HSL supplied full lighting production, associated rigging, and crew to the recent Simon Webbe UK theatre and arena tour, with lighting and set designed by Stephen Abbiss and production managed by The Production Office.
The ex-Blue heartthrob is steaming ahead with his solo musical career. His highly entertaining live performance encompasses a wide array of different musicals styles and genres ahead of his third album expected at the end of the year.
The account was handled by HSL’s Mike Oates, who says, “It was great to be working with Abbiss again. As always, he came up with a really inventive design and a flexible rig offering lots of options for the different sized venues.”
Abbiss’ initial brief expanded as the tour sold more tickets and some dates moved up to bigger venues, resulting in the final itinerary ranging from the 16,000 capacity Manchester Evening News Arena at the larger end of the scale to Norwich UEA and Ipswich Regent Theatre at the cosier end. “This was the real challenge,” says Abbiss, “Designing something that looked equally good in different spaces and that didn’t take away from the overall integrity and look when used in the shrunken format.”
The design was based on three trusses: front, mid, and back, with a series of under-slung triangular mini-beam truss pods dropping down off the back and mid trusses. On the floor at the back were two large floor stands rigged with pods at head height, giving a multi-level light-source effect.
Each airborne pod featured three Robe ColorSpot 575E AT fixtures and a two-lite blinder; the floor ones were rigged with two moving lights and a total of 45 Robe ColorSpot and ColorWash 575E AT fixtures were spread across the rig including on the floor.
The back truss contained two bars of ACLs, two bars of 6 PARs and two pods hanging off it, while the mid had four bars of ACLs and four pods. The front truss had two bars of 6 PARs, three Robe ColorWash 575s, and four ColorSpot 575s, plus more blinders.
On the floor, eight JTE PixelPARs under-lit the risers, and two Studio Due CityColor color changing wash fixtures illuminated the backdrop, highlighting Webbe’s intricate logo.
The set, based on a diamond shape, was supplied by The Production Office. Abbiss ran the show off a WholeHog II console and a Wing, and HSL also supplied two hazers, a follow spot, and four mirror balls.
HSL’s crew came in the form of Simon “Piggy” Lynch and Dave Jolly.
HSL were extremely supportive in pre-production, allowing extra time and space at their Blackburn premises to ensure that the rig was fully built and flashed out before being loaded into the truck for production rehearsals.
“I really enjoyed working with HSL” says Abbiss, “Mike is excellent and highly efficient, the gear is very well prepped and in great condition, and the whole thing went like clockwork.”
Webbe’s production manger is Sam Kruger and his tour manager is Andy Burnstein.