Following a run at the Watermill Theatre, Newbury and a UK tour in 2016, satirical play The Wipers Times has arrived in the West End with a limited run at The Arts Theatre. Full technical service provider Hawthorn were chosen to provide lighting equipment for this dark comedy from the trenches.
A stage adaptation of their award-winning BBC film, The Wipers Times by Ian Hislop and Nick Newman, tells the true and extraordinary story of the satirical newspaper that was created in the mud and mayhem of the Somme.
The team at Hawthorn worked with lighting designer James Smith to provide lighting equipment for the production when it toured in 2016 and were delighted to be asked to be involved once again when it arrived in the West End.
Smith, explaining why he chose to get Hawthorn on board once again, said: “After seeing the success of how Hawthorn delivered the UK tour of Wind in the Willows, of which I’m the Associate LD, it was not a hard decision to ask them to supply the lighting equipment for The Wipers Times, both on the original tour and the transfer to the Arts Theatre.
In line with technical enhancements within the industry, the rig for the West End production utilises a mixture of LED fixtures, such as the ETC ColorSource Spot, alongside more traditional tungsten fixtures such as the Vari*lite VL1000TS.
“The production required a wide variety of fixtures including framing moving lights, LED source fours, zoomable LED cans and very tight Aero cans” says Smith. “This was due to the huge variety of different locations within the play. From the sombre Front Line to the vibrant colour of the comedy sketches, the equipment suggested and supplied by the team at Hawthorn provided me with the palette I needed to create this multi-location, filmic piece of theatre.”
Also featuring on The Wipers Times West End kit list is the Martin Rush Par 2, a bright LED PAR that offers an electronic zoom function. The fixture offers much greater versatility than a standard PAR when it comes to design, allowing the LD full RGBW colour mixing.
Mark Burnett, business development manager at Hawthorn, said, “Following our on-going success within the theatre market we were once again chosen to supply lighting equipment to The Wipers Times. We have a great relationship with both James Smith, the lighting dDesigner and Chris Mence, the production electrician, having worked together on UK Tour of The Wind in the Willows. We were involved with The Wipers Times when it first hit the road so to be part of its West End residency is great news. What’s even better is that we get to go back on the road with the show when it goes on tour again in September this year.”