Brits call it “the half”: that 30-minute stretch before curtain when actors prep for a show. This ritual is the subject of Simon Annand’s photography anthology (“The Half”) documenting the makeup, cigarettes, and shabby glamor of British backstage life.
Annand’s book is a kind of theater-snob’s US Weekly, an artfully shot black and white collection of vulnerable, beautiful stage celebrities. Flitting through the pages is like binging on fine, dark chocolate: it’s glorious.
In the above photo Carey Mulligan preps for a 2007 performance “The Seagull” at the Royal Court. (The photo’s wonderful schism between décor and costume is typical of “The Half.”)