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theatreproduction,All production photos Tristram Kenton. 58 Lighting Sound December 2006,theatreproduction,Ozmopolitan. Wizzomaniacal,Wicked words by,Sarah Rushton Read, The latest incarnation of Wicked the multi award winning prequel to. The Wizard of Oz has arrived on the London stage bringing with it. a potent brew of technical wizardry L SI speaks to the design and. technical teams behind this wicked production, Multi award winning Broadway production Wicked is now playing In just three years Wicked has won 15 major US awards and is the. on the stage of London s Victoria Apollo Theatre A prequel to highest grossing Broadway show in history There are productions. The Wizard of Oz Wicked is all about the relationship between running on Broadway in Chicago and on tour nationally in the US. with further productions planned, good bad girl Elphaba and a bad good girl Glinda posing the.
age old question is wickedness nature or nurture It Each new production is based on a blueprint of the original. demonstrates that even though some of us are perhaps more but as with any successful long running show additional. vulnerable than others there are no foregone conclusions For flourishes are invariably added along the way For London. example being born with green skin could be considered recreating this technically demanding show necessitated a. humungous bible of technical detail and specifications Each time. a precursor to wickedness This could be further compounded if. a new production of Wicked is mounted the book s detail has. your father hates you because your green skin reminds him of. further developed, your loose living mother who had a proclivity to drink Absinthe. during pregnancy It s a universal issue UK production manager Richard Bullimore elaborates In the case. of Wicked the book was massive There is not a piece of set that. Adapted from an original novel by Gregory Maguire and directed by does not include lighting or technology in some shape or form The. Joe Mantello with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz Wicked book includes details of every technical nuance effect and piece of. has performed to sell out audiences in London since it opened The equipment that facilitates Wicked and as we develop it so more is. production values are extravagantly sophisticated and the show s added. transfer to the UK has made good use of the skills of a diverse array. of UK theatre technology specialists These include Howard Eaton One of the show s biggest technical suppliers is Howard Eaton. Lighting Stage Technologies Terry Murphy Staging Delstar Lighting Ltd HELL The company is responsible for building all the. Unusual Rigging PRG and Autograph to name but a few LED lighting effects a beautiful art deco Emerald City set piece. the special stage lighting booms and ladders the smoke. Wicked has also been responsible for a huge rise in sales of red distribution and control systems plus a variety of automated and. sparkly slippers in all conceivable shapes and sizes plus it special effect scenery. has made the colour green de rigeur this season, Howard Eaton comments When I saw how many practicals there. With a budget comparable to that of a small blockbuster film the were on this show I thought God it s going to be a nightmare. UK production has positively transformed the Apollo Victoria It takes a full universe of DMX to run them Over the last three. Theatre Today strips of green neon LED Line complement its months we have built literally thousands of fully dimmable green. scrubbed art deco architecture The deco style carpets in the foyer LEDs and dimming systems These include our standard StarLed. are colour co ordinated and nearly everything else is Wickedly single point source LEDs plus some bespoke six and 40 way. Green to match When the show first opened many of London s LED clusters and strips In all there are over 2 000 LEDs fittings on. Hackney cabs also briefly turned an evil shade of emerald this show. Lighting Sound December 2006 59,theatreproduction, There is absolutely nothing inconsequential about Wicked This is. particularly so when it comes to lighting Even the front cloth. twinkles with jewel like peabulbs Award winning lighting designer. and Tony Award Nominee for Wicked Kenneth Posner has left no. lighting opportunity unexplored Every onstage cut cloth features. thousands of green fairy lights and is framed with strips of iLight. Plexineon all are fully dimmable using HELL technology. The HELL Emerald City set features a huge full stage width art. deco aluminium sunburst piece which flies just downstage of the. cyc It is encrusted with individually twinkling green LEDs A huge. 10k silhouettes Elphaba as numerous Vari Lites cross beams and. project break up colour which then diffuses through and bounces. off haze smoke and low fog all MDG units of various flavours. supplied by PRG delivered from various locations around the. stage This all goes to create a wonderfully theatrical levitation. scene where Elphaba rises high up above her critics It s made. particularly dramatic given the remarkable height of the pros. Lighting hits the stage from all conceivable angles Every nook. and cranny seems to be stuffed with ETC Source Fours and or. Vari Lites The cyc can be anything from a huge clock with. numerous cogs silhouetted against rich coloured backgrounds to. surreal tinted skies From the moment the front cloth flies out to the. From top final scene of the show Wicked is a magnificently dynamic visual. Lighting chief Damien Ridge with the grandMA console. Howard Eaton examines the smoke distribution system Posner explains My intention has always been to create. Michael Odam third from left with the LX crew a stimulating and unique visual experience The entire design team. spent many hours recreating the Broadway visual elements and. Richard George and Suzie Hills sound, embellishing the original design The Victoria Apollo has a very. dramatic height but a narrower and shallower stage This made it. necessary for us to redesign and replot many of the scenes I have. been absolutely thrilled to have the opportunity to revisit my Wicked. lighting design its been great fun, Crew and set photos Posner and his associate LDs Karen Spahn US Michael Odam.
