Lighting designer Tim Dunn used 30 Robe ColorSpot and Wash 700E AT moving lights to light the first high profile live performances of rising young South African music star Jesse Clegg at the Johannesburg Civic Theatre.
Dunn utilised the 18 Robe ColorWash 700E ATs in the 1200 capacity theatre's house rig, adding another 12 ColorSpot 700E ATs of his own supplied by Gearhouse South Africa. The only other fixtures he used were Source Fours, for key lighting Clegg and his 4-piece band. "I knew that 30 Robe 700s would give me more than enough options to cover Jesse and his band," affirms Dunn, who also brought in his own grandMA full size console to run the lights for the 3 highly critically acclaimed evenings of performance.
Additionally, he added finishing aesthetic touches with a stage set design based on a series of slim diagonal shaped columns of different heights, carefully placed around the wings and rear of the stage, complete with a white Marley floor. "It was important to define the space, introduce depth and have some interesting scenic elements to light around the band," he says.
Twenty-two of the Robes were positioned on the house bars above the stage, with the remaining 8 ColorSpot 700E ATs forming a semi circle in between the columns on the floor.
As the show started, the front tabs opened to a high impact white chase with the fixtures shooting through the band and into the audience, setting the excitement levels for the rest of the evening. The energy and drama of the performance unfolded from there. Lighting was a huge element of the action, ranging from the simple and theatrical to all out rock 'n' roll as Clegg steamed through his dynamic set, complete with some special guest appearances.
Dunn used the Robes for colour washing, strong and moody back lighting, movement and texturing effects on the band, set and stage, producing a stylish array of scenes throughout the pacey show.
With no rehearsals and only one night of programming, Dunn had to think on his feet and do plenty of improvising, specially for the first night, which he really enjoyed. He designs many large televised special events, so working on a theatre show like this was really rewarding for his pure creative instincts, "You absolutely have to be right in tune with the music and on top of what you can produce on the fly for a show like this, as well as making it relevant. It was a real pleasure to be asked to do it, and work with Jesse who has a huge future ahead". This came about via a long standing relationship with Clegg's manager, Roddy Quinn.
Quinn was absolutely delighted with the results and with getting Dunn onboard.
Dunn - also a director of Gearhouse South Africa - uses Robe on most of his shows "They are versatile and reliable," he comments.
Recently this has included Miss World 2008 - utilising DigitalSpot 7000 DT's and REDWash 3●192s, Africa Day 2009 and the Closing Ceremony of the Indian Premier League cricket series in Johannesburg.
Jesse Clegg is the son of Johnny Clegg, one of South Africa's best known musicians and songwriters. He's grown up with music and live performance all his life, and early on, carved out an independent direction for himself in the rock genre and very different from the world music style developed by his father. His first single "Today", was released on radio in August 2008 and debuted at number one on the Highveld Homebrew Chart, a great feat for a debut artist and single, and an historical first for Homebrew. His first album, "When I Wake Up", was released in October 2008 to rave reviews.