With theatres closed, Rah Petherbridge (who specialises in theatre photography) has been setting, propping and costuming lockdown scenes in her own family living room.
The Croydon based artist said: “When this all hit, I had just finished photographing ‘The Ocean at the End of the Lane’ at the National Theatre.  With theatre shows and festivals on pause I was feeling anxious about the future, but together as a household of artists, this project took our mind off the uncertainty and connected us to the outside world in a hopeful way.”

Rah, who moved to the UK from Dublin in 2004 to work as a care worker, took up photography full time after graduating from Rose Bruford in 2013. She is now a leading photographer on the London theatre scene and co-hosts the podcast ‘Artists that Work’.  

“Our function as artists in society is to help create hope, maybe us unashamedly showing the chaos, silliness, joy and sadness in our lives we can help a trapped soul feel less alone. There is no brief way to explain the images but they certainly represent us at our loudest.”

Rah is isolating with her husband and son as well as a melancholy clown called Awk. The pictures depict the living area of their family home with the shelves and welsh dresser housing the oddities and curiosities of lives well lived.

The message is to create an outlet for your feelings “If creating doesn't come naturally, go and explore what others are creating. Art is of the utmost importance during times of difficulty, you’ll have witnessed yourself the huge increase in creativity on social media platforms”

“The art being made now will be of great historical importance and will help us understand what happened to people during lockdown.”

After planning and shooting the first scene Rah made the conscious decision to keep going and has now created a
poll for people to vote for their favourite image which she will then paint as a large classical canvas. She then hopes her collection will tour exhibitions across the country.  

Theatre photographer without an industry to capture

turns focus on eccentric family and home.

Artist Rah outside her West Croydon home

May 2020