White Light has supplied the lighting equipment for the recent West End transfer of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin following its critically-acclaimed UK tour.
Based on Louis de Bernières’ best-selling novel, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin is the world-famous story of romance in the face of the Second World War set on the idyllic Greek island of Cephallonia. The production marks the novel’s first major theatrical adaptation and marks the 25thanniversary since its original publication. For both the UK tour and West End run, the lighting design was by Malcolm Rippeth.
Malcolm comments: “As a creative team, one of our main aims was to find the look and feel of Cephalonia and the other spaces featured across the story; the key one being the Italian soldiers fighting their way through the country. In that sense, it was creating a space of peace and beauty in pre-invasion Cephalonia, contrasting with a space imbued with the anticipation of violence. There were also the ‘psychological spaces’ that certain characters experienced during the clashes of warfare”.
With Captain Corelli’s Mandolin being such an epic story, the creative team had to ensure they did this justice in only two and a half hours of stage time. Malcolm explains: “There are lots of jump-cuts and montages of years passing throughout the play, which are devices we’re used to in the cinema. That said, we were keen to make this show as theatrical as possible and embrace the medium. As a result, we stripped the aesthetic back which immediately allowed this. Given that the limited set never changes, lighting was actually key in giving the audience a clear sense of the different spaces and which world they were in at certain points of the piece”.
Once Malcolm had created a design which brought the world of Cephalonia to life, he approached WL to provide the lighting for both the UK tour and the ultimate West End transfer. He explains: “We had a side light cover of ETC Source 4 Lustr2s to give us immediate control of colour and temperature across wide ensemble scenes, whilst enhancing the movement and choreography. Overhead we had 12 MAC Encore CLDs, which gave us maximum punch for the cold scenes and images of warfare, but which were then able to have a beautiful warm quality, at perfectly adequate intensities”.
Malcolm also drew on Martin MAC Aura XBs, Unique 2.1 Haze Machines and an ETC Ion Console.
The show initially opened at the Curve Theatre, Leicester before visiting Rose Theatre Kingston, Theatre Royal Bath, Birmingham Rep, Kings Theatre Edinburgh and the Glasgow Theatre Royal. Following critical acclaim and sell-out shows, the West End transfer was soon announced and will play at the Harold Pinter Theatre until 31st August 2019.
Malcolm concludes: “This is a brilliant show and I’m glad to see audiences across the country and now in the West End responding so well to it. I’d like to thank Tom Mulliner for being fantastic in his role as relighter, production electrician and programmer and helping the show run smoothly every time we visited a new venue. I’d also like to say thanks to WL for their support once again on this production”.