Philips Lighting Innovation Brings Vibrant Diversity to the National Theatre’s River Stage

Philips Lighting announced that, for the second consecutive year, its entertainment lighting technology has been chosen for The National Theatre’s outdoor River Stage season, building on its long-standing relationship with the venue.

Located on London’s famous South Bank, the River Stage provides an eclectic mix of theatre, DJs, family fun, vibrant dance, outdoor cinema, workshops and live music acts. This diverse programme benefits from the Philips Entertainment Lighting product portfolio, which offers flexible, easy to access, low energy stage lighting that can evoke the appropriate atmosphere and character of each of the unique performance styles, while coping with all weathers.

Lighting Designer for the event, Huw Llewellyn said: “It’s the diversity of performances that taxes us most. We require a portfolio of lights that work cohesively to realise all creative requests. We’re tasked to design over 50 unique lighting themes, accommodating everything from big, bad, brash lighting for the creative HQ of London’s alternative scene, The Glory, with their Apocalypstick rave, to subtle and arty ‘dance for the masses’ operation – the Rambert Dance Company.

“Reliability is crucial, given the fast turnarounds between the various acts. It means we can focus on designing imaginative lighting looks for each of the performances,” Llewellyn added. “We’re using the Philips VL6000s for the first time – the big, fat beam really set the fixture apart and we use them for mid-air and search light effects. We also require a cohesive general cover for the stage that will cut through daylight and we chose the powerful, multi-look Philips SL Hydrus 350 which offers everything from a tight, narrow beam to a high-output, broad wash.”

New this year are the Philips SL LEDSpot 300s, which give Llewellyn shuttering, two gobo wheels, colour, two prisms, and a clean white light. “They mix well with the Philips SL Beam 300fx wash,” said Llewellyn.

Also new are the Philips SL Bar 720ZT movable battens which can provide eye candy upstage, act as body-sculpting lighting for Rambert, or create some drama with strong sidelight beams. “We also love the Philips SL SUNLED 10 strips. It’s the little things that make a difference,” concluded Llewellyn. “As theatre designers, we appreciate the dimming properties that enable a really warm tungsten look at low levels.”

Colin Kavanagh, General Manager for Philips Entertainment Lighting commented: “Philips Lighting has had a long and positive relationship with The National Theatre. Over ten years ago we supplied the iconic, colour changing architectural lighting for the building, when LED was effectively in its infancy. It’s wonderful to work closely with a team that’s happy to operate at the cutting edge of new technology and push the boundaries of creative, dynamic lighting. The River Stage is a great showcase for what is artistically possible with LED lighting technology today.”