The Royal Shakespeare Company’s new adaptation of Roald Dahl’s much-loved story Matilda is now playing at the Cambridge Theatre in London after opening in Stratford – and both productions used entertainment lighting specialist White Light.
For Matilda in London, White Light has supplied a conventional rig that includes ETC Source Four Profiles and Source Four Pars, L&E Nano-Strip M11 striplights, High End Dataflash strobes, Robert Juliat Cyrano followspots, and a diverse selection of moving lights ranging from Vari*Lite VL500s, VL3000Q Washes and VL1000AS Spots to Martin Mac700 Profiles and MacIII units in both Profile and Performance form, plus twelve of JB Lighting’s JBLED A7 Zoom LED washlights and twelve Thomas PixelLine LED battens.
Alongside the lighting fixtures, White Light has supplied effects including Look Solutions Viper and Power Tiny smoke machines and Unique hazers, MDG Atmosphere haze machines plus Big Shot confetti cannons. The rig is controlled by an MA grandMA Light control console. The production also makes use of two RSC Lightlock lighting stabilisers to allow moving lights to be rigged on short drift bars without the bars oscillating every time the lights moved.
White Light added a new element to the show during the London rehearsal period. “At the Courtyard, we used Par Cans and the architecture of the theatre to create the Chokey – a heinous solitary confinement/torture device designed by Miss Trunchbull which she uses to incarcerate each and every one of her pupils,” said lighting designer Hugh Vanstone. “In London, Matthew Warchus came up with the idea of using lasers instead, and my associate Tim Lutkin worked with White Light’s Darren Howard to come up with a thrilling effect at the Cambridge.” Howard and a team from White Light spent one Sunday in the theatre installing twelve lasers, creating a dramatic effect that is said to have thrilled the director, lighting designer and audiences.
Matilda continues White Light’s long association with both the Cambridge Theatre (where the company supplied the rig for Chicago for many years prior to the show’s transfer to the Garrick), and with the RSC, for which White Light has supplied the rigs for numerous productions, continues to supply the lighting to Les Mierables in the West End, and distributes the RSC’s Lightlock in the UK.
Photo by Simon Annand. Courtesy of AKA.