Directed by Daisy Evans, staged at The Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and conducted by Paul Wingfield, Coraline tells the story of a girl who opens a mysterious door in her parents’ home to discover an Other World, which is inhabited by her Other Mother and Other Father, who have buttons instead of eyes. Everything seems better in the Other World – to start with, at least…
Lighting Designer, Robert Price, picks up the story: “Opposing worlds was the main theme running through my lighting design. One very natural, normal, and safe and one very abstract, in your face, and dangerous. I incorporated a lighting floor package (Robe Esprites) into the narrative – using them as “the eyes” of the house and the visual representation of the ghosts within the production.”
This was achieved through a plethora of FX, live moves, colour changes and projecting moving texture onto the set and venue, all synced to the music and action on stage. “The whole production is extremely fluid and the lighting design emphasises this,” Price explained. “One of the reasons I chose to use Vista by Chroma-Q is because Vista 3 enables you to create incredibly complex FX extremely swiftly, but, most importantly, editing them is equally as intuitive and fast. This allowed me to show the director numerous FX options and then tailor them to the piece, without having to waste any precious time.”
He added: “Almost every cue has complex timing structure to it, so Vista’s timeline was another vital tool in the creation of this production. The ability to quickly, yet accurately, program complex cues means I can always give that extra detail without any extra time or effort!”
Price has worked with Daisy Evans on numerous productions and they both share the desire to push the boundaries of lighting design, using it to enhance performances, creating digital magical and fantastical worlds.
Evans commented: “The COVID-19 pandemic did not deter us from staging yet another great production. The students all prepared their roles in isolation until government news that education was allowed back in-person. With the addition of some simple, but extremely effective lighting design, the show has come together in a wonderful expression of the power of theatre and demonstrates the necessity to return to in-person performing.”
Price furthered: “The pandemic also meant that I had to do more pre-production at home than I normally would. Vista’s “Live edit” mode, enabled me to program and edit in real time, using some recordings of the rehearsals. This mode of operation became an even more invaluable tool when I actually got to the venue.”
The team missed out on the technical rehearsals due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which meant there was no stop and start programming. :We were literally programming the show as final production rehearsals happened, with the Deputy Stage Manager cueing me at the same time,” he concluded. “That is why Vista’s ‘live edit’ mode is so powerful. There is no translation from idea to desk to stage, it’s straight from my head and onto the stage. Vista can keep up with anything I want to do!”
Vista 3 by Chroma-Q was supplied by Vista by Chroma-Q’s exclusive UK Distributor, A.C. Entertainment Technologies. The Robe Esprites were supplied by CEG.