PRG XL Video recently supported lighting designer Richard Howell and production manager Stuart Tucker, for the opening show at the newly renamed and renovated London theatre, The Other Palace. PRG XL Video account manager John Pauls worked closely with Richard, Stuart and production electrician Neil Foster to supply the lighting for The Wild Party during a seven-week run in central London, between February and April.
The Wild Party is a musical theatre production adapted from a book by Michael John LaChiusa and George C Wolfe, with music and lyrics by LaChiusa, based on Joseph Moncure March’s 1928 narrative poem of the same name. The show premiered off-Broadway in 2000, before this 2017 revival at London’s newest producing theatre.
Richard Howell discussed the initial brief of how to light the show: “It was great to be teamed up with director/choreographer Drew McOnie and designer Soutra Gilmour, who I had worked with on a number of previous projects, including Jekyll and Hyde at the Old Vic. The theming of the design is well defined—being very warm and subtle for the majority of the time, with the flexibility to be harsh, exposed and even briefly unbearable when the occasion calls for it.
“I used Martin MAC TW1s a lot, as a tungsten moving light fixture they suited the brief perfectly and are a very versatile light for theatre. The rich, warm colour of the TW1 is second to none and irreplaceable for this particular project. We also had several Martin MAC Vipers, which I used for adding colour when needed, but also filtered to mimic the filament look. One light I was very keen to include in the rig was the ETC Source Four Lustr2s – it’s a phenomenal piece of kit, and the only LED fixture that would have worked as part of our design, due to the ability to colour match it with its traditional, tungsten cousin.”
Richard also made use of festoon lighting arranged on a circular piece of set around the entrance/exit, numerous pendent lights which hung down at random points, and Birdies as footlights around the edge of the stage. Production electrician Neil Foster commented: “The Wild Party was in essence a perfectly normal small theatre fit-up, both Richard and PRG XL Video worked with the limited space and resources available to develop a rig suitable for a complicated musical with lots of different looks, scene changes and many cast members on stage at any one point in time.”
Richard worked with lighting programmer Vicky Brennan. They used an ETC Gio @ 5 to plot and programme the show, before transferring the show file onto the theatre’s own ETC Ion lighting control console for the main run.
PRG XL Video account manager John Pauls commented: “Working with The Wild Party team was a really pleasant experience, they all knew exactly what they wanted to achieve, but had a realistic approach to making it work with the products and budget available.”