XL Video supplied Production North with plasma and LED screens and a Version 4 Catalyst digital media server, all of which were used as an ‘ambient’ video system for the Lemar theatre tour.

Production North’s Steve Levitt and Sarah Hollis (also the tour’s production manager) came up with a set design which also incorporated the video screens. They wanted something a bit different, a slightly discreet and understated visual effect that would work appropriately in the venues that Lemar was playing.

XL Video works on numerous projects with Production North, and were their first choice of video supplier. The account was managed by XL’s Phil Mercer and Jo Beirne.

The seven screens consisted of six plasmas ranging from 42” to 61” and were dotted asymmetrically around the set for a quirky, slightly random feel, along with a 6’ by 4’ panel of Barco iLite 6 LED screen to stage left. The plasmas were attached to various bits of set and trussing with scaffolding clamps and adaptors.

All surfaces were driven by content stored on the Catalyst, which was triggered from LD Jonathan “Leggy” Armstrong’s WholeHog II lighting console.

Lemar took an interest in the material going onto the screens, and special footage was created for the tour by Helene Spencer from The Field, including specially commissioned new material, re-cut promos and some ‘wallpaper’ type effects.

Five Catalyst outputs were utilized, another stipulation of the design, allowing different footage to be run out to different screens simultaneously. Video ran in all but two of the songs and was the perfect compliment to the lighting and performance, which also featured a few other gags like a glitter drop, mirror balls, silhouetting effects, and a scissor lift entrance.

Jo Beirne comments, “It was great to see plasma screens and video being used in a thoughtful and different way to the norm, in an approach that really works in theatre venues.”

XL Video also supplied technician Chris Isaacson to look after all the video kit. Lighting was supplied by Bandit Lites UK and sound by Wigwam. FOH engineer was Simon Thomas and the monitors were mixed by Dan Ungaretti.