Over just a few short days at the end of April, the smash-hit musical Chicago left London’s Adelphi Theatre, where it has played since 1997, and moved across town to a new home at the Cambridge Theatre, once again with a lighting rig from White Light.
Lighting designer Ken Billington won a Tony Award for his lighting design for the revival of the classic Kander & Ebb musical when it first opened on Broadway. When the show moved to London, White Light supplied a rig including over three hundred ETC Source Fours plus three Robert Juliat Aramis followspots, Wybron ColorRam 4” scrollers, and an ETC Obsession 2 console, both the scrollers and console making their UK debut on the show.
The show’s move to the Cambridge Theatre was to make way for the new production of Evita, soon to open at the Adelphi also using a rig from White Light. But the move was very tightly scheduled, with the first performance at the Cambridge to take place on the Friday after the last Saturday performance at the Adelphi. White Light, therefore, supplied a duplicate of much of the rig so that production electrician Gerry Amies and his team of Martin Chisnall, Mike Dixon, and Ben Davies and the theatre’s lighting team led by Dee Jarrett could prepare as much as possible at White Light then get started on the installation, though, as Amies notes, “not one bit of kit could get into the Cambridge before 11:30 on the Monday because of the get-out of the previous show.” The load-out from the Adelphi was also run by Amies, Chisnall, and Ian Moulds.
Items of the rig which couldn’t easily be duplicated, notably the scrollers and the flying light curtain, were returned to White Light where they were cleaned and re-prepped over the Sunday (with Paul Greener from Howard Eaton Lighting shortening the light curtain by one unit to allow it to fit into the new theatre) ready to be back at the Cambridge on the Monday. Billington and his assistant Matt Daw then came over to relight the show, which successfully reopened on schedule.