Award-winning musical, Company, has recently returned to the West End, calling on White Light to supply the lighting for the show now playing at the Gielgud Theatre.
White Light, based in southwest London, works with Theatre shows and other events to provide a range of services including; lighting, audio, video, rigging and staging to events of all sizes across the UK, Europe and worldwide.
Company tells the story of Bobbie whose friends and family can’t understand why she isn’t married, so put pressure on her to settle down. The show is lit by Lighting Designer, Neil Austin, who commented: “This is actually the second time I’ve lit Company, having worked on a version in Sheffield about eight years ago. It’s a show I love and was delighted to be asked to do it again.”
To create his design, Austin worked closely with Set Designer, Bunny Christie. After shortlisting the ideas they settled on “series of open-fronted cubes the smallest of which is around 9-inch by 9-inch.” Austin Explained: “A five-sided box is a lighting designer’s worst nightmare, and we’ve got nine of them. I added LED light boxes to the front fascia of each box to be able to blend or contrast to the interior, as well as LED tape around the inside of the box to help light the actors. We then cut small lighting slots in the front and back of each box’s ceilings and utilised small hidden units to highlight and add backlight”.
Austin then approached WL to supply him with the exact lighting fixtures he required for his intricate design. He explained: “I drew on my current favourite unit, the Martin MAC Encores, to light from outside of the boxes and lots of GLP X4 Bars for both the interior box slots and exterior lighting. Other units included the ETC Source Four Series 2 Lustrs along with Viper NT Smoke Machines.”
Austin added: “The entire rig for Company was LED. This was glorious as it was extremely quiet whilst remaining very versatile. Whilst Company is a big show with loud numbers from the 15 strong band, there are lots of quiet scenes and nuanced moments and you can hear every single word said on stage in silence without interruption from fans”.
Company marks one of several shows that WL is currently supplying in the West End, including the recently opened Don Quixote and the upcoming True West. Alongside supplying long-running plays including Tina–The Musical, Matilda, Aladdin and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child which was also lit by Neil.