Miss Saigon: 23 years and counting for White Light

Friday, 12 October 2012
Miss Saigon: 23 years and counting for White LightMiss Saigon now in Japan
UK/Japan - The new Japanese tour of the classic musical Miss Saigon sees entertainment lighting specialist White Light continue its long involvement with the show, more than two decades after it first supplied the original production at London's Theatre Royal Drury Lane.

For Japan, White Light has supplied the moving lights, scrollers and LED fixtures for the rig, designed by David Hersey and adapted for Japan by his associate lighting designer Richard Pacholski. The moving light rig features Vari-Lite VL3000Q Spots, VL3000Q Wash, VL1000TS, VL2000 Spot, VL2500 Wash, VL500, Martin TW1 and DHA Digital Light Curtains. White Light also supplied over 40 Rainbow colour scrollers, including one fitted with a custom grey-scale scroll and used to fade the show's video projector, as well as 8 ETC Desire D60 Lustr+ LED fixtures, which have replaced Pars with scrollers used on some previous productions of the show. The show now runs from an MA grandMA lighting console.

The rig is adapted from earlier versions seen on a UK tour (also supplied by White Light), in Korea and in Holland. For Japan, the design had to ensure that the show could tour very quickly: the production, produced by Toho Co Ltd and Cameron Mackintosh, has already played in Tokyo, Hiroshima, Nagoya, Kofu, Kanagawa, Sendai and Fukuoka.

"Dave Isherwood and Rachel Gale at White Light did a great job of supplying and prepping the moving light rig," notes Richard Pacholski, "ensuring that our amazing Japanese crew could get everything up and running on a tight schedule, and that the show was tourable even when they are sometimes playing just two shows in a city before moving on."

"We were delighted to be able to work with R2 on this production," adds White Light's Dave Isherwood, "continuing our long involvement with Miss Saigon and, with the move to LED fixtures, once again ensuring that it takes advantage of the very latest lighting technology."

He adds: "though Japan is further away than some people might expect to find our gear, it's just one of many shows that we now supply world-wide; our equipment can also currently be found as far afield as South Africa and New Zealand as well as, of course, in productions in London and around the UK."

Miss Saigon, written by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg and produced by Cameron Mackintosh, first opened at London's Theatre Royal Drury Lane in 1989 and ran there for a decade. White Light supplied the rig for David Hersey's design, including such innovations as the Rainbow colour scroller, then continued to work with the designer as the rig evolved over the show's run, most noticeably replacing the original lighting curtains with the new DHA Digital Light Curtains after they were created for the show's New York transfer.

After the show closed in London, White Light supplied the rig to the first British tour of the show - one of the first productions to use the Vari-Lite VL2000 range of spot and wash lights - and then to the smaller British tour, which was one of the first shows to use ETC's Revolution moving spotlight.

(Jim Evans)

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