Philips Selecon delivers ultimate versatility on world premiere of Peter Gill play
Wednesday, June 3, 2015
by Philips Selecon

International lighting designer Hartley T.A. Kemp has turned to the versatile color changing of Philips Selecon's LED range of luminaires for the world premiere of Peter Gill's new play "As Good a Time As Any".

Shown at the Print Room at the Coronet, Gill's play is centered upon eight London-based women and comprises five choruses in which they recount their life experiences through interwoven monologues.

Kemp specified 12 Selecon RAMA LED Fresnel, four PLprofile1 and eight PLcyc1 luminaires to complement the tungsten-halogen rig, giving the opportunity to fade between colors and from saturated to tint.

"During each chorus, the actors speaking sat facing the audience, while the others sat facing upstage. In between each chorus they changed position," explains Kemp. "The set, designed by Bruce McLean, was a 9.5m-wide painting that hinted at the journeys and decisions made by the women, with two rows of chairs back to back in front of it. The lighting concept needed to support this Greek Chorus staging style, evoking the characters' world and illuminating the set in a way that helped the audience follow the differing stories. We wanted them to be able to see the actors all at once, yet be able to focus on the individual tales being told."

Kemp employed the RAMA LED Fresnel units to provide two toplight and two backlight color washes across the width of the stage, with the use of three units per wash and individual channeling allowing the designer to increase the light for one part of the stage as needed.

"I was very impressed with the match to tungsten in the RAMA LED Fresnel, with the lack of warming at lower levels the only noticeable difference," says Kemp. "Sometimes this could be a hindrance but I can also see it being a help, especially when working with a white or pale set and wanting to maintain cleanliness of color.

"The RAMA LED Fresnel luminaires produced a great natural white without the need for gel to soften the LED so I was very pleasantly surprised to be able to use them in white on an off-white set. The units also worked very well with color, getting very rich yet clean tones from the Lee 232 and Lee 711 used as backlight."

Kemp employed two of the PLprofile1 units as crosslight, providing an underlay to the lighting state for each chorus. Two further units performed as low angle front light, illuminating the faces of the performers. In both roles, the PLprofile1 luminaires perfectly balanced the tungsten-halogen units to add a little more color richness.

"The PLprofile1 luminaires worked very well as crosslight and as low front fill. I find if you have a few LED profiles in a conventional rig these are great positions to use them in and their versatility in terms of color can make a real difference."

To illuminate Bruce McLean's painting, which spanned the whole back wall, Kemp rigged the eight PLcyc1 units one meter downstage from the piece.

"This was the first time I had used the PLcyc1 to light anything resembling a cyc, in this case the full width of the set's backdrop," says Kemp. "The units performed very well, giving great color tones on the painting in the scene changes as well as good warm and cool white during the choruses."

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