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(Lead Pic: SIX Australian Cast – Loren Hunter,Chelsea Dawson, Phoenix Jackson Mendoza, Kala Gare, Kiana Daniele, Vidya Makan. Photo by James D Morgan courtesy Getty Images)
The British musical SIX, with book and music by Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss, is a vibrant, modern retelling of the story of Henry VIII’s six wives, presented as a pop singing contest.
The show’s signature style is very much that of a rock concert, utilising an abundance of beam effects to take the place of set changes, which simultaneously give a different look and identity to each of the queens.
Tim Deiling’s lighting design is looked after in Australia by Jason Fripp, with gear supplied by Chameleon Touring Systems. The show has had an incredible sold-out season at the Sydney Opera House’s The Studio and is about to embark on a nationwide tour. The Studio production is significantly different to the remainder of the tour due to the square box design of the venue.
“Tim came out to do the initial setup and to teach me what he wanted as a designer,” said Jason. “It’s a small stage. Even when we play in large theatres it’s compact and punchy. It’s a really fun show and almost impossible to get tickets for!”
A key element to the lighting design is the nine vertical towers of lights upstage that provide the whizz-bang accents to the music. Each tower houses two Ayrton MagicDots and as the towers are narrow with not much real estate, the compact size of the MagicDot made them the ideal fixture.
“The MagicDots do the frou-frou work and pretty it all up,” explained Jason. “LED pixel tape is all over the towers and allows us to create pictures such as a crown shape and letters, so it’s fun. There are also ETC Source Fours built into the towers for effects and punches on music beats. It’s a very vibey show and great fun.”
Also on the floor are ten ShowPRO Collider strobes, whilst Six Claypaky Sharpy spots shoot from underneath the stairs through grilled facades.
Above, there are four trusses; two rear curved trusses and two straight trusses towards the downstage. The upstage curved truss houses eight SