Philips Sheds LED Light on London's Musical Play

The London- based John McIntosh Arts Thearte has The Addams Family illuminated by Philips stage lighting series, including Seleocn and Showline LED lamps. (All Photo Courtesy of Philips)

Philips Selecon and Showline LED luminaires have performed a range of crucial lighting roles whilst complementing a traditional tungsten rig on macabre musical The Addams Family at the John McIntosh Arts Theatre in London.

The Wimbledon Light Operatic Society production was based on an original story by Jersey Boys authors Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, which has been described as an ‘off-beat take on 19th century gothic’. The plot line is a ghoulish romp, involving ancestors of the family making their annual visit from the grave only for chaos to ensue.

A combination of conventional and LED fixtures enables a versatile mix lighting effect.

Lighting designer Paul Flook’s theatrical brief was to differentiate between the living and dead characters using colored light. He added 10 Philips Selecon PLprofile1 luminaires, four PLcyc1 luminaires and eight Philips Showline SL WASH 180 movers to a basic rig, creating a versatile mix of traditional and LED fixtures.

“I wanted to be able to separate the ancestors from the rest of the “live” cast as the action moved,” explains Flook. “With the SL WASH 180’s great optics I was able to track and focus wherever I needed with ease.”

Each play and venue comes with challenges. For this musical, a large wing space and fly bar was needed to allow for major set changes, however, for this play lighting was used to... .   conveying location changes through his lighting whilst also tracking the actors’ movements.

“With the SL WASH 180 fixtures I could split the visual picture during the course of the action. They allowed me to wash an area of the stage in traditional colours to evoke a particular setting whilst simultaneously highlighting the ‘ancestors’ in contrasting moody hues,” continues Flook.

The Philips luminaires were also applied to create looks that swung from the moody and intimate to the bold and vibrant during some of the bigger musical numbers.

One of the scene in the Addam Family.

“The Philips Selecon PL1 range allowed me to switch from delicate to flamboyant in an instant with its colour pallet, which rivals traditional tungsten colourising across the majority of hues,” says Flook. “To apply a full rig of traditional lanterns in the same way as we used the Philips Selecon and Showline fixtures would have been power, weight and space hungry, so adding LED to the mix was the ideal solution.”

The Addams Family was co-directed between Helen Flook and Janet Huckle.

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