Chauvet adds edge to Murder Ballad
Friday, 17 May 2019
USA - A sense of foreboding runs through Murder Ballad like the creaking noise in a dark and unfamiliar house. The Julia Jordan and Juliana Nash rock musical tells the story of a love triangle gone bad, as it spins into a vortex of ever-increasing pain, betrayal and shattered emotions.
In a recent production of the 2012 cult favourite at the Broward Centre for the Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale, lighting designer Clifford Michael Spulock captured the apprehension of characters caught in a world turned upside down. Helping him evoke this feeling in powerful, unsettling fashion were the gobo capabilities of the Chauvet Professional Rogue R1 Spot fixture.
“The show is really charged with emotion as it moves through the breaking and splintering of relationships,” said Spulock. “I wanted to portray this feeling as literally as I could, not just with color, but also by breaking up the light with gobos, which I felt would really convey a sense of the characters’ fragmented world.”
Spulock relied often on soft-edged gobo breakups even when front lighting the actors. He explained why: “With the gobo effect shaking up the sense of reality, the lighting tells you that ‘something is happening here, but we don’t quite know what.’ I decided to use this to my advantage to foreshadow the upcoming events of the show.
“The lighting was really able to bring the emotions to the audience,” he said. “In this way, it supported the powerful performances by the play’s extremely talented actors: Sabrina Lynn Gore, Eric O'Keefe, Chris Alvarez, and Nikki Dikun. My work also owes a lot to Damien Matherson, the owner and producer of Measure for Measure Theatre, which produced the play.
“As far the lighting itself goes, I really like the internal gobos that are in the Rogues,” continued Spulock. “Using these fixtures’ edge adjustment made for some really good textures on the actors.”
(Jim Evans)

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