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White Light Brings a Whole New World to the West End with Aladdin
UK – Disney’s hit new musical Aladdin recently celebrated its West End premiere at the Prince Edward Theatre, opening to critical acclaim on 15th June 2016. Now in its third year on Broadway and with productions playing in Tokyo and Hamburg, Aladdin will also open in Australia this summer. White Light has been called upon to provide the lighting equipment for this dazzling and hugely-anticipated production.
Aladdin features the timeless songs from the 1992 animated film as well as new music written by Tony, Olivier and eight-time Academy Award winner Alan Menken (Beauty and the Beast, Newsies, Little Shop of Horrors). With lyrics from Olivier Award and two-time Oscar winner Howard Ashman (Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid), three-time Tony and Olivier Award, three-time Oscar winner Tim Rice (Evita, Aida), and four-time Tony Award nominee Chad Beguelin (The Wedding Singer), and a book by Beguelin, Aladdin is directed and choreographed by Tony and Olivier Award winner Casey Nicholaw (The Book of Mormon).
Aladdin is designed by Olivier and seven-time Tony-winning scenic designer Bob Crowley, Olivier and two-time Tony-winning costume designer Gregg Barnes.
The lighting designer for the show is five-time Tony-winner Natasha Katz whose previous credits include Once, Motown and The Little Mermaid. As the leading lighting supplier to West End Theatre, WL was approached to provide the lighting equipment on this unmissable production.
Dave Isherwood, WL’s technical director, comments: “Aladdin is one of the biggest shows to ever open in the West End so we are delighted to be involved. Fans of the animated film will be spellbound by the magic created on stage every night – something which lighting plays a huge part in.”
The equipment for the show includes hundreds of Martin MAC Viper Washes and MAC Viper Performances, more than 150 ETC Source Four Series 2 Lustr LEDs, thousands of metres of distribution cable, Look Solutions Viper smoke machines and CYRO-FOG low smoke generators along with an ETC Eos control system.
Dave comments: “With a show as ambitious and exciting as Aladdin, this really allows us to draw on our extensive inventory and supply exactly what they require. This is one of the biggest rigs we currently have on hire and it’s great to work on a show of this scale.”
As preparation for the show, the Aladdin technical team visited WL’s Wimbledon base where they pre-rigged for three weeks. Following this, they then spent 12 weeks at the Prince Edward Theatre setting up the lighting equipment to ensure that everything was in place prior to the first previews.
Dave adds: “Being based so close to the West End allows us to react fast to the last minute changes and additions that are part of a production of this scale. It’s not uncommon for us to have one team working on part of the rig here, whilst a second team is installing a different section in the theatre, meaning less equipment has to be stored on site, and making the process far more efficient.”
Aladdin is one of many West End shows that WL is currently providing the lighting for, with others including the long-running Les Misérables, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. The company is also supplying another Disney production, Mary Poppins, which is currently on a UK tour.
Dave adds: “At WL, we always provide the same high level of service, from the moment a show opens, all across its entire run. As long as Aladdin continues to play in the West End, we will be on hand to provide the best technical support possible.”
photos: Deen Van Meer
9th August 2016
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