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White Light Gets Goosebumps in Immersive Theatre Show
UK – Goosebumps: Alive is London’s latest immersive experience. A chilling modern update of the 90’s cult horror series, the show is situated in The VAULTS, beneath Waterloo Station, and audience members are guided through the dark abandoned tunnels where they witness the brilliantly re-imagined classic tales of R.L. Stine brought to life. Following its work on several immersive shows, from Secret Cinema’s Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back to Alice’s Adventures Underground, White Light was asked to provide the lighting equipment for this chilling theatrical experience.
The show is based on several of the classic Goosebumps novels and features 19 rooms populated with spine-tingling scary scenarios. The lighting designer for the production is Charlie Morgan Jones. He comments: “This is the first time I’ve worked on an immersive production and it’s fantastic seeing the audience being directly involved in the scenes. Whether it’s encountering a killer scarecrow, escaping from a deranged scientist or avoiding being buried alive, Goosebumps: Alive is unlike any other show I’ve ever seen.”
As with any immersive theatre piece, lighting plays a prominent role. Charlie adds: “The lighting for this production has to work intrinsically with the set design. The show is constantly changing in terms of both the action and spaces so it was making sure that the lights did justice to each set piece. I also wanted the design to be as eccentric as possible. This proved rather liberating as it meant trying out a series of different set-ups that I wouldn’t normally be able to.”
For his lighting design, Charlie used 134 Birdies, 85 metres of RGB LED tape, 42 Pinspots, 33 ETC Source Fours, 30 CCT Minuette 650W Fresnels, ten ETC Source Four jr Zooms, nine Chroma Q Color Force 72 Battens, eight ADB 1kW Fresnels, four Chauvet Hurricane Hazes, two Chauvet Smoke Machines and an ETC Ion 1K Control.
Charlie adds: “The great thing about Goosebumps: Alive is how inventive I could be with the lighting. For instance, in a scene involving the sun, we created this out of 40 birdies. Paul Walmsley, our production electrician, created some square LED tubes which could only happen on a show like this! Similarly, we have extremely limited power down in the tunnels hence we tried to draw on as much LED as we could.”
Not only did the lighting have to be adaptable to the various spaces but also reliable for the intricate layout of the production. Charlie states: “This show is timecoded; again, something that was a first for me. Each scene lasts a certain amount of time and we had to work within this and cue everything perfectly, which meant being heavily dependent on the equipment we were using.”
The show has now opened and will run until 5th June. Audiences so far have already been extremely spooked by what they have seen, with ten performances sometimes taking place in one day.
Charlie adds: “The whole creative process behind Goosebumps: Alive felt quite natural. Due to the limited access to The VAULTS, along with the nature of the spaces themselves, the set was built as and when it could be. This then meant that the lighting set-up had to be created around this. Thankfully, WL were extremely understanding throughout and worked with me under these unique conditions; something which I am extremely grateful for.”
Goosebumps: Alive is the second show that WL is currently working on at The VAULTS, alongside the Small Faces musical All or Nothing which recently opened to rave reviews.
Bryan Raven, WL’s managing director, comments: “Over the past 12 months, we have worked on a series of immersive theatre projects and it has now proved itself to be one of the most popular forms of entertainment. We have worked in a full array of settings on projects about everything from sea marines to zombie apocalypses and can use this valuable experience, along with the very latest lighting equipment, to support any show in any location; as we did with Goosebumps: Alive.”
photos: Zac Macro
20th April 2016
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