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White Light and ETC Reach for the Sky with The Shepherd’s Life
UK – Last month saw the world-premiere of The Shepherd’s Life which ran at Theatre by the Lake in Keswick to rave reviews. Based on the best-selling novel by James Rebanks, the play tells the story of life as a modern-day shepherd in the Lake District, using film, puppetry and, of course, lighting. The lighting designer was Andrew J Lindsay whose design had to both replicate the Cumbrian landscape as well as the ever-changing skies that surround it. He approached White Light to supply the lighting equipment, drawing particularly on a range of ETC products.
The Shepherd’s Life was adapted for the stage by Chris Monks, former artistic director of the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough, and featured a community cast. Andrew comments: “The show had quite a large ensemble so the set was kept as minimalistic as possible. This meant that the lighting was crucial to help define interior and exterior locations. As the play was set in the Lake District, I really wanted to capture the stunning landscape we have here in Cumbria”.
The show featured a large cloth which was used a backdrop to represent the sky; a canvas for Andrew’s lighting design. Andrew then approached both WL and ETC with his equipment specifications.
Andrew adds: “When I was formulating the lighting design, I realised that the new ETC Source Four LED Series 2 Lustr would be ideal for this show. Along with the obvious colour changing attributes, I was very impressed with the brightness and light quality which came across from the entire cyc area. I was also able to achieve completely even coverage without seeing where any of the beams overlapped”.
In addition to the Series 2 Lustrs, Andrew made full use of a range of other fixtures including Martin MAC Viper Performance, Robe 700E AT, Martin MAC TW1, Clay Paky B-eye K10, City Theatrical Auto Yokes as well as a number of Scrollers and many generic fixtures.
Andrew also drew on the ETC Eos colour-mixing software v2.3 and controlled his entire rig with the ETC Gio, with Ion back-up. The lighting had to work alongside video content, created by Jonny Walton and Nev Bull, which was projected onto six screens which tracked on and off stage.
Andrew adds: “With this particular production, it was important that we emulated the outside sky on the stage and gave a true flavour of the natural landscape. We needed the action to be set against a backdrop which had the colour, depth, movement and texture that you would see in reality. This resulted in a very unique lighting design; something that a lot of the reviews picked up on.”
Alongside being the lighting designer on The Shepherd’s Life, Andrew is also the technical manager at Theatre by the Lake where he oversees the technical aspects of every production there.
Andrew states: “I had a fantastic experience working with WL on this show. Whether it’s for a production or to invest in new equipment for the venue itself, they always offer a great service. With The Shepherd’s Life, I really enjoyed working with both WL and ETC on such an intricate design that allowed the show to achieve its potential.”
photos: Martin Johns and Keith Pattison
2nd June 2016
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