It’s ‘All or Nothing’ for White Light

All or Nothing – The Mod Musical follows the rise and fall of the Small Faces; a band who encapsulated the mod era. Following its initial run at The Vaults in 2015, followed by a sell-out UK tour, the show opened at London’s Arts Theatre. Having supplied the show since its very first production, White Light has been called upon again to provide the West End run.

The Lighting Designer for All or Nothing was Peter Small, who has worked on the show since it first opened in 2016. He commented: “It’s fair to say the show has definitely grown and changed over time; so much so that it’s now a completely different production than the one seen at The Vaults. Every time we’ve remounted it for an extension or a new tour, we’ve always taken the opportunity to improve and refine our work; with the West End transfer being the biggest and loudest version yet.”

As with every version of the show, Small’s brief remained the same for the West End run – to be true to the music and the era in which it’s set. He explained: “This isn’t a rock show. Rather, it’s an equal balance between the ‘straight acting’ scenes alongside the music and dance sequences. For the acting scenes, we carefully choose the lighting depending on how we wanted each location to look (given the scenery doesn’t change). When we moved to a new location, we would either lead with a practical or an effect in order for the audience to identify with that location.

“It’s the same for the music numbers,” he continued. “Each number has a very specific look that is not used again elsewhere. I also wanted to use the lighting to try and show the progression in the band’s career. For instance, in the early performances, there are some cheap-looking colour wheels. For the next phases, there is a mirror ball until it eventually leads to a full-blown concert. It’s about layering up the effects as we move through the tracks.”

As the show entered the Arts Theatre, this meant there had to be some additions to the previous rig. Peter explained: “Back in The Vaults, we had about 50 generics and very few moving lights. Today, we have a rig of 72 moving lights, 58 scrollers and over 114 generics – so it’s a slight increase! For a show like this, I looked to draw on equipment that I knew I could fully rely on. This included the German Light Products XBar 20; ETC Revolution IM/SM; [Philips Vari-Lite] VL1000TS, VL1100AS and VL3000Q; [Martin by Harman] MAC 700, Robe Mini Me, Chroma-Q ColourForce 72 and, of course, a healthy dose of ETC Source Fours and Par Cans.”

With the previous show closing at the Arts on a Saturday evening and All or Nothing opening the following Tuesday, this meant there was a very limited load-in time. Small commented: “This wasn’t a straight remount of last year’s tour as we’d added additional effects and sequences, so the overall lighting plan needed completely updating. Although we had limited time in the space, I’d thankfully invested in the Capture software so was able to pre-viz a large majority of work ahead of time with my programmer Tom Davis; something that paid in dividends.”

Having been nominated for 2 OffWestEnd Lighting Design Awards in the past month alone, All or Nothing marks Peter Small’s West End debut. He concluded: “There is a certain level of expectation when you’re working in the West End for obvious reasons. Thankfully, I had a great team behind me which included Adam Squire, Tom Davis, Abbi Fearnley, Liam Cleary, Alex Gooding and Elliot Roberts who were nothing short of incredible throughout the entire production process. I always want to say thanks to Louise Hambley, Bryan Raven and everyone else at WL without whom this project wouldn’t have been possible.”