In this edition of our sustainability blog we report back on our new LED lights. Scott McArdle (Josephine! and Laika: A Staged Radio Play) is working on two of our upcoming productions as lighting designer, and illuminates his thoughts of what the new rig means for artists and The Blue Room Theatre.
Scott McArdle –
As a lighting designer, the addition of the LEDs to The Blue Room spaces is a game changer. There’s a bunch of technical reasons why the LEDs are a stroke of genius (i.e. digital addressing, colour changing, special effects) but on a theatre making level, they take storytelling to new heights.
Your typical theatre lights do one thing: fade up and down – dim or bright. You can drop a colour in front but that’s it – lock it in, Eddie! With our LED’s you’ve got the same fade up and down but also they come in red, green, blue, white, amber, and UV (as well as a strobe option). So instead of rigging 5 lights in those colours, I can just use the one (praise hands emoji!)
Making an epic, sprawling piece like Josephine! at Summer Nights was made 100x easier with LEDs – especially with only one day to tech. Big circus lights, frightening lightning flashes – things that immerse the audience.
As the designer on the first two season shows, the first season to have the LEDs, the creative team and I are finding ourselves really freed to go big and not compromise on design.
Hive Mind is an incredible magical mystery – people vanish in light, missing girl’s appear and disappear, fires are lit, and bee hives talk to people. One thing that I’m doing to pull this off is building an LED into a set piece and backlighting everything with the rest of them. It’s going to be surreal and overwhelming and I’m taking a big page out of the design of Twin Peaks.
Hold Your Breath is almost the exact opposite – it’s intimate and truthful and narratively stripped. The LEDs won’t be used for special effects but for really specific colour mixing. David Korins (designer on Hamilton and Dear Evan Hansen) recently said that “when you paint with colour, you’re painting with emotion” and that’s my modus operandi underpinning Daley’s show here, to enhance the beautiful emotion that he puts on display in a really subtle way.
As you can see, these two shows are intrinsically different and we’re about to see just how these LEDs can help lift them to the next level. We’re living in an age where being a technical designer in theatre is like being in a toy store – there’s very few things that we can do now.
The LEDs are just another way that the team at The Blue Room are helping ALL creatives get the development and experience they need to work in our adventurous industry.
Hold Your Breath (Count To Ten)
23 April – 12 May
More information here
1 May – 19 May
More information here