Nina Dunn: The Dark Theatres Project

The images on this website have kindly been provided by Nina Dunn, and are all part of The Dark Theatres Project.

Nina is an award-winning video designer who has worked extensively in theatres across the UK and internationally. She began to document London’s dark theatres after they suddenly closed as lockdown in began in the UK, in mid March 2020. Nina gained access to a number of theatres across London’s West End, documenting the empty theatre spaces and telling a story of the industry in these unprecedented times.

“It was as if somebody had just said “Out, now!”, and people had left, knowing that they wouldn’t be coming back”

Cameron Slater -Photographer

Capturing this unique moment in history, The Dark Theatres Project tells stories of the blanket closure of theatres across the UK. As well as taking photographs, Nina conducted interviews with those affected by the closures. As such, the project captures insights from a selection of people who usually inhabit these buildings and bring them to life. Combining these interviews and stunning photography, the project shows every corner of the buildings as they wait for their next chapter, telling a larger story of a sector shaken by continuing uncertainty.

“It’s the weirdest feeling knowing that a whole part of my life exists in a space I haven’t seen in months”

Natalie McQueen – Performer

Initially born from Nina’s artistic curiosity, the artist realised that the project could also help to support those who have lost their livelihood during COVID-19. Donations and the proceeds from various products, including prints, a coffee table book and face coverings, will help nominated charities that are supporting workers and buildings until they are able to return: Backup, who support technical professionals in live events, theatre, TV and film; The Theatrical Guild, a charity for front and back-stage theatre workers; The Theatres Trust, the national advisory public body for theatres; and Acting For Others, a collation of 14 charities providing emotional and financial support to theatre workers.

You can follow the project, and purchase images, at The Dark Theatres Project website, and follow Nina and the project on Facebook and Twitter.

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