Painting with Light on Daddy Cool

Monday, 23 July 2012
Painting with Light on Daddy CoolDaddy Cool finishes in Spain in September and then transfers to the UK for a tour of 12 major theatres
Spain - Luc Peumans from Belgium based lighting and visual design practice Painting With Light has designed the set, lighting and video for a completely new production of the popular musical Daddy Cool which has opened at the Trui Theatre in Palma, Mallorca.

The colourful, action-packed show with a 30-strong cast produced by Robert Mackintosh and Frank Farian for Albert Verlinde Entertainment stars special guest Sheila Ferguson from The Three Degrees and features 25 hits from Boney M, Milli Vanilli, La Bouche, No Mercy and others.

Peumans had designed the original Dutch touring version of the show in 2011, which ran for five months, and this has now been adapted for the venue in Mallorca. The show is now also sung in English rather than Dutch.

The basic visual concept is the same and Peumans' design is vibrant and lively. However, several modifications were needed to transfer the show into the Trui Theatre, including some re-scaling to deal with the lower headroom.

The lighting again had to be as dynamic as possible to keep pace with the fast moving show and the many different tempos of music, as well as helping to create a host of different scenes and locations.

The moving light spec includes Vari*Lite V*L 3500 and 2500 Spots, Clay Paky Alpha Beam 300s and Robe Robin 600 LEDWash moving lights, all picked specifically to fulfil different roles.

The drama takes place both inside and outside a club which is the hub of the action as two rival dance gangs battle it out for supremacy, with a pair of young star-crossed lovers caught in the crossfire!

Peumans' lighting is starker, darker and moodier for the narrative scenes and then explodes into a rich fantasy like environment for the primarily up-tempo dance scenes taking inside the club.

The Robe LEDWashes are used to provide both functional side lighting for all the scenes, and also double up as eye candy for the club scenes, with Peumans making the most of the individual control on their three LED rings. The elegant and powerful Vari*Lite 3500 spots are mainly used for specials.

The generic fixtures include 26 Niethammer 2K profiles, 20 ETC Source Fours, 20 single-cell Moles and four Martin Professional Atomic strobes, and the lighting picture is completed with two Robert Juliat Ivanhoe 2.5Kw followspots.

Lighting was programmed onto a grandMA2 full size console programmed by Painting With Light's Niels Huybrechts, and the show is being operated day-to-day by Nik Tenten and Ruud Kuypers.

Video is played out on two screens. The first is a front projection fed by two Barco FLM HD20 machines, which beam onto a five-part roll-up 'spaghetti' curtain system made from tiny ropes that create a transparent screen.

Upstage of this is an 18 mm pitch Visualed LED surface. For Mallorca, the screen has been reduced to fit into the space and is sized at 12 metres wide by four high.

Peumans design also includes LED panels to clad the stair fronts - the moving stairs are one of the major set pieces. All the video elements together form an attractive, multi-layered set environment with a lot of creative possibilities and 3D like features.

Video producers for the original Dutch tour, New Solid from Leuven, Belgium, and regular collaborators with Peumans, supplied Painting with Light the original material, which they then re-edited for Mallorca.

This is run on two Coolux Pandora's box media servers, triggered by a mix of timecode from the music track and cues from the grandMA2. The media server was programmed by Painting with Lights' Katleen Selleslagh.

(Jim Evans)

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