Avolites Hits The West End

Bristol-based lighting rental house Fineline is supplying an Avolites Sapphire lighting console to run an eclectic mix of generic and automated fixtures on the current “Cliff The Musical” tour. The production is currently installed at The Prince of Wales Theatre in London’s West End.

Fineline is the main lighting and set contractor for the tour, working for producers That’ll Be The day, who are also based in Bristol.

The show’s set and lighting design work together to produce a colourful integrated, lively ‘look’ for the show, which is mid-way through a highly successful national tour. It’s a light-hearted musical celebration of the work and hits of Cliff Richard, one of the UK’s most enduring pop stars with a career spanning five decades!

Cliff the Musical’s lighting scheme was designed by Simon Johnson and Graham McClusky, and it’s being operated by the touring Chief LX, Gary Churchill.

The rig is based on the touring principals of flexibility and adaptability for a wide variety of venues. With that in mind, explains Fineline’s Darren Wring, they decided on a tried-and-tested rock ‘n’ roll lighting desk to go with it, and specified the Sapphire. “It was the obvious choice” says Wring. While the show that blends elements of both rock ‘n’ roll and theatre, on a practical and logistical level, it’s being staged rock ‘n’ roll style.

The lighting rig consists of 16 High End Systems’ Studio Beam PC’s,10 HES Studio Spot 250s and four HES X-Spots;16 ETC Source Four 19s, LED truss toners and panels built in to the scenic set doors plus 32 LED strips running around the two side-stage entrances – which resemble a giant juke box. Each LED string consumes 3-channels of DMX, but the results are well worth it. They are also touring a 72-way Avolites ART dimming rack.

All of this is controlled by the Sapphire.

The Preset focuses are one of Gary Churchill’s favourite Sapphire features. It’s the first time he’s run a theatrical show with an Avo board, although he’s used them many times at festivals and on corporate events. The speed and ease of the present focuses have been invaluable for working quickly and efficiently during the provincial shows, where they have had only a one day overnight fit up – and there’s only Churchill on the touring lighting crew!.

Fineline took the plunge and purchased most of the show’s required fixtures brand new. The Sapphire is one of many Avolites consoles in their hire stock, all of which are in constant use.

Cliff The Musical runs in the West End till the end of July before resuming another 8 month stint round the UK.

Photo credits: © Louise Stickland

Skip to toolbar