Sarah Rushton Read UK and Warren Flynn also moving light programmer were. 60 Lighting Sound December 2006, supported by an excellent production team various locations including the organ loft. theatreproduction, of West End veterans Led by Pete Lambert and the fly floor Wicked is now run from one. Chris Luscome Steve Reeve and Alistair grandMA Lite console with another for. Grant worked six days a week for five weeks backup It s a great console and once you. to perfect the show understand it s incredibly logical protocol. it s very easy to edit the show,Michael Odam says By the time I came in. it was all up and working My role is to Overall the lighting is clean and sharp. oversee the show in the UK learn it and Impressive effect lighting comes from the. possibly relight any potential European Vari Lites magnificent dynamic gobo. productions in the future I hadn t worked washes of broken colour mix with the haze. with Kenneth or his assistant Karen before and fog to create magical environments in. They were both great Ken knew exactly which the action takes place As Posner. what he wanted to achieve and just got on comments The smoke is one of the major. with it The show is cracking a very cleanly cast members in this show. lit sharp looking piece of theatre,All lighting hires were supplied by PRG. Programming the numerous VL2000 spots Europe Loz Wilcox PRG project manager. and washes and the VL3000Q spots was for Wicked says So far PRG has provided. done on a full sized grandMA console lighting kit for every Wicked in the USA so. Conventionals were programmed on we know what s required to ensure this. a grandMA lite with a second running as technically complex show runs smoothly We. a tracking back up These are networked to have provided everything from the esoteric. three MA Lighting NSPs Network Signal hardware used for special effects right down. Processors which provide a total of eight to specially manufactured fixtures not. streams of DMX to three separate dimmer normally used in the UK theatre market. locations The desk also controls two, Catalyst projectors FOH via an Artistic Where lighting ends and set begins is.
Licence ArtNet system particularly tough to define on this show. Eugene Lee s set creates a simple yet Top Hidden lights with. Board operator and chief electrician Damien flexible performance environment A series Wybron s Coloram II scrollers. Ridge comments We had to bring in a few of cut cloths frames the basic set and there Above One of the specially. extra dimmers for this show which are in are very few big scene changes Scenic made lanterns. Innovative solutions to the impossible,Howard Eaton. problems of the entertainment,Lighting leisure and heritage industries. I Wicked London I Magna Rotherham I Rheingold London I Orange Imaginarium Bristol. Scenic lighting Flames and Sparks Wireless Dimming Fibre Optics and Structures. Special effects Lighting, Custom Lighting I Specialist Engineering and Effects I Fabrication. Fibre Optics I Radio Controlled Lighting I Cue Light Systems. DMX distribution I LED Effects I Ripple Effects,Howard Eaton Lighting Limited. HOWARD EATON Tel 44 0 1273 400670 Fax 44 0 1273 408900. LIGHTING LIMITED Email info helluk com www helluk com. Lighting Sound December 2006 61,theatreproduction, elements are in the main small and fluid trucks and set pieces valves so that the atmospherics can be fed into specific parts of.
