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We’re Behind You! White Light Supplies Over 40 Pantomimes this Festive Season
UK – As the leading lighting supplier to West End and UK touring theatre, White Light has worked on an array of shows over the past 12 months. The company is now preparing for an extremely busy festive season, in which it will supply the lights on over 40 pantomimes.
Pantomimes remain some of the biggest shows for theatres across the country and this year is proving to be no exception. One of the most popular titles is Cinderella and WL is supplying five different productions of this all-time classic. One of these includes the Bracknell Wilde Theatre, where the lighting designer is Chris Withers. He comments: “Pantomime is a very distinctive art form. The lighting is usually very bold, colourful and bright – which often matches the performances! For this show, I’m working with a range of ETC Source Four Lustr 2s and Desire D60s, which allows for an extremely flexible rig. I am also using four Martin MAC 600s for backlight specials and two Martin MAC 700s for animation effects.”
While Chris is beaming Cinderella to life in Bracknell, further north Peter Small is lighting another production at Loughborough Town Hall Theatre. He comments: “This is actually my first Panto but I have had a great time and enjoyed working with the team – don’t just light the drama, light the dame! We’ve passed 500 cues so it’s very busy and there is a great deal of scenery, gauzes and cloths to contend with (more so than your traditional show). We also utilise a great number of special effects to our advantage, from a humble Mini Mister to a full blown automation piece. The show has allowed me to experiment and the team around me encouraged bold decision making – essentially more is more! The show is rich with spectacular effects and has brief moments of ‘how did they do that’ which makes it a pleasure to work on.”
Alongside Cinderella, WL is also supplying other classic shows such as Dick Whittington, Jack and the Beanstalk, Peter Pan, Sleeping Beauty and Snow White. Whilst the company is providing the lights for the West End production of Aladdin, it is also supplying the lights on a series of pantomime versions in Bath, Epsom, Manchester and Enfield.
While the traditional family pantomimes are as popular as ever, so too are the adult-only versions. One venue renowned for its adult pantomime is Above the Stag Theatre in Vauxhall, with this year’s production being Beauty on the Piste. The show is lit by Jamie Platt, who comments: “With panto, you can almost throw out the rulebook and have as much fun as you like. As Above the Stag is quite an intimate venue, we’ve drawn on the Martin MAC 101s due to their size, as well as their speed and tight beams which create the perfect ‘eye candy’ look for certain moments in the show. We’re also using WL’s silent snow machines which are great as they're rigged just three metres above the audience’s head so we need them to be as discrete as possible!”
Pantomime season is now well underway with genies, pumpkin carriages and dames taking centre stage all across the country. The fact that WL is supplying so many is a fitting end to a year which has seen the company cement its position as the leading lighting supplier to UK theatre.
WL’s managing director Bryan Raven comments: “We have had a fantastic 2016, supplying shows such as Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Aladdin, The Shakespeare Trilogy, the Kenneth Branagh Season at the Garrick and the Billy Elliot UK tour. After continued investment in the very latest equipment, we find ourselves being able to supply a diverse range of shows and offer lighting designers the widest range of options possible; something we are doing once again this festive season.”
photos: Robert Day and Gaz at pbgstudios.com
6th December 2016
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