White Light is supplying the lighting equipment to the first West End revival of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s hit musical Evita, which opened at the Adelphi Theatre on June 24.
Directed by Michael Grandage, designed by Christopher Oram and with choreography by Rob Ashford (the team behind the hit production of Guys and Dolls at the Piccadilly Theatre), Evita is being lit by two-time Olivier Award winner Paule Constable.
Constable’s design includes a diverse range of lighting equipment, much of it available from White Light’s rental stock but with one particular light created by White Light specifically for the production.
The conventional rig includes ETC Source Fours and Source Four PARs, Strand Alto and Cadenza PCs, Alto Fresnels and Strand and Arri 5kW Fresnels, PAR 64s, and ADB Svoboda battens plus 200 Rainbow Pro scrollers in a range of sizes. The show is also using two Foxie and two Korrigan follow-spots from Robert Juliat.
Complementing the conventional rig is a moving light rig using Vari-Lite’s new VL500 washlight, in its B pastel-color version. The VL500s work alongside Vari-Lite VL1000s and VL3000Q Wash units, ETC Revolutions, and Clay Paky Alpha Halo Wash lights.
The final moving light was created by White Light’s Technical Director Dave Isherwood in response to Paule Constable’s request for, effectively, a moving version of an aero-style beamlight. “We adapted the Amptown Washlights that we have had in our hire stock for some time,” comments Isherwood, “replacing the bulb and optical system with a low-voltage aero-lamp to give Paule exactly the kind of beam she needed.” The new light has been christened the White Light Whispa, named after a confectionery snack that Isherwood believes is one up from an Aero.
Working with Paule Constable on Evita are associate lighting designer Jon Clark, lighting programmer Vic Smerdon, controlling the entire rig from a Strand 500-series console, production electrician Gerry Amies, and his team including Martin Chisnall and Chris Dunford plus the Adelphi Theatre crew; the show’s production manager is Richard Bullimore. The lighting team’s work on the show has already received praise from its composer, who described it as "beautifully lit" in a recent Radio 2 interview.
Evita is produced by the Really Useful Group. It joins many other West End shows using equipment from White Light, including Billy Elliot, Blue Man Group, Chicago, Daddy Cool, Footloose, Les Miserables, The Producers, and the forthcoming Spamalot.