Beauty and the Beast in Emelo

Thursday, 25 October 2012
Beauty and the Beast in EmeloFor a sprinkle of magic, Ligbron called on the services of JSF Productions for the full technical production
South Africa - With a reputation of putting on superb musicals for the past 35 years, the Ligbron Academy of Technology for high school students in Ermelo outdid themselves with the production of Disney's Beauty and the Beast.

For a sprinkle of magic, Ligbron called on the services of JSF Productions for the full technical production. All equipment was hired in from MGG Productions.

"The show was very theatrical, it is after all a Disney musical," commented Johan Ferreira of JSF Productions, technical director, designer and operator. "I did months of research and design to be able to recreate the Disney enchantment on an extremely tight budget."

Ligbron usually host their musicals in a charming and well equipped theatre in Ermelo. With the venue not being available for this year's production, it was held in the school hall instead. "The stage had a very low proscenium and top light was my greatest challenge because of the height issue," explained Ferreira. "They also had to build the set from wall to wall which meant that no cables or equipment could be in the auditorium." With this parameter, Ferreira designed every aspect of the show before leaving for Ermelo, knew every lighting and sound position and exactly where each cable would go.

Two transformation scenes had to be carefully thought out. "I had to recreate all the special effects with lighting only as there was no stage magic or flying in the show. I had a very small stage to work with and it was important to use lighting to create different 'rooms' on stage. I used saturated colours for the production and even in the gloomy scenes had to remember that it was a fairy tale musical."

Working on an Avolites Pearl 2010, Ferreira says he had all the tools to create a beautiful show in a short amount of time. "It is a very reliable desk," he said. "And the Avolites Power Cube Art 2000 has become my best friend on recent shows. It is great to have a compact distro and dimmer unit that never fails."

With limited space on stage, a Le Maitre MVS Hazer was utilized. "It has become my favourite, works great in almost any venue and is also light on fluid." The Robe lighting fixtures were also said to run perfectly without a glitch.

(Jim Evans)

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