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Show Systems Australia Tells DOWNTOWN Story in Colour with Chauvet Professional
Australia – The Devonport Choral Society’s production of DOWNTOWN! The Mod Musical, flips through the '60s with the agility of a go-go dancer. Relying on a mix of mod-infused styles and the trippy, ear-wormy music that still resonates today, the production at the Paranaple Arts Centre needed bold, saturated colours to help transport the stage – and the audience – back to the psychedelic '60s
Michael Westcott of Show Systems Australia reflected the exuberance and free-flowing spirit with his colourful lighting design for the show. Helping him create this time-piece panorama, while supporting the actors on stage, was a collection of Chauvet Professional fixtures.
“The theme of the show demanded bright, candy-coated colours that could showcase the stage and performers in a variety of different ways, which is what Michael delivered,” said Matt Adams, technical director of Show Systems Australia. “The colour mixing capabilities of the Maverick MK2 Spot and COLORado 2 Quad Zoom fixtures were critical in helping him make this happen.”
Indeed, colour shined at the heart of this show, so much so that the five leading characters in the all-female cast were named after different hues: Blue, Orange, Red, Green and Yellow. Accompanied by the music of a five-piece band belting out vintage ’60s hits, the play follows these characters as they mark the passage of time with a series of letters to an advice columnist.
The use of colours was critical to define space on the stage, which had relatively few scenic elements. As one critic noted: “It's an interesting exercise in symbolism, choosing colour and shapes to evoke an era, rather than slapping the audience in the face with literalism.”
Key to creating this colourscape were the eight Maverick MK2 Spots hung on two light bars. They provided an evocative backdrop to the zany ’60s tale, in addition to adding punchy moving looks for the dance scenes. At the same time, Westcott was also able to use the lights to create subtle changes in brightness and colour that reflected the flow of time as the story unfolded.
An additional four MK2 Spot fixtures were set on the ground, behind and between the gaps of large, free standing letters. These units were used to create aerial effects that added a dynamic element to the stage.
COLORado 2 Quad Zoom LED Wash Lights were located throughout the rig and were used to adorn backgrounds and scenic elements with psychedelic colours. “The COLORado fixtures gave us a solid, wide wash that transformed the stage with different colours,” said Adams. “They gave us a nice colour foundation for the Mavericks to build on. This design was all about creating an atmosphere and telling a story with colour.”
24th July 2019
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