White Light supplies Venus in Fur in West End
Wednesday, 1 November 2017
venus-in-fur-2--darren-bellDirected by Patrick Marber, Venus in Fur has now opened and will run until 9 December (photo: Darren Bell)
UK - White Light is providing the lighting equipment for Venus in Fur, a Tony Award-winning two-hander starring Natalie Dormer and David Oakes that recently opened at the Theatre Royal Haymarket in London.
The set design features a raked floor pushing through the proscenium into the house with a steeply-angled ceiling overhead, which meant there was no opportunity for overhead lighting.
Hugh Vanstone, lighting designer for the show, comments: “The play itself dictates a lot about the setting and lighting as the action takes place in a New York rehearsal room whilst a thunderstorm rages outside. The room is initially lit with fluorescent strip lights but also has a small improvised lighting rig, which the mysterious Vanda commandeers to soften the mood in her attempts to win over Thomas.”
“The way I approached this play was to ensure there was a marked contrast between the blandly lit fluorescent room and the more atmospheric theatrical lighting. The first thing I did was install a version of the ‘rehearsal lighting rig’ in the actual rehearsal room which Natalie could use to set the mood.”
Hugh drew on the Martin MAC Viper Washes to provide bright lightning effects along with a range of ETC Source 4 Lustr 2s, conventional Source 4s, fresnels and birdies.The rig also contained the recently launched Philips VL1100 LED, making Venus in Fur the first West End production to utilise the product.
He explains: “When I was designing the rig, I spoke to WL’s technical director Dave Isherwood who informed me that WL had become one of the first companies to invest in the VL1100s. I asked if I could try them for this show and he said yes. I used these fixtures to provide the tightly focused highlights for the actors during key moments – something they delivered with superb precision.”
He adds: “Overall, I was really impressed with the VL1100s. It’s a great improvement on the conventional tungsten version as it’s brighter and the colour mixing and frost function are both improved. Because of the LED engine the beam intensity and consistency is much better. They are also virtually silent, making them perfect for a play like this, and I can see them becoming a very popular fixture for many lighting designers.”
Hugh concludes: “I had a great experience working on Venus in Fur. The play gives the lighting designer carte blanche to really show off and WL once again proved to be the perfect choice to allow my design to shine.”
(Jim Evans)
*pic Venus in fur
Caption: Directed by Patrick Marber, Venus in Fur has now opened and will run until 9 December (photo: Darren Bell)

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