A bespoke lighting system supplied by A.C. Special Projects (ACSP) took centre stage for the high-profile launch party of London’s revamped The Arts Club, an exclusive private members club on Dover Street. The re-launch of the historic club – which was founded in 1863 by, amongst others, Charles Dickens – was attended by HRH the Duke of Edinburgh and a host of A-list creative artists, including Cameron Diaz, Ozwald Boateng, Sir Peter Blake and Anton Corbijn.
The Arts Club was reopened by restaurateur Arjun Waney and property entrepreneur Gary Landesburg to provide an exclusive meeting place for actors, writers, musicians and other creative artists.
Lighting designer Patrick Woodroffe was amongst several high profile names in the performing arts commissioned to help craft a unique ambience in the venue. To create a special lighting scheme for the basement’s intimate 100 capacity ‘Club Nouveau’, Woodroffe approached ACSP to collaborate in sourcing and installing the equipment and recommending a flexible control system.
Having previously collaborated with ACSP on lighting projects at Somerset House and the V&A museum in London, Woodroffe asked the company onboard for their performance lighting specialist knowledge, expertise and proven ability to deliver the project on time and on budget to the rigorous standards of excellence echoed throughout the whole club.
The stage is curtained at the back and sides and has a curved electric track at the front, which ACSP sourced from Hall Stage. The Lelievre Sultan trevira curtain fabric was purchased in Paris. It is a special super-quality weave and was chosen to match coverings on the fixed seating booths in Club Nouveau. Around the front of the stage, ensconced into a bespoke set of scallop-shaped antique brass, are 11 Anolis ArcSource 6 LED fixtures. These wash and smoothly illuminate the curtain when closed, while the scallop fittings add to the period feel.
The stage backdrop is made from the same fabric. Below this is a linear strip of four Anolis ArcLine 40 RGB fittings, butted-up and sunk into a channel in the stage covered by a toughened glass top.
Upstage, a lighting bar is fixed into the ceiling void and rigged with eight Robe LEDForce 7 RGBW fixtures. These were picked for their smooth, shadow-free output, and have been fitted with barn doors for more retro aesthetics as well as to contain the light neatly within the compact stage.
There are another two LEDForce 7s per side, attached to the side-stage columns and used for cross stage fill.
Above the main seated floor area is a distinctive recessed ovular ceiling feature. Thirty Anolis ArcSource 6’s have been fitted around the edge of this. These wash the gold leafed ceiling – the controlled radiance emitted from the lights provides a subtle ambience for the room below.
Also for the stage, ACSP has supplied a Pulsar Demon strobe and a Jem K1 hazer.
As a result of ACSP being involved early enough in the restructure/build stages of the basement, slits were cut into the ceiling either side of the stage, half way down the room. Each slit accommodates three ETC Source Four Junior profiles per side. Optimising the limited ceiling height enables the luminaires to sit in an ideal position to provide a row of warm white focusable beams for the front of stage action.
At the back of the venue, near the bar, is a Spotlight Mini Profile Zoom with Iris, focussed onto the front of the stage accenting the curtains when closed. It can also be used to highlight performers.
ACSP provided two lighting control options. These work via a Chroma-Q Magic Box DMX A-B Switch. A Mode Colour Style controller, which is pre-programmed with a series of different generic stage lighting states that can be easily accessed by the duty manager of the day. For those wanting more complex and hands-on control over the stage lighting, there is an ETC SmartFade M.L. console.
Since opening its doors in October the club has been a huge success and has featured performances by Ronnie Wood, Paloma Faith, Noel Gallagher and Mica Paris.