give a sense of place to each scene The biggest of the trucks are the stage and blocked from others Our product allows for the. the Oz head with radio controlled lighting and dimming by City entire zone and effects control to be done from the FOH lighting. Theatrical and the dragon at the centre top of the pros both of console. which pieces came in from the USA In the UK Delstar Engineering. built the show deck frame and tracks while the floor was clad and Also squeezed into the relatively small basement are hundreds of. scenery built by Terry Murphy HELL was responsible for the costumes Brightly coloured green and yellow outfits seem to. electrics to the electrified tracks which deliver two big mechanical consume and fill every inch of spare space They are squeezed. trucks to mid stage centre around monitor desks for the orchestra CO2 canisters for the low. fog and flying and stage machinery for the traps reveals and. Because the Apollo stage is relatively shallow and there s a fair special effects With a cast of 26 excluding swings all regularly. amount of flying the grid is pretty tight It accommodates a couple changing their kit it can get a bit fraught down here said one. of large flying pieces including two massive chandeliers that fly in. wardrobe mistress, for a party scene To facilitate this the mid stage lighting truss was. split in three so that the chandeliers could effectively be flown. Such regular costume changes can also pose a challenge to the. through it There is also Glinda s decadent mode of transport. on stage sound team Each change requires that performers radio. a huge circular chair which churns out bubbles as she tracks. mics are checked as they can easily become dislodged or. across the stage both the chandeliers and the bubble chair were. disconnected in the rush, manufactured by HELL while Stage Technologies engineered the. trusses and bubble chair track, Add to this the 17 member orchestra and up to 24 performers on. stage at any one time and it s clear this show is a very busy one for. Performer flying carried out by Freedom Flying is also an. the sound department Sound designers Tony Meola and Kai. important element of the show and includes Elphaba s troupe of. Harada worked with UK FOH engineer Richard George and. flying monkeys Unusual Rigging is responsible for the customised. flying and Stage Technologies supplied a couple of Big Tow Autograph Sound to realise their concept George explains We. Winches and tracking actually have two separate PA systems on Wicked one delivering. the band and orchestra and the other delivering the vocals. Wicked is heavily reliant on atmospherics and smoke both for time. and place and for effects Smoke dramatically comes up through The set up is a classic Autograph arrangement George elaborates. vents and holes scattered across the stage floor In the basement We are using Meyer M2Ds in the pros for the band delivery and. a series of twisted tubes and ducting run across the underside of a central cluster of Meyer M1Ds to deliver the vocals Delays are. the floor Smoke and low fog is zoned and distributed to the various a combination of Meyer UPJs and UPMs and we have a surround. vents via this spaghetti like network HELL designed and built the system of Meyer MM4s and UPJs Foldback is Meyer MM4s and. system using its standard DMXbabels configured as fan speed UPJs There is little processing just some Meyer CP10s for. controllers for all the smoke zones Eaton explains The parametrics a couple of Lexicon 960L reverb units and some Meyer. DMXbabels have outputs which operate the motorised zone LD3 line drivers. 62 Lighting Sound December 2006,theatreproduction,64 Lighting Sound December 2006. For George and assistant Suzie Hills this is their first time in this. venue A former cinema the Apollo has its own idiosyncrasies The. room does have its challenges but so far it s been a pretty smooth. run The biggest challenge on Wicked is the fact that it s a relatively. long show and we are continuously busy In terms of set up. however the designers knew exactly what they wanted and how it. should sound so it was pretty sweet, The rig is entirely analogue apart from the XTA digital crossovers.
which are used as delay and EQ units the Meyer system has its. own crossovers Also the drums and percussion come in on a little. Yamaha 1000 submix this then feeds into the main Cadac J Type. FOH console which features motorised faders The signal remains. analogue after that, Backstage a Yamaha 2000 runs the monitor mix from active splits. so that pit monitoring remains completely separate The band. members each have their own Aviom personal mixers allowing. them to control their own foldback Amps are four channel. Lab gruppen 2400Qs, All performance mics are omni directional and there is no foldback. for performers to avoid potential feedback issues Things are further. complicated by the fact that the cast sometimes perform downstage. of the PA which can be tricky George say The most important. thing for us is to keep the artists balanced and stop them from. feeding back Tony and Kai used the Meyer SIM system to set up. the PA and touch wood so far we ve not had any problems More. importantly even though the cast only hears what comes back from. the house they seem very happy with the set up, Meola is very particular about microphones All the cast are on the. new Sennheiser 5212 bodypacks and Countryman B6 mics George. explains The B6s are incredibly small about a quarter of the size. of the MK2s You can therefore pull them down that bit further and. they are much easier to hide They also sound excellent. He continues This is a huge show with a big chorus It s also. a busy show backstage Costume changes for both main. characters and supports seem to be almost constant and the main. characters are at least double mic d and in the case of Elphaba. triple mic d with one in her witch s hat, Wicked is a technically elaborate and exciting show There is a feast. of detail that is tough to digest all at once What makes it wickedly. thrilling is that it is a constantly changing environment packed full of. surprises and wondrous theatrical artistry The designers have taken. all those classic theatre tricks and techniques then realised them. using state of the art technology and invention Live theatre. entertainment has moved into a new very sophisticated dimension. and it s electrifying Just five years ago a theatre show like this. would have been inconceivable it s both difficult and intriguing to. imagine what the future might hold,Lighting Sound December 2006 65.

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