Philips Vari-Lite Lights Circus 1903

Lighting designer Paul Smith uses Philips Vari-Lite VL4000 BeamWash and Spot luminaires for Circus 1903 at the Marina Bay Sands Grand Theatre, Singapore. Photos © The Works Entertainment

Signify’s Philips Vari-Lite stage lighting fixtures have helped to conjure the magic of the big-top for the production Circus 1903 – The Golden Age of Circus. The show, complete with life-sized elephant puppets, thrilled audiences at its most recent run at Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands Grand Theatre.

Lighting designer Paul Smith utilised the dual functionality of the Philips Vari-Lite VL4000 BeamWash to fulfil 2 important lighting roles from a single unit. He said: “The VL4000 BeamWash performs well as a wash, and as a spot too – much better than I ever expected a hybrid fixture like this to perform.”

With life-size mother and baby elephant puppets central to the show, floor space was at a premium. The mother elephant alone has four puppeteers inside. This gave Smith a challenge. “The BeamWashes have helped me to reduce the number of units I need in the low side positions,” he said.

“Previously, I had a VL3500 Wash and a VL3500 Spot in the same area, but as space was tight I opted for the hybrid. I’ve not been disappointed. The producers are happy that I’ve been able to cut fixtures and the director is happy we are delivering the best possible audience experience.”

Also playing their part in creating this magical Circus environment were Philips Vari-Lite VL4000 Spot luminaires. “The Spots have been particularly useful for their framing shutters, the theatre-friendly gobo selection and the massive zoom range,” said Smith.

And uniting both fixtures is the Philips Vari-Lite color capability. Smith said, “We have two very different color palettes in this show. Act One has an external setting with muted pastels and straw colors; Act Two places the action within the circus tent, with saturated colors and bold contrasts. Having two fixtures from the same family is a big time-saver. The consistency and quality of the color across the units – pastels and saturates – makes all the difference.”

Signify became the new company name of Philips Lighting as of May 16, 2018. The legal name of Signify will be adopted across all global markets in the course of 2018-2019.