Last month, the world premiere of The Shepherd’s Life opened at Theatre by the Lake in Keswick to rave reviews. The play based on the best-selling novel by James Rebanks, tells the story of life as a modern-day shepherd in the Lake District. It uses film, puppetry and, of course, lighting.
Andrew J Lindsay served as the lighting designer. Andrew had to both replicate the Cumbrian landscape and the ever-changing skies that surround it. He approached White Light to supply the lighting equipment. Andrew drew particularly on a range of ETC products.
The Shepherd’s Life, which features a community cast, was adapted for the stage by Chris Monks, former artistic director of the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough.
Andrew commented, “The show had quite a large ensemble, so the set was kept as minimalistic as possible. This meant that the lighting was crucial to help define interior and exterior locations. As the play was set in the Lake District, I really wanted to capture the stunning landscape we have here in Cumbria.”
A large cloth was used a backdrop to represent the sky. It also was employed as a canvas for Andrew’s lighting design. Andrew approached both WL and ETC with his equipment specifications.
Andrew added, “When I was formulating the lighting design, I realized that the new ETC Source Four LED Series 2 Lustr would be ideal for this show. Along with the obvious color changing attributes, I was very impressed with the brightness and light quality which came across from the entire cyc area. I was also able to achieve completely even coverage without seeing where any of the beams overlapped.”
In addition to the Series 2 Lustrs, Andrew used a full range of other fixtures including Robe 700E AT, Martin MAC Viper Performance, Martin MAC TW1, Clay Paky B-eye K10, City Theatrical Auto Yokes as well as a number of Scrollers and many generic fixtures. Andrew controlled his entire rig with the ETC Gio, with Ion back-up and used the ETC Eos color-mixing software v2.3.
The lighting needed to work alongside video content that Jonny Walton and Nev Bull created. The video content was projected onto six screens tracked on and off stage.
Andrew continued, “With this particular production, it was important that we emulated the outside sky on the stage and gave a true flavor of the natural landscape. We needed the action to be set against a backdrop which had the color, depth, movement and texture that you would see in reality. This resulted in a very unique lighting design; something that a lot of the reviews picked up on.”
In addition to being the Lighting Designer on The Shepherd’s Life, Andrew is also the Technical Manager at Theatre by the Lake where he oversees technical aspects of all productions. “I had a fantastic experience working with WL on this show. Whether it’s for a production or to invest in new equipment for the venue itself, they always offer a great service. With The Shepherd’s Life, I really enjoyed working with both WL and ETC on such an intricate design that allowed the show to achieve its potential.”