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White Light Helps Turn Derby Arena into Aladdin’s Cave
UK - This year, White Light has supplied the lighting equipment to more than 40 pantomimes across the UK. Amongst these is the star-studded Aladdin which is currently playing at Derby Arena. The venue, normally used as a velodrome and concert arena, has been transformed into a theatre space specifically for the show. With its strong reputation in theatre, WL was called upon to provide the lighting support on this extremely ambitious production.
Aladdin opened on 7th December and the huge space has allowed for a truly spectacular show, featuring pyrotechnics, special effects, a flying carpet and even a live band. Alex Marshall was tasked with creating the lighting design. He comments: “Derby Arena is a fantastic facility for the city, offering everything from a gym to an Olympic certified cycle track.” The Arena was also designed to provide a large capacity performance space hence when Paul Holman Associates were looking for a venue for their annual Derby pantomime, it was the ideal venue.
Alex adds: “The brief from the producers was that the lighting design became an intrinsic part of the show by highlighting the moments of humour, threat, spectacle, romance, morality and musicality. There was also an aspiration that the music numbers obtained a concert-like feel to reflect the size of the venue. Therefore it was vital that the lighting design had the firepower needed for a show of this scale but still retained the artistry of a theatrical rig.”
Once Alex decided what equipment he required, he worked with WL’s senior hire co-ordinator Andy Cullen to source his ideal rig. This included 22 Vari-Lite 3000Qs, 12 Vari-Lite 3500Qs, eight Coemar Infinity Spot Ms, 16 Clay Paky Sharpys, six Martin MAC Aura XBs, 12 Mini Source Fours and an ETC EOS Control. Alex adds: “The equipment not only allowed me to create the exact feel I wanted for the show but it also worked brilliantly within the vast space, ensuring that every single member of the large audience felt fully involved.”
As this was the first-time that a pantomime had been performed in Derby Arena, the production team had to overcome certain logistics. Alex comments: “As with any show there are barriers which can hinder the design process. In this instance the weight loading could have potentially had a huge impact on the overall delivery of my design. Thankfully, with the equipment supplied by WL and the superb production team I worked with, this wasn’t an issue.”
The show is co-produced by Derby LIVE and stars Atomic Kitten’s Natasha Hamilton and 5ive’s Ritchie Neville. It runs until 3rd January and has already received rave reviews. Alex adds: “It’s been fantastic to be involved in such an exciting, unique show and work with a truly talented team, including Dan Saggars, Mitch Andrews and Luke Drinkwater. I have also really enjoyed working with WL. From the initial concept to execution, they have delivered astounding customer service and support and it’s no coincidence that I am also using them for the other Aladdin show I am lighting in Peterborough”.
photos: Robert Day
17th December 2015
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