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Martin MAC Encores strike a chord on Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

Martin MAC Encores strike a chord on Captain Corelli’s Mandolin
Martin MAC Encores strike a chord on Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

UK – Following a critically acclaimed UK tour, the stage adaptation of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin promptly transferred to the West End for a recent nine-week season at the Harold Pinter Theatre.

Lighting the show throughout has been Malcolm Rippeth, who as with the touring version, made heavy use of Martin by Harman’s MAC Encore Performance CLD and MAC Aura XB fixtures when the show moved to the West End, supplied as part of the lighting package by White Light.
Based on Louis de Bernières’ best-selling novel, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin is the world-famous story of romance in the face of the Second World War, set on the idyllic Greek island of Cephalonia.

The creative team did justice to this epic story in just two and a half hours of stage time. “Consequently there were jump-cuts throughout the play, split screens, and montages of years passing,” said Malcolm. “These are devices we are used to in cinema, but have to be achieved differently in theatre, where we chose to keep everything on display. We stripped the aesthetic back to a single suggestive set which never changed, and lighting became critical in giving the audience a clear sense of the different locations, periods and psychological spaces of the story.”

Helping to achieve this were 12 MAC Encore Performance CLD LED moving heads. “These gave us maximum punch for cold scenes and images of warfare, but they were then able to have a beautiful warm quality, at perfectly adequate intensities,” the designer continued.

Explaining further, he said: “Having units as bright and versatile as the MAC Encore was essential, allowing us to go from a full stage backlight (as our bars were trimmed quite high, at 9m) to very tight specials immediately. The staging often involved multiple tiny focuses simultaneously, which having this number of Encores allowed, with minimal time to adjust as venues and staging shifted.” His preference for the cold white version was based on the fact that the brightest looks were all cold. “However, their excellent CTO filters also gave us great warm looks at slightly lower intensity.”

The MAC Encore’s framing shutters provided him with good edge options, and according to the LD one of the key attributes of the fixture were the water effects, derived from a combination of gobo and animation, along with the wide gamut of colours. All units were fitted with the Heavy Frost option.

As for the MAC Aura XB, he said “they easily fitted on the stage floor in downstage corners and in FOH boom/box positions because they’re so small and light. These positions would have been time consuming and in some cases impossible for any larger fixture.”

The show finished its run on 31st August, and Malcolm Rippeth concluded: “This was a brilliant show and I’m glad that audiences across the country and in the West End responded so well to it. I’d like to thank Tom Mulliner for being fantastic in his role as relighter, production electrician and programmer and helping the show run smoothly every time we visited a new venue on tour.”

photos: Marc Brenner

11th September 2019

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