Sticky Situation for Fourth Phase
Tuesday, 31 July 2001
Sticky Situation for Fourth Phase
It was free, it was ethereal and it used a hell of a lot of sticky tape. Born out of a burnt-out church in Stockton at the Riverside Festival in 1998, developed further for Glasgow's Year of Architecture and Design in 1999, the outdoor event that is Sticky most recently appeared as the culminating event to the Croydon Summer Festival on July 21. The show, which requires, amongst other things, a mobile crane, opened with performers pulling and twisting roll after roll of 2" wide clear sticky tape (3M's the best so far) out of the shadows, forming a web of tape. High above the performance area, a winged figure fluttered, faltered, then fell into a spidery limbed, translucent carcass. Over the next hour, with the help of some stunning lighting and fireworks, the shimmering mass transformed into a tower of filigree pinnacles, a clock - complete with flaming pendulum - and finally a machine of Metropolis proportions. And all made out of sticky tape!

Lighting designer Phil Supple has lit all the productions of Sticky which, he says, just keep growing. "The principal difficulty is that I never get to see it beforehand. There's no rehearsal - I have to focus and programme the show before the tower has emerged. At Croydon the weather the night before was so bad that I did the programming in my car!" For the Croydon show, the lighting rig was supplied by Fourth Phase, which incorporates what was Midnight Design, a company Phil has worked with many times over the years. "The lighting equipment has got to be weather-proof, which is why I use Studio Due outdoor floods," said Phil.

In addition to four 1800W City Color and three 1200W City Beam outdoor floods, other equipment supplied by Fourth Phase included Avo dimming racks, an Avolites Pearl desk, four Diversitronics Data Strobes and a long-throw Clay Paky Shadow Followspot, plus other outdoor floods, fresnels, Pars, rigging and plenty of Lee gel!

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