Blackburn, UK based HSL supplied lighting equipment and crew to the recent Lemar UK theatre tour.
It was HSL's first tour with producers Production North, on which project manager Mike Oates comments, "It was great pleasure to work with Steve Levitt, Iain Whitehead and their team and on the road with production manager Sarah Hollis. Production values on all their tours, whatever size, are always at the top of the agenda".
Lighting, set and production design was created by Dave Lee, working to an initial brief from Lemar's management who requested a dark and moody ambience for the performance.
Lee also wanted to ensure continuity in that it fitted in to all the venues on the itinerary, so he based the rig on 3 straight trusses and a serious amount of floor kit, which is "Always good for more subtle visual effects like silhouetting and back lighting".
The front truss contained just 10 fixtures - Robe ColorWash 750 AT Tungstens, used for key lighting as well as fundamentals like washing the stage. It was the first time Lee had used them, "They were great,” he says "The intensity is well impressive, and 10 lights were all I needed up there to cover everything". The zoom is really handy for adjusting to different sized venues, and he thinks the colour mixing is smooth.
The mid truss was primarily used as a kabuki reveal. Lee had 6 Robe ColorWash 1200E ATs positioned on it which he used for an understated and laid back version of audience illumination. "I specifically wanted something different from blinders," he explains, "and these were spot on!"
The back truss was loaded with 10 Robe ColorWash 1200E ATs and 8 Robe ColorSpot 700E ATs. These produced a dynamic array of beam technology and powerful upstage back washes.
HSL changed some of the gobos at Lee's request as he uses double gobos to create custom looks, so needed some special configurations to maximise his options.
Most prominent on the floor were 6 vertical truss towers - at 5, 8 and 10ft respectively. The 5 ft sections were towards the middle of the stage so as not to obscure a 10 by 5 metre SoftLED backdrop – also supplied by HSL. This had a portrait sized MiTrix LED screen in front of it onto which was beamed an IMAG camera mix cut by Tom Levitt and content from an Arkaos media server – all supplied by XL Video.
Rigged on top of each of the trussing towers was a Robe ColorSpot 700E AT, and spread across all 6 towers were 8 PixelLine LED strips and 12 2-lite Moles, which were ensconced inside the trusses, and used for emphasizing gentle punctuations in the music.
Five more Robe ColorSpot 700E ATs were used to back-light the musicians, positioned in front of the set risers.
Lee ran the show from his own Hog iPC console, and worked alongside lighting tech Dom Crookes.
It was Lee's first tour using HSL as a supplier. “I was totally impressed by everything,” he said. “The gear was all in excellent condition and well prepped. If we needed anything, it was dealt with immediately by Mike Oates in the office, and the service was truly amazing … I'm very happy!”