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White Light Elected to Provide Lighting for This House
UK – Set between the fateful years of 1974 and 1979, which saw huge economic crisis and a hung parliament, This House takes place in the engine rooms of Westminster, where fist fights took place and votes were won or lost by one. Following a brief run at the Chichester Minerva Theatre in October, the show has now arrived in the West End, playing at the Garrick Theatre, London. As the leading lighting supplier to West End theatre, White Light has been called upon to provide the lighting equipment.
This House is written by James Graham and was initially staged at the National’s Cottesloe Theatre (now the Dorfman) back in 2012. After lighting the original production, Paule Constable is once again designing the West End revival. She comments: “This House is a brilliant show and I am delighted to be working on it once again. What’s great is that I’ve reunited with director Jeremy Herrin and designer Rae Smith who both worked on the original production. In terms of my design, this was very much based around Rae’s vision. I waited for her and Jeremy to work together to devise the world in which the play was set and then it was my task to bring this alive through the lighting.”
The entire show takes place in a replicated House of Commons and one of Paule’s main roles was to create the various worlds of the play within that space. She comments: “I had to work within a rather composite space therefore the lighting had to achieve a lot. For instance, a lot of the action takes place within two offices and there are a lot of scenes in halls and corridors. It was the role of the lighting to define these various spaces and help drive the story forward”.
To create her ideal design, Paule drew on WL’s extensive lighting inventory. This includes the Philips Vari*Lite VL1000AS, ETC Source Four Series 2 Lustrs, ADB Fresnels, PAR 64s and a range of ETC Source Fours. This was all programmed on an ETC Ion Console.
Paule adds: “One of the main differences from the original production was that the Cottesloe was essentially a studio space whereas the Garrick Theatre has a huge proscenium arch. Therefore the equipment I chose had to facilitate this change. Also, as the play is set in the seventies, I wanted a look that was reflective of that era, which saw me drawing on slightly older equipment, including parcans and scrollers as opposed to a bank of moving lights.”
Following its opening last week, This House has already been called ‘a thrilling play that both relives history and transcends it’ (Guardian) and ‘a treat and a triumph’ (London Evening Standard) in the glowing reviews it has received. It will run at the Garrick Theatre until 25th February 2017.
photos: Johan Persson
8th December 2016
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