One hundred and twenty meters of Element Lab’s Versa™ TUBE made their entertainment debut on the German touring production of Saturday Night Fever. The show is currently playing Circus Krone in Munich.
The project is the result of a highly successful collaboration between Element Labs Europe, based in Germany and headed by Claas Ernst, and UK partner Projected Image Digital. Element Labs Europe supplied the units to Saturday Night Fever’s main lighting equipment contractor Showconcept. Control was through a PixelMAD media server control system specified by UK-based lighting designer Andy Voller.
The Versa TUBE, although used mainly for architectural applications, is integrated into Saturday Night Fever’s eye-catching set, designed by Walter Schwab. The Versa TUBEs were chosen because Schwab initially wanted substantial amounts of a simple neon effect built-in to the set pieces–tracing specific architectural lines like bridges, buildings, roads, etc. However, they now transform the stage during the fast-moving disco scenes; the units are used as powerful, dynamic and, at times, subtle effects, particularly prominent during the show’s hi-energy disco sequences.
Voller’s lighting scheme developed from initial meetings with Schwab and director Alex Balga. They were keen for the new production’s lighting to have a 21st- century twist, and they also specifically wanted this revamped show to be darker, moodier, and more realistic than the original. Therefore Voller designed two separate lighting schemes: one for the realistic everyday environment of the characters, and one to showcase the dizzy disco world that realizes their fantasies of carefree happiness and dance. For the realistic day scenes, Voller used a large Martin moving light rig and selected generics mounted on moving trusses.
For the fantastical disco scenes, the Versa TUBEs are used to transform the stage into a blaze of multi-colored action, a flamboyant collage of movement and excitement culminating in a "megamix" finale. Voller wanted the disco scenes to contain rich, saturated, exaggerated colors and to be the complete antithesis of the starker "real world" scenes.