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White Light in the Lion's Den for Running Wild Tour
UK – Originally performed at the Chichester Festival Theatre before transferring to Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, Running Wild is now back and embarking on a UK tour. The show is based on Michael Morpungo’s best-selling novel and uses live-action puppetry to tell the story of Will, whose visit to Indonesia sees her and elephant Oona having to ride deep into the jungle in order to escape a tsunami. As one of the leading suppliers to UK theatre productions, White Light was called upon to provide the lighting equipment.
Running Wild is being produced by the Children’s Touring Partnership, which is a collaboration between producers Fiery Angel, CFT and a consortium of regional theatres.
The lighting design for the tour is by James Whiteside. He comments: “This is an extremely busy show, with the setting ranging from the Indonesia rainforest to a rural part of England to the tsunami itself. The highly stylised set is based around the debris left by the destruction of the tsunami. We have a full blown ceiling and masking legs of debris which form the jungle. One of my biggest tasks was to get the light pouring through the ceiling which would create the dappled light of the jungle.”
As the ceiling made it impossible to focus any lights above it, this meant that James would need to rely on moving fixtures. As a result, he drew on a series of 16 Martin MAC 700 Washes for the backlight above the ceiling pieces. James also drew on Elation SixPar RGBW LEDs which provided additional colours to accentuate the jungle scenes.
James comments: “The show opens with a pair of sails upstage onto which we perform shadow play and project clouds and windows. The shadow play is handled by two Strand Bambino 5kW Fresnels while the window projection comes from a pair of Martin Mac 700 Profiles. These were chosen after much discussion with WL.”
James drew on six Martin MAC TW1s to provide specials and a moving tungsten wash. He also used two JEM Glaciator X-Stream smoke machines which were utilised specifically for an ambitious fire sequence.
As this was a touring production, James had to create a rig that was able to be installed within a day, with this then being repeated week in, week out.
James adds: “Physically, this is a huge production that genuinely manages to recreate the feel of the Indonesian rainforest on stage. That said, with it visiting venues across the country, we had to keep the size of the rig manageable, something we were able to achieve thanks to a brilliant production team and the help of WL.”
Running Wild recently opened at Chichester Festival Theatre. It will now visit venues in Coventry, Sheffield, High Wycombe, London, Blackpool, Leeds, Salford, Norwich, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Plymouth, Northampton, Canterbury and Wolverhampton.
photos: Dan Tsantilis
21st February 2017
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