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White Light Offers Lighting Relief for The Painkiller
UK – The Kenneth Branagh Theatre Season has been running at the Garrick Theatre in London’s West End since October 2015. In the first-ever season lead by the BAFTA award-winning actor, it has achieved critical acclaim with hit productions such as The Winter’s Tale starring Judi Dench, for which she has just won an Olivier Award, and Red Velvet starring Adrian Lester. The latest show, The Painkiller, which stars both Kenneth Branagh and Rob Brydon, has now opened to rave reviews. As with every other production throughout the season, White Light is providing the lighting equipment on this comedy classic.
The Painkiller tells the story of two men sat in adjacent hotel rooms. One of them is an assassin, whilst the other is suicidal and the only thing that separates them is an adjoining door. The play is a new adaptation of Francis Veber’s classic French farce by Sean Foley, who also directs.
The lighting designer is Tim Mitchell, who comments: “This is an extremely funny show which draws heavily on its farcical action. There’s an old adage of ‘lights up for comedy’ which is very true – especially for a show like this. We need the audience to see every facial expression and every single nuance so that they can really experience the show at its most humorous.”
The lighting equipment used includes ETC Source Four Revolutions, CCT Minuette Fresnels, Chroma-Q Color Force 12 LED Battens and ADB Lighting Fresnels. Tim states: “There is a permanent rig in place for the Kenneth Branagh Season so it was a case of me adding individual elements to match my requirements for this particular show. Thankfully, due to WL’s extensive lighting range, I was able to do just this.”
He adds: “There were two exact replica hotel rooms created on stage and each came with a ceiling. For many, lighting a set with a roof piece is quite troublesome as it is often the set that dictates the various lighting positions. However, the ceiling was needed for authenticity purposes and it was a case of having to work around that with my design.”
The Painkiller runs until 30th April and the next play in the season will be Romeo and Juliet, which is directed by Kenneth Branagh. Following this will be the John Osborne classic The Entertainer which features Kenneth Branagh in the leading role. For both productions, WL will once again be providing the lighting.
Tim adds: “I had a great experience working with WL, along with Martin Chisnall, the production electrician, and Rob Halliday, the programmer. I have worked with the company on previous shows I’ve lit and they proved reliable once again.”
Bryan Raven, WL’s managing director, comments: “It’s been a fantastic opportunity to provide the lighting to both The Painkiller and the entire Kenneth Branagh Season. Every production has received critical acclaim, showcasing the very best in British theatre, and it’s great that we have been able to work with the various lighting designers in order to achieve the exact design they require.”
photos: Johan Persson
4th April 2016
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