White Light supplies Teenage Dick at the Donmar
Friday, 10 January 2020
1teenage-dick-1-marc-brennerTeenage Dick will run at the Donmar until 1 February 2020 (photo: Marc Brenner)
UK - White Light has recently supplied the lighting on Teenage Dick, the critically-acclaimed production which is currently running at the Donmar Warehouse.
Making its UK debut, Teenage Dick is a darkly comic take on Richard III and is directed by the Donmar’s artistic director Michael Longhurst. Set in an American high school, it tells the story of Richard who, after years of torment due to his hemiplegia, plots the ultimate rise in power: become president of his senior class.
The show features a lighting design by Sinead McKenna, who comments: “My brief on Teenage Dick was to create the feeling of a bright and brash ‘high school movie’ meets dark European stark expressionism. It was actually a real joy to mash up these two styles and experiment with what could be achieved. The play is also set in a gym and Chloe Lamford’s set really makes you feel like you are walking into an actual school gymnasium. I wanted to make sure my lighting didn’t work against that but rather embraced it”.
To achieve this, McKenna wanted to use predominately LED washes and spot units to provide colour pop and sheen for the fun glossy high school vibe, which could then morph easily into a stark, cold brash white light. She explains: “Projected light was a major element of the design aesthetic, and I needed to be able to work with video designer Andrzej Goulding and match the quality of light being projected.
McKenna approached WL to supply her with the lighting fixtures she required. She explains: “We used Ayrton’s Ghibli LED spots to create the classic sharp edge ‘spotlight’ for the direct addresses. They can achieve a really stark, almost arc-light quality which was exactly what was needed for this piece. They’re also really versatile and worked well with the rest of the rig for shaping the space and working alongside the other units as colour washes when used soft. Grid space was at a premium so it was important that the differing units could work together seamlessly.”
McKenna continues: “Alongside this, I used GLP Impression X4s overhead for colour washes and two at a very low angle from the front which were used for various effects, including bouncing off mirrored back wall. ETC Colorsource LED profiles worked alongside the generic rig to create coverage for the space. I also hung some fluorescent box fixtures retro-fitted with LED from above that helped create the 'roof' of the school gym, while still allowing me to colour mix to create varying tones. There were also some terrifically cheesy gobo moments for high school prom lighting.”
(Jim Evans)

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