S+H minces large with Julian Clary
Friday, 12 July 2019
sh-julian-clary-2019-tour-jul2605192043The Born to Mince tour which has just finished its first leg (photo: Lindsay Cave)
UK - Julian Clary is back on the road on his Born to Mince tour, which has just finished its first leg.
Visuals are important to comedy performance to develop the mood and deliver the punchlines; with a one-person stand-up routine, these need to be eye-catching but not distracting.
The spectacular backdrop upstage was custom made and delivered by S+H Technical Support. The pink and purple seven 5m silk-lined printed ShowLED starcloth contains 1,100 warm-white LEDs that outline large pink letters making up the artist’s name and swoosh up in fan-like lines from these in the centre to the outside edges.
There is a conduit pocket in the bottom for weighting and eradicating wrinkles, and it folds down elegantly into a neat trunk for transportation in the back of an SUV.
The design was based on the tour’s poster / promotional artwork and visuals, and it also matches Julian’s array of flamboyant costumes designed by Hugh Durrant.
The idea of touring a scenic backdrop which would also take on the role of a straightforward but striking set was initiated by Bex Cliff who stage manages and co-ordinates all things technical for Julian on the road, including operating the lighting.
She’s worked with starcloths on various other shows and hit on the idea of combining a scenic piece with twinkling elements - adding that all-important hint of glamour - as a perfect touch for this tour.
Bex in turn was recommended by several people to drapes and starcloth experts S+H. She contacted Terry Murtha and the team in Ilfracombe, Devon, and was impressed by their work on various other specialist projects, as well as their friendly and accessible approach. They started looking at fabrics, the printing process, the LEDs, etc. to get started, and then chose the spacing of the LEDs which are at 75mm centres to one another.
The DMX controlled LEDs were running through the lighting console operated by Bex standing stage left in the wings. A myriad of effects were possible, from just outlining the letters to having rays of LEDs pulsating up or down the cloth plus many others relevant to what was happening onstage. “We were finding new possibilities all the time; it is incredibly versatile,” she concluded.
(Jim Evans)

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