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Martin MAC TW1’s Give Royal Performance
The 78th Royal Variety Performance was broadcast on BBC1 on 12 December 2006. Held at the Coliseum in London in the presence of His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales and Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall, it is an annual gala charity event in aid of the Entertainment Artistes' Benevolent Fund.
The show contained an illustrious line up from the worlds of Theatre, Television, comedy and music, such as Wicked, Sound of Music, Spamalot, Avenue Q, Rod Stewart, Barry Manilow, Sugababes and Take That, as well as big production pieces staged especially for the show.
Bernie Davis was the lighting designer and it was his seventh year lighting the Royal Variety Performance. All the lighting was supplied by ELP Lighting and consisted of MAC 2000 Profiles, MAC 500s, MAC 600s, MAC 700 Profiles, MAC TW1s, and MAC 300s as well as fixtures from Vari-Lite, Pulsar and High End, mostly controlled by a Whole Hog 2 with assistance of a Whole Hog 3.
Bernie explained the requirement for the lighting: “We needed a range of lighting styles to suit the different acts, from theatrical looks to pop music, and the rig had to be designed to be as flexible as possible.”
He goes on to explain that with heavy programming to be done over a very short period, the only way the show would ever come together was with extensive use of moving lights. With help from Nigel Catmur and Ross Williams, they managed to put together a 2000 cue show with just over 200 moving lights and LED fixtures in three rehearsal days and one recording day.
The Coliseum has a large stage and Bernie explained that he needed punchy lights to get good effects, and so by using a range of fixtures he was able to get a good variety of looks. “This was my first chance to try the new MAC 700 Profiles, and I had just six on the circle front. With that position I was able to cover the whole set with good moving effects, and they were small enough to fit on the small bars out front and quiet enough to not bother the audience close to them. The MAC 700s proved a great success.”
Bernie then talks about the MAC TW1s: “I also had six TW1 Wash lights, each placed behind the downstage portals where they were able to perform a few different tasks. They made good shin-busters for chorus work, and made a different look for the set lighting by glancing up it. The colour range was very good for both these tasks; the pastel range working well on people, and the more saturated colours used for the set were very successful. It was good to have a rich red in the palette, and the blues were better than I expected from a tungsten source.”
11th January 2007
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