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Let there be lights!

Jonathan Kaufman 31 May 2019

So being my own lighting designer and operator has its advantages – and disadvantages. On the plus side I get to create my own lighting effects, lighting a show just the way I like it. I discovered many years ago that a theatre show doesn’t look like a proper theatre show until you shine the lights on the stage. And even with the limited lighting rig at Sydenham Centre – seven lights in total at the moment, plus a moveable back light for shadow effects etc – it’s surprising how many varied lighting states you can create!

For me, one of the pleasures of the ‘tech rehearsal’ – this is when we go through the show for all lighting and sound effects – is seeing it all come together, and ‘plotting’ the lighting states. Deciding which combination of colour lighting will create the desired effect for each scene can be a lot of fun. The downside – well, as director/lighting operator, I’m stuck in the corner at the back of the theatre and never really get to see the show the way the audience does. One of these days I hope to be able to afford a lighting and sound technician – so if anyone out there is interested in offering their services, I’d love to hear from you!

And so there we were yesterday, merrily running the SAFE theatre show at TNG Youth Centre – where the lighting rig is even more limited (3 workable lights this time!) – when the main white light we were using blew a bulb! With the news that replacing this might take a few days (!) we were staring disaster in the face…

For today’s show, then, later this evening (6pm if you can make it, the show’s completely FREE!) we will be borrowing a light from a very helpful video maker called DeRae (thanks DeRae!) and the audience will get the full experience (see fantastic dress rehearsal pics by Mark Drinkwater here).

See you at the TNG Youth Centre this evening!