When I scouted my favourite side alleys and urban grunge locations with textures and character I came across a loading bay at the back of one of High Street shops. As I walked past its long raised platform I had a sudden “groundling” experience.
A few years ago I visited the reconstructed Shakespearean Globe Theatre in London and stood at the base of the raised rectangular platform stage that projected into the yard. There, in the pit directly in front of the stage, the less wealthy spectators, known as “groundlings” could stand on the earthen floor and watch the performance for just a penny. Others, more fortunate, enjoyed gallery seats above.
Looking up at the loading bay I imagined it as a sort of industrial stage, with its weathered concrete base, creamy painted walls and matt aluminium doors. There was a pile of worn-down wooden pallets left behind which my brain associated with popular DIY shabby chic lounge and bedroom projects I saw on Pinterest. Hence, the idea of presenting the loading dock as an urban theatre/lounge was born.
I loved the interplay of textures between the concrete floor, light pebbly walls, smooth metal doors and rickety wooden pallets, and the blue-grey colour scheme was perfect of Ivor’s outfit on the day.
Ivor, with her effortless grace and easy theatricality, played along with my directions and treated the concrete platform as a living space. Dark creaky pallet boards became her make-believe lounge suite. And my camera lens became her make-believe spectator, in turns a wealthy theatre patron viewing the scene from above and a penny groundling experiencing it from the pit.