GLP sets the mood for Blues in the Night
Wednesday, 21 August 2019
blues-in-the-night-5446Blues In The Night is playing London’s Kiln Theatre
UK - The Olivier and Tony award-nominated Blues In The Night has undergone its first revival in 30 years at London’s Kiln Theatre.
Running until 7 September, and originally conceived by Sheldon Epps, Robert Jones’ hotel-based set design, steeped in Chicago 1930’s depression, is brought to life by eminent lighting designer, Neil Austin, with the aid of purpose-selected LED tools from GLP, with whom he has collaborated frequently in the past.
It was Austin who had initially suggested the more theatre-friendly variant of GLP’s popular X4 Bars, proposing an RGBY batten that would deliver warmer tones, which is now available as a custom option in the GLP catalogue. Austin himself has been using quantities of these fixtures on an internationally renowned production currently being produced around the globe.
It had been Rob Jones who was responsible for getting the Tony and Olivier Award-winning LD involved in this latest production. “We had been trying to work together for the last 17 years, and when he called up about Blues In The Night, the fact that this was the first real juke box music compilation from a great era of songs was the clincher, as was the chance to work with [the show’s star] Sharon D Clarke. It’s fragmented imaging of the late 30s in a run-down hotel, with three women and a man, all interacting, and telling their stories. It’s a lovely set of songs and a lovely set too.”
But the Kiln Theatre (previously the Tricycle) is a small theatre, and although it was substantially refurbished during its metamorphosis a year or so ago, including a technology upgrade, it only had a small weekly production budget. “It was certainly not sufficient to stage a musical,” says the LD. And so he turned to GLP for assistance.
His solution was to mix 10 each of the shorter X4 Bar 10 RGBY battens with the standard RGBW. “We are using the warm RGBY for backlighting the rooms and the cold [RGBW] for the central Hotel Foyer area, but they all blend together beautifully,” he notes.
But Austin was far from finished with GLP’s innovative solutions, as next he turned to the compact X4 atom, which despite its diminutive form factor houses a mighty 30W LED colour source. “We used six of these tiny atoms, which are glorious,” he exclaimed. “I always knew I would use these one day, and this provided the opportunity to skim the proscenium which we’ve glazed slightly. These fixtures are tight and bright and highlight it perfectly.” Finally, he is using GLP’s impression S350 LED moving head profile.
Assisting Neil Austin were his regular programmer, Dan Haggerty, with Jamie Platt as associate lighting designer. Lighting equipment vendor was White Light.
(Jim Evans)

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