James Hamilton at Soho Theatre, London (connoisseurs of comedy & Malcolm Hardee Awards might appreciate what is also seen)
No-one asked why.
In fact, I had photographed him at the Soho Theatre Bar in London, sitting beneath one of the photos on a wall dedicated to the great and good acts who have performed at Soho Theatre.
So why was it there?
Because they put it up themselves.
I spotted it in November last year. I told Gareth Ellis and Rich Rose that, if they managed to keep the picture on the wall until the start of the Edinburgh Fringe in August, I might well give them a special Malcolm Hardee Cunning Stunt Award.
Alas, yesterday, Soho Theatre spotted the rogue photograph and took it down. The esteemed London theatre Tweeted:
HA! This lot have skipped the Soho show & put themselves ont’ photo wall regardless. 5* for Effort. (@jameshamilton).
Why was James Hamilton mentioned? Because the caption on the photo said:
Ellis & Rose (2014)
Photo J Hamilton
In fact, James had not taken the photo and had not even known about it until I told him last December when I, as it were, shot him underneath it. (The spoof photograph was actually taken by Charlie Dinkin.)
Obviously, today I had a chat with Gareth Ellis about all these shenanigans.
“We put the picture up in October last year,” he told me. “We met Steve Marmion (the artistic director of Soho Theatre) once at a party and he knew about our Edinburgh shows but said he didn’t think we were ready to appear in the Soho Theatre.
“So we decided we would appear but we would skip doing a show and just go straight to appearing on the Wall of Fame. We had a bigger picture than Tim Minchin.
“We sat in the booth one day and, just out of curiosity, decided to see if we could take the pictures off the wall. We took Lady Rizo’s picture off the wall and measured up the photo using the Soho Theatre’s laminated menu.
“We had access to a photo studio rig and we took pictures and then they were edited to look like we were performing in a ‘black box’ studio theatre space and then we copied the style of the captions and got one printed.
“We went to Soho Theatre with it in a bag, ready to put it up but then realised they had replaced Lady Rizo’s A4 picture with an A3 one. So we grabbed another performer’s picture and replaced his photo.”
“Why,” I asked, “did you put James Hamilton on the caption as the photographer?”
“We just wanted to put on the name of someone who would find it amusing. We told him he should go to the Soho Theatre and have a look around, but apparently he didn’t see it for a month.”
“Not until I showed it to him,” I said. “But, judging from their Tweet yesterday, Soho Theatre seem to have taken it all in good spirit.”
“Yes,” said Gareth, “And I see from their photo on Twitter that they’ve actually re-framed our picture in another frame. So they must rate it. Are they going to put it up somewhere in their office or what?”
“Probably what,” I told him.