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For this event I fulfilled the role of
Technical Director. Responsible for overseeing the smooth and efficient running of the Production from a Technical aspect. Provides a point of liaison between all Technical departments and co-ordinates all Technical budgets. Initial contact point on Technical matters for non-Technical members of the Production Team.
"City Of Angels" is a rarely performed musical which enjoyed a limited success On Broadway and in London's West End.
Technically the show is extremely demanding with forty separate scenes, complex sound ('flashback' sound effects), opportunities
for complex lighting and a myriad of props and costumes.
Tempo's production was no exception!
Staging It was decided at an early stage that we had to keep the Staging as simple as possible. There isn't a lot of room backstage
at the Church Hill Theatre so we knew we were limited in the size of scenic items we could use to cover all forty scenes.
There was also the issue of cost to take into account! The Director wanted to ensure it was as easy as possible for the audience
to understand which scenes were real life and which were 'reel life' (i.e. part of the movie being written). We decided to make the
sets for the 'reel life' scenes black and white, and the same was done with the costumes.
In my research for the show I read how there was a real danger for the show to become more about the scene changes than the action
taking place during the scenes. When some of the scenes only lasted half a page I could understand why. We needed a mechanism
to allow us to cross-fade between scenes seamlessly, sometimes having concurrent action on both sides of the stage. If money
was no object the obvious answer was to use a 'track and knife' system to enable us to have two trucks which could slide in and out
of the wings. The traditional way to hide the mechanism for these is to build up a false floor; well there was no chance of us doing
this in the time and with the money we had available! After a lot of thought we came up with the idea of having a metal frame which
folded in half; one end bolted to the floor in the Wings, the other end bolted to the edge of the truck. As the truck (mounted on
straight castors so it could only move on/off stage) moved offstage the metal frame folded in the middle and allowed the truck to
enter the wings. One member of Stage Crew could then push the track back onstage and the metal frame folded back out flat until it
locked to horizontal on the stage floor. This meant the truck always went to the same position onstage, great to ensure the lights
always hit exactly the right spot!
Lighting The staging of the show meant there were multiple areas of the stage used for major numbers as well as a multitude of specials
required. I was already keen to use moving head lights for specials and after a lot of deliberation decided to use moving head wash
lights for the general coloured wash lighting as well (normally I would have used scrollers on wide angle profiles or fresnels).
Martin Mac 250+ lights were used for the
profiles, a pair being placed on the FOH advance bar.
Martin Mac 300 lights were used for the wash lights,
these were distributed along the FOH advance bar (6 in total) and on the second overstage lighting bar (for backlight).
I was disappointed with the Mac 300’s.
As soon as the frost was used (to widen the beam) the amount of
scatter light emitted became unacceptable. Even on a black prosc arch the scatter was distracting. They were therefore used at
their normal beam angle for most of the time which I found to be quite restrictive in terms of coverage. I'm sure
Martin Mac 600s would
have done the job as they would have won in terms of brightness.
The remainder of the lighting was pretty straightforward. I wanted to enhance the differences in settings (black & white versus colour)
so used cool steel blues to enhance the black & white and warmer straw tones to light the colour scenes. A wash in open white
complemented these different washes as needed. A lot of cross lighting was used, again in steel blues. I wanted to make sure there
was enough side light to really enhance the dancing in the show. A couple of warmer cross lights were used (in gold and fiery red)
for warmer or more surreal numbers.
I place a lot of importance on backlight, especially having seen the fabulous results from
"Best Little Whorehouse In Texas". I wanted more of the same so used a couple of
to provide really strong cool backlight on each side of the stage. It worked well but of course they could only be in a single colour!
A "Molephay" 8-lite was used for some intense backlighting effects including parts of the Prologue. Although power hungry
the effect this units creates is striking.
Colour filter (and other bits) order
Details of Moving Light setup (1)
Details of Moving Light setup (2)
LX Plan (A4)
LX Plan (final - full size)
LX Plan detailed information
Side Elevation showing beam angles Publicity & General Information
Programme Set Design & Construction
3D design for pillar unit
Design for Filmstrips
Design for Pillar unit with swagged curtains
Design for Stone's window
Detail of flying arrangements for Mirrorball (above audience)
Drawing of proposed Set
Master set plan
Master spreadsheet detailing set usage
Photos (1) for set design/sourcing items
Photos (2) for set design/sourcing items
Photos (3) for set design/sourcing items
Photos of Iron Lung
Plan of proposed forestage
Side Elevation of stage Stage Management
Master List of where items of Set are to be sourced from