Interview with Curtis Richard

1 Apr 2022

You may have seen some of the gorgeous rehearsal photos for The Meaning of Zong flying around recently – but who’s taking the shots? This time, it’s someone with experience on both sides of the lens! A performer for over 20 years, Curtis Richard had recently been appearing with our very own Giles Terera in the West End in a little show called Hamilton, but by day he’s also a professional photographer. What a great opportunity to bring these two guys back together in another rehearsal room! Let’s introduce you…

When did you get first get serious about photography? 

So I decided to take photography more seriously just before the lockdown. I have always loved photography and always wanted to pursue it as a career, however fear of doing something new after spending most of my life as performer was always the reason why I kept stalling. I have got to a stage in my career as a performer where I no longer really want to be working 6 days a week, family is so important to me and I want to have more time at home, more time to explore new things. Photography Is something I am passionate about and something I know I can venture into and love the same way I do with dance.

Why do you love it?

I love the way I can create something special through photos in the same way I create movement when I choreograph. I enjoy telling stories in all of my work. With pictures they tell the most amazing stories, and that's what I find is powerful. 

You’re also an actor – do you find the two worlds fit together or clash a bit?

I find the two worlds work very well together. They both entail being creative which I personally love. I love learning new things in the creative world and I am very lucky to be able to find love and joy in both photography and performing.

Zong is your first theatre photography job – what is different about this compared to your usual projects? 

Yes it is, and I’m so excited that everyone has given me the opportunity to work on this - this has always been something I have wanted to get involved in. To me there is nothing that different from my other projects and theatre photography, they go hand in hand because I love capturing moments that can tell a story. 

Do you think performing on stage gives you a bit of a head start with taking photos of productions?

I hope so in the sense that I understand a room, I understand that time is so precious with theatre. I travel light and compact so that I don’t disturb anyone in a room whilst they are working, I find that is so important. I know what it is like being in front of a camera, my job is to make everyone in a room feel  comfortable when I am shooting. So I bring energy - the same amount of energy that I have when I am performing - into a room when I am shooting. 

How did you first get to hear about The Meaning of Zong play? 

I heard about the play from Giles. We were talking when he came back to Hamilton and he mentioned he was doing a play, I was really curious about it so I did research and I am honestly so proud of him. This story is powerful and is going to be amazing, and the team are incredible. I cant wait to shoot the dress rehearsal and see the show. 

When did you first meet Giles? 

Hahaha! I met brother Giles in 2017 on this small gig called Hamilton. I have all the time in the world for Giles, he is a lovely person who has always shown me kindness and respect. 

I am wishing everyone the best of luck on The Meaning Of Zong.

Keen to see the show? Find out more below!