Northampton based production company Stage Right has been using LED specialist EMTO’s new LED screens on a number of recent theatre productions including an ever popular ‘Jack & The Beanstalk’ staged at the 1000 seater Deco Theatre in Northampton, and the acclaimed UK tour of the smash hit Broadway musical ‘Rent’ produced by JP Productions and starring Kerry Ellis as Mimi.
2014 is the 20th anniversary of Rent’s first staging. In this time it’s becoming one of the most universally popular and successful musicals worldwide.
Stage Right’s Kevin Roach has known Aylesbury based EMTO’s Wes Matthews for many years and comments, “I use EMTO whenever we need specialist LED screen elements for our shows and events. The products are really reliable and EMTO’s service and back-up is excellent”.
Jack & The Beanstalk, Deco Theatre, Northampton
Two elements of EMTO screen – indoor and outdoor - were used on this production, illustrating the breadth and versatility of the products.
Inside, a 7 metre high by 12 metre wide LED pros arch was constructed from 20 mm LED panels which were fed with video content stored on a laptop running Cue Lab.
Roach commissioned a video artist to create special footage and also compiled some himself. The images appearing on the pros arch played a powerful role in the show’s narrative and also complimented the stage lighting and the whole pros arch could also be used as another lightsource.
For the pop music numbers onstage the surface was filled with vibrant and colourful content, and for the moodier ones, with texturing and ambient movement. It was also used to denote various environmental and locational aspects via pictorial information, as well as forming the beanstalk itself that was at the centre of the action – growing up the pros arch!
The Giant – in cartoon format – would also appear on the pros – a vantage point from where he was also able to literally look down on everyone – which was a lot of fun and a big hit with the many small people in the audience!
‘The whole LED pros concept really worked well,” enthused Roach, “It is something we will look at doing again”.
Stage Right also supplied lighting and sound for the production.
Rigged outside on the roof of the theatre was a 3 x 2 metre EMTO Mambo 8 screen which served as a prominent interactive billboard on the main thoroughfare of Wellingborough Road, attracting attention and advertising the show.
The various footage playing included video-blogs of star cast members – reality TV star Alison Hammond and CJ de Mooi from Eggheads were among those delighting the crowds - which ran for 24 hours a day on a 1.5 minute loop.
The very light weight of the outdoor Mambo 8 meant the screen was rigged in an hour, and it also proved extremely robust in dealing with some of the rainiest, windiest and generally most abysmal weather that the UK has experienced in some years.
“The quality of this product is outstanding,” comments Roach, adding that it also proved popular with the locals. One Facebook comment even thanked them for ‘bringing Las Vegas to Northampton’!
Screen For Rent
The full screen on the tour measured 3 metres wide by 1.5 high and was at the back of the stage. All the video content was supplied by JP Productions and the screen was looked after on the road by the production’s Lighting Designer, Ben M Rogers.