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White Light Helps Kit Out Duke of York’s Theatre for Doctor Faustus

White Light Helps Kit Out Duke of York’s Theatre for Doctor Faustus
White Light Helps Kit Out Duke of York’s Theatre for Doctor Faustus

UK – The Jamie Lloyd Company has built a reputation for creating innovative and energetic revivals of classic texts. Their most recent reinvention was Christopher Marlowe’s legendary Doctor Faustus, which recently opened at the Duke of York’s Theatre in London’s West End. In one of the most anticipated shows of the year, it stars Game of Thrones’ Kit Harington and WL has been called upon to provide the lighting equipment.

Doctor Faustus tells the story of Faustus who makes a pact with the Devil, selling his soul in return for the ability to perform anything he desires through the power of black magic. This 400-year-old play has been given a modern rewrite by Colin Teevan, who has transported it into a celebrity-obsessed society of greed and instant gratification.

The lighting designer for the show is Jon Clark, who previously worked with the Jamie Lloyd Company on last year’s The Ruling Class and, more recently, The Maids, which WL also supplied the lighting for. He comments: “As with all of Jamie’s shows, this was a very different, unique production. He was particularly interested in exploring the work of Gregory Crewdson, an American photographer whose collection, Twilight, features slightly disturbing, surreal events, staged in small-town American interiors and uses light cinematically to give a sense of heighten drama.”

From this initial inspiration, Jon worked closely with the set designer Soutra Gilmour to create the world of the play. He states: “As the play progresses, the set deconstructs, exposing the empty stage behind. Light continually re-informs the relationship between Faustus and his fractured physical and spiritual environments.”

To achieve this feel, Jon drew on WL’s significant lighting inventory. He comments: “I used the Martin MAC Auras initially as Crewdsonesque key sources through windows and doors and later to make bolder statements through the exposed space. The Philips VL3500 Washes are utilised for specific beam work, whilst the ETC Colour Source 4s and JB Lighting A7s worked well as a slightly saturated, shifted front fill. 8-Lites and Svoboda Light Curtains provide a contrasting glowy-tungsten hell to the colder LED and discharge sources.

“True to Jamie’s trademark style, the show is very fast-paced, with a lot of cues. Lighting plays a huge role as there are many big, dynamic shifts. These are synchronised with the sound design in order to fully immerse the audience in Faustus’ world. Thankfully, I had a great team around me including Chris Mence as production electrician, and Warren Letton as programmer and associate LD to help bring everything together. Phil, Will and Fran at the Duke of York’s were also top-notch”.

Running until 25th June 2016, Doctor Faustus is one of many shows that WL is currently providing the lighting for in the West End. Jon adds: “WL delivered a first-class service once again and were a huge support throughout the entire process. Ultimately, they made the whole experience a pleasant one.”

photos: Marc Brenner

17th May 2016

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