Photographer Helen Murray Releases New Photography Series 'Our Empty Theatres' Including Photos of the Royal Court

Published on Thu 23 Jul 2020

Photographer Helen Murray releases Our Empty Theatres, a photography story featuring 22 empty theatres and quotes from over 100 members of the UKs theatre community responding to Murrays photos which were all taken during lockdown*.

Murrays photography series took her to theatres in Leeds, Liverpool, London and Manchester. As part of the project Murray contacted those working in theatre from wig makers to designers, to writers to front of house staff asking them for their response to our empty theatres.

Commenting on the series photographer Helen Murray says;

Over the course of lockdown I set myself a challenge to create a project that responded to it but that also told a photographic story of its own. I kept coming back to our empty theatres these spaces that were now without life, without people and without stories.

I visited and captured a total of 22 theatre spaces in London, Leeds, Manchester and Liverpool. Shooting this series has been sobering. Going back to into these spaces that I know so well and being met with total silence. No background noise, no chitter chatter, no infectious laughs bellowing out of a rehearsal room, just complete silence. The stark opposite of what they should be. In the forefront of my mind throughout shooting was what are these buildings are without all the glorious, wonderful, different kinds of people that inhabit them, from the army of freelancers to the permanent staff, to the ushers, box office, bookshop, stage door, café & bar staff, volunteers, community & audience members?

I wanted to contact these people to ask them what do our empty theatres mean to you?

As the theatre sector continues to face uncertainty I hope the series serves as a reminder of why we must fight to fill these buildings with the people that make them thrive and not forget those who have been underrepresented in the past.

My photos are a love letter to not just the theatres themselves but to the people, artists and communities who give these buildings life.

I invite you to share what #OurEmptyTheatres means to you.

The full series is available now on Murrays website

*All shoots were carried out within Govt lockdown guidelines.

For the full press release, see here.