White Light tours with Poet in da Corner
Thursday, 27 February 2020
Poet in da Corner opened at the Royal Court Theatre (photo: Helen Murray)
UK - White Light has supplied the lighting equipment for the UK tour of Poet in da Corner, following its critically-acclaimed run at the Royal Court Theatre.
Poet in da Corner is a coming of age story inspired by Dizzee Rascal’s seminal album Boy in Da Corner. Written and performed by lyricist and poet Debris Stevenson, it originally ran at the Royal Court in 2018. This latest tour is a new production, directed by Ola Ince and featuring a lighting design by Anna Watson.
Watson comments: “Poet in da Corner is an original story told primarily through grime music. With this in mind, I always knew that the lighting would have to work hard in order to match the show’s epic, fast-paced soundtrack. I wanted my design to support the story and music as well as capture the grime rave aesthetic. I also had to work alongside the set design by Jacob Hughes which is a beautifully simple layout of yellow portals on truss along with a high shine floor with a revolve. As a creative team, we set ourselves one objective: to help create an unforgettable gig theatre vibe.”
Watson approached WL’s hire team. In terms of her fixture choices, she explains: “Overhead, we had 9m of GLP Impression X4 Bar 20s and nine Martin MAC Aura XBs. The X4 Bars were the lighting stars of the show. This was my first opportunity to really test these units and they did not disappoint. Visible to the audience, we used them for a huge variety of effects and atmospheric lighting. With incredible programming from Stephen Settle, they filled or dissected the space with beautiful accuracy and detail. The Aura XBs also worked hard as moving beams through haze or acting as specials to light the performers.”
She continues: “On the booms, we had ETC ColorSource PARs, ColorSource Profiles and PAR 64s, with birdies used as footlights. We used 30 x RGBW LED fluorescents upstage mainly behind a black BP screen, which gave them a slightly ghostly or projected feel as they chased along or flickered to beats of the music. These were only actually then revealed for one track which is set in a club but we ensured they were shown off in their full glory. We used old school asymmetric floods as audience blinders.”
As the show was also visiting a range of venues across the UK, this is something that Anna had to factor into her design. Watson adds: “As the show is touring to a wide variety of venues (from medium size studios to Hackney Empire), couple with the tight turnaround time at each, we wanted to reduce the variables as much as possible, so made the decision to tour everything.
“Fortunately, with a great deal of support from WL and GLP, we were able to put together a rig that could feel big enough and flexible enough to support this bold, fast-paced and beautifully loud show.”
Poet in da Corner opened at the Royal Court Theatre and is now embarking on its UK tour. Watson concludes: “As always, I was very well looked after by the Royal Court team, with huge support by Johnny Wilson and the lighting team. Also a big thanks to WL for once again supplying me with the fixtures I needed.”
(Jim Evans)

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