The Peter Rabbit Easter Adventure (photo: Rah Petherbridge)
UK - Through a mix of live performances and puppetry, The Peter Rabbit Easter Adventure is an immersive theatrical experience that brings to life the stories and characters of Beatrix Potter.
Taking place at London’s Covent Garden, audiences are transported back in time as they help Beatrix herself rescue Jemima Paddle-Duck from the clutches of Mr McGregor, with the help of Benjamin Bunny and Peter Rabbit. The show features a lighting design by Sean Gleason who approached White Light (WL) to supply his lighting equipment.
When it came to lighting the show, Sean comments: “My role on The Peter Rabbit Easter Adventure was mainly to bring found and adapted spaces to life, help set the scene, as well as bring focus to certain moments. The play has a mix of actors interacting with puppets and puppeteers so light needed to play a large role in not only creating magical settings but also helping to distract and hide what we didn’t want the audience to see.”
As this show was set in Covent Garden as opposed to a more traditional theatre space, did this change Sean’s approach to the project? He explains: “My creative approach was pretty much the same. The play had previously been set at Blenheim Palace so the framework to the design was already in place, but the location and settings on this occasion were completely different and this obviously influenced my process.
“For this latest version, the full creative team, including our writer Callum Finlay, were all back in the room, which resulted in the piece continuously evolving; making the rehearsal room a very creative space and inevitably led to it being very different to the original version.
“Working in a non-traditional setting resulted in discovering technical problems and challenges along the way (as expected). Advanced planning set us in good stead but having an open mind and being able to respond in the moment was important, and this was only made possible thanks to the great lighting team and having a company like WL behind us”.
And it was WL who Sean approached to supply his lighting fixtures, which mainly consisted of ETC Source Four CE Mini LEDS, birdies, dimmers and cabling. He explains: “It was important to feel like scenes were lit either from natural sources or only by the practical lighting elements that the audience discovered in each of the locations as they made their way through the experience.
“It was just as important that any theatrical sources were able to be hidden or disguised. That’s why using small fixtures such as the Source Four Minis really allowed me to control the lighting in a very precise way; whilst being small enough to be hid away from the view of audience members.”
Given this project was taking place in one of the busiest public spaces and working markets in all of London - as well as being a Grade I listed site - this meant that Sean and his team had to overcome a certain amount of obstacles that wouldn’t be in place with a more traditional theatre production: “The entire set-up and installation had to be planned in great detail; with many decisions having to be made well in advance of the rehearsal process, given the negotiations that had to take place.
“Given the nature of the project and where it was based, this was always going to be an arduous process and it was only made possible thanks to our super brilliant production manager Callum Finn; who not only had to oversee the performance layout but also the indoor activity area, as well as the retail space.”

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