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White Light Spends A Day in the Death of Joe Egg
UK – White Light has supplied the lighting for A Day in the Death of Joe Egg, which has recently opened at Trafalgar Studios in London’s West End.
First performed in 1967, A Day in the Death of Joe Egg tells the moving and heart-warming story of a couple trying to keep their family together whilst raising their only daughter who has cerebral palsy. Directed by Simon Evans, this latest revival stars Toby Stephens and Claire Skinner and features a lighting design by Prema Mehta. Prema comments: “Having discussed the script with Simon, it became clear that my brief was to ensure the lighting design supported the naturalistic setting of the family home, with juxtaposed moments of characters directly addressing the audience. We knew these two visuals of naturalism verses direct address had to have a completely different feeling to help the characters tell their story and form a relationship with the audience, as well as show their relationship with each other.”
Prema worked closely with the show’s designer Peter McKintosh who created a naturalistic set of a small Victorian room which required naturalistic interior lighting along with the outside winter light which developed throughout the piece. With the show being set at Christmas, this also had an influence on Prema’s design. She explains: “As the LED rimmed set revolved to reveal the home, the very notion of the movement made me want to capture the feeling of a child shaking a glitter snow dome, and looking into someone else’s world. I was inspired by the shards of light and reflections from tinsel to Christmas baubles and wanted to achieve an abstract wallpaper-like stained glass effect to show light shards which supported the revolving moment of the set.”
Once she’d decided on the look of her design, Prema approached WL to supply her with the equipment she needed. Prema explains: “Supporting the interior with practicals, naturalistic kitchen and hallway lights bleeding down the staircase all felt key to the set. Working a general cover to support the practicals was important, but I’ve really enjoyed using the GLP X4 Bars to offer flexibility in terms of colour and zoom which enabled me to utilise the rig to its full capacity. I opted for Martin MAC Viper Performances as our moving lights and ETC Source Four LED Lustr+ which I found to have great intensity and colour mixing to provide both saturated and pastel tones”.
A Day in the Death of Joe Egg marks Prema’s West End lighting debut along with the first time she’s worked at Trafalgar Studios. She explains: “The in-house crew at the Trafalgar were brilliant throughout the process, taking a real interest and were open to exploring new ideas during previews as we saw how audiences were responding. I’m also really proud that we utilised the limited wing space to ensure the production values remained high with a set that rotated 360° with trucks, lighting ladders, exits and entrances. We also worked through the logistics to enable full access to Storme Toolis who played Joe, showing how accessibility is something that can and should be implemented for those working in theatre.”
The show has now opened and will run until 30th November 2019.
Prema concludes: “I’m really proud of this poignant and moving show and for being able to play a part in it. I had a brilliant team with me, including Stu Meech, Adam Killey, Will Burgher and Charlotte McAdam, as well as great support once again from WL.”
photos: Marc Brenner
24th October 2019
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