WhiteLight has supplied the lighting equipment to more than 40 children’s plays across the UK. Amongst these is the star-studded Aladdin, which is currently playing at Derby Arena. The venue, which is normally used as a velodrome and concert arena, was transformed into a theater space specifically for the show. WhiteLight (WL) was contracted to provide the lighting support on the ambitious production. Aladdin opened on 7th December. The huge space allowed for a truly sensational show, featuring special effects, pyrotechnics, a flying carpet, and even a live band.
Alex Marshall was asked to create the lighting design for the production. He commented, “Derby Arena is a fantastic facility for the city, offering everything from a gym to an Olympic certified cycle track. The Arena was also designed to provide a large capacity performance space hence when Paul Holman Associates were looking for a venue for their annual Derby pantomime; it was the ideal venue.”
Alex added, “The brief from the producers was that the lighting design became an intrinsic part of the show by highlighting the moments of humor, threat, spectacle, romance, morality and musicality. There was also an aspiration that the music numbers obtained a concert-like feel to reflect the size of the venue. Therefore, it was vital that the lighting design had the firepower needed for a show of this scale but still retained the artistry of a theatrical rig.”
After Alex had decided what equipment he required, he collaborated with WL’s Senior Hire Co-ordinator Andy Cullen to source the lighting for his ideal rig. The lighting included 22 x Vari-Lite 3000Qs, 16 x Clay Paky Sharpys, 12 x Vari-Lite 3500Qs, 12 x Mini Source Fours, 8 x Coemar Infinity Spot Ms, 6 x Martin MAC Aura XBs, and an ETC EOS Control. Alex added, “The equipment not only allowed me to create the exact feel I wanted for the show, but it also worked brilliantly within the vast space, ensuring that every single member of the large audience felt fully involved.”
As Aladdin was Derby Arena’s first pantomime (children’s play), the production team had to overcome certain technical obstacles. Alex commented, “As with any show there are barriers, which can hinder the design process. In this instance the weight loading could have potentially had a huge impact on the overall delivery of my design. Thankfully, with the equipment supplied by WL and the superb production team I worked with, this wasn’t an issue.”
Derby LIVE co-produced the show that stars Atomic Kitten’s Natasha Hamilton and 5ive’s Ritchie Neville. It runs until 3rd January and has already received rave reviews. Alex added, “It’s been fantastic to be involved in such an exciting, unique show and work with a truly talented team, including Dan Saggars, Mitch Andrews and Luke Drinkwater. I have also really enjoyed working with WL. From the intial concept to execution, they have delivered astounding customer service and support and it’s no coincidence that I am also using them for the other Aladdin show I am lighting in Peterborough.”