|Performance Dates||Wednesday January 18th 2017-Saturday January 21st 2017|
|Venue||Chandler Studio Theatre|
|Lighting Designer||Paddy Hepplewhite|
|Sound Designer||Andrew Jackson
|Production Manager||Ros Maddison|
|Stage Manager||Laurie Sutton|
|LX Operator||Yesha Subotincic West|
This production of William Shakespeare's Macbeth was performed by an all female cast, from BA Acting Year 2. It was directed by Ian Wooldridge, set and costume design by Alisa Kalyanova, lighting design by Paddy Hepplewhite and sound design by Andrew Jackson.
Instead of sticking the traditional recreation of the play, in this modern adaption the actors intertwined between characters. As the set and lighting design was very sleek and stylised, based around the idea of a fashion catwalk, the costumes were in keeping with this and token pieces of costume or props were used to help identify each character; e.g. Macbeth was signified by an army style bullet-proof vest, Lady Macbeth by a black crinoline, Macduff by a sheep skin body warmer and King Duncan's family wore accessories that were coloured red.
It was set in traverse staging, the main performing space was a catwalk in between the two seating banks painted white. The main set dressing was a large polytheen wall at one end of the theatre, and a pile of soil with a bath situated in amongst it at the other end.
Technical Stage Management
I wanted to make sure that my lights where aseptically part of design so my main wash is on drop bars above the audience which also practically works within The Chandler and the staging set up. The face light is also on drop bars but single bars just above head height so is obtrusive into the stage. Then a lot of top light in a structure grid order.
For my colour choice I wanted to blend the white washed theme of a catwalk and cold gloomy theme of Macbeth. I did this with Lilac in the main wash creating almost white light but still keep gloomy and cool with cold blue in my top light and cool Full C.T blue for face light.
Then it was just a matter of adding the essential red of Macbeth and specials. Part of the set there was Polythene curtains downstage which where used for entrance but also were useful item to light on so I have put two Coda flood units where I can do colour mixing with a RGB and a O/W to add to my lighting design.
The Macbeth rig took place over a day and a half. The first day we rigged all drop bars and the overhead.
The drop bars came in 2 kinds. One was a horizontal bar spanning the catwalks dropped by 700mm. These were meant to hold 2 lights in the middle of the cat walks. There were also 8 single drop bars where the lights needed to sit 3000mm off the ground. These we used a bar of scaff that was 2000mm to 2500mm and a doughty with a boom arm on the end. Before rigging these bars, I put the doughty and the boom arm on in roughly the right place so it was already sitting at the right level. The boom arms got put on 100mm in from one end and the doughty 1750mm from the boom arm. These measurements meant the boom arm was 3000mm from the deck. The bars were safetied by a drift going through the scaff bar and through the yoke of the lamp and then back up to the catwalks where they were wrapped around bars until the two end could just be joined by a shackle. This caused the drift to go round a very tight edge at the bottom of the scaff which was not ideal. Drifts_as_safeties.pdf
This rig was not great. What should have been done was use a longer scaff bar and use 2 fixed scaff clamps so that acts as a safety for the bar and being fixed they don’t swivel when a lamp is hung on the boom arm.
However my measurements were correct and the lamps were sitting at the right spots!
There were also 3 other bars that got rigged.
One was for 3 par cans outside the dock doors. The bar was approximately 3000mm long. There are channels attached to the ceiling there that allow spring clips to be attached to. Since there were no excess spring clips I stole the 2 middle clips from the bar behind the black that had been rigged outside the dock door too.
The bar was then rigged on the 2 spring clips and the parcans hung and plugged up to an alphapac.
There needed to be bars SL and SR for various specials. SL there were 2 birdies to highlight masks on the wall and SR there was a PC for backlight on the drum set.
Initially this was rigged with 3000mm aluminum bars using baby beam clamps attached to the c bars under the wings. The baby beam clamps went to a 1 ton shackle to a 1000mm climbing strop wrapped around the bar twice. After asking Malki to check it, and he pointing out that just a strop wrapped around a bar is not very secure. For what we were using it for it shouldn’t have been an issue but it’s just good practice to always rig it properly. Since we were short of equipment and each bar had to be at a slightly different height they were each re-rigged differently.
SL – This was swapped to 2 C beam to scaff clamps stolen from the grid. This held 2 birdies.
SR – This bar had to sit slightly lover as the working light fixture got in the war of using the C/Scaff clamps. I used the last 2 barrel clamps on the bar to a 1 ton shackle to a 300mm climbing strop doubled over to a 1 ton shackle to a baby beam clamp. This held 1 PC.
The designer requested we project on to the white "catwalk" performance space. Preferably we would have rigged a short throw projector in the centre of the the 2nd catwalk. However, due to budget and time constraints this wasn't available to us, so we ended up using a Sanyo PLC-XP57L Projector - borrowed from AV - rigged on the back bar and projected on to the most downstage edge, covering roughly a third of the performance space. We then borrowed a Hitachi ED-A100 projector from Birds of Paradise, the projector is usually used for short throw projection, which could have been ideal, however it did not have the required rigging equipment to place under the catwalk, so instead this was rigged on the ground of the "corridor" that connects the catwalks/where stock is usually stored, projecting horizontally onto the other two thirds of the performance space.
We ran VGA from the Sanyo up and along the back bar to the corridor, then round and under the catwalks stairs and set up the AV in the top SL corner of the Chandler. The Hitachi just ran in a straight line to the laptop. Both were connected by VGA > Thunderbolt converters; we borrowed both the adaptors and two 20m VGA cables from AV. We also got a DMX shutter from AV, as the Sanyo had an obvious spill of light on stage even when it was intended to be black, so we attached that to the top. We used Resolume Arena on a Macbook, using the mapping to merge the two separate projections. Overall it was fairly effective, the only drawback was the difference in the brightness between the two projectors, but by editing the settings on the projector itself this was fairly easily rectified.
Production photographs can be found online at https://www.flickr.com/photos/rcsofficial/albums/72157677489519912