to navigate, from exploited teenyboppers to precocious drama school Jemimas. But photographer Helena Miscioscia’s latest series focusing on the youngsters who tread the boards at Shakespeare’s Globe theatre is a compelling and atmospheric triumph. Helena, who has an MA in Performance Studies, took inspiration from the portraits of the original Shakespearean actors and styled her modern-day subjects in the same way.
“I loved the contrast of the dark backgrounds against the pale serious faces and I wanted to try and capture this mood with the young Globe actors. I showed them the paintings so they could think about their expressions and mood during the shoot; they were all so natural. In costume they looked liked they had walked off a Jacobean stage.”
Both on the shoot and afterwards Helena worked assiduously to mimic the effects which so beguiled her from the paintings. “I used some simple studio lighting at the front but didn’t backlight the actors to try and ensure the contrast between the back cloth and the subject was high. In post production I also increased the contrast and clarity but softened the faces to replicate the painterly quality of the photographs.”
The results – which we came across in The Telegraph last weekend – are very special indeed.