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White Light Presents Mrs Henderson in the West End
UK – Last summer, the world-premiere of Mrs Henderson Presents opened at Theatre Royal Bath to rave reviews. Based on the hit 2005 film, it was praised by critics as “charming and uplifting” (The Stage), “improves on the original movie” (The Guardian) and “the best British musical since Matilda” (British Theatre). Following its successful run, the play has now transferred to the Noël Coward Theatre in the West End. Having provided the lighting equipment for the original run, White Light is once again supporting the show as it continues to dazzle audiences in London.
Mrs Henderson Presents tells the story of eccentric widow Laura Henderson who, unsure how to spend her inherited fortune, buys the decaying Windmill Theatre. After introducing nude female dance acts, it suddenly becomes the most popular venue in all of London. Yet when the Blitz hits the capital, it also acts as a refuge to escape the horrors of the outside world…
The show is lit by lighting designer Ben Ormerod, who returns once again following the run in Bath, along with production electrician John Tapster. Ben comments: “The look and feel of the lighting in Mrs Henderson Presents is inspired by theatre photographer Angus McBean, who captured some superb images during the late 1930s-1950s. To reflect this style along with the era in which the show is set, I was keen to give the production a very distinct period look.”
To create this specific feel, Ben drew on WL’s range of lighting equipment. This included Martin Aura XBs, Martin MAC TW1s, ETC Revolutions, ETC Source Four Series 2 Lustrs and ETC Source Four LED CYC Adapters. The CYC Adapters, with their highly-tuned optics and evenly-distributed, smooth coverage, were invested in by WL specifically for the Bath run of the show and are being used again in London.
Ben comments: “It was fantastic to go to WL and select the exact equipment that I required for the show. This was also the first time I used the Lustr 14os for followspots. I drew on these as the show needed both a warm tungsten look and the cold hard HMI spot. Thankfully the Lustr gave me both and was small enough to put unobtrusively into the auditorium.”
The show has now opened in the West End and will run until 18th June 2016. It is directed by Tony Award-winning Terry Johnson (La Cage Aux Folles), choreographed by Andrew Wright (Singin’ in the Rain, Guys and Dolls), features lyrics by the multi-award-winning Don Black (Sunset Boulevard) and music by George Fenton and Simon Chamberlain. It stars Olivier winner Tracie Bennett alongside the Olivier-nominated Ian Bartholomew and Emma Williams.
The show marks one of the several productions that WL is currently supplying the lighting for in the West End, alongside the long-running The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Matilda, Les Misérables and the recently-opened The End of Longing.
Ben adds: “WL has been fantastic throughout this production. The equipment arrived in excellent condition and the service I received was first class.”
photos: Alistair Muir
19th February 2016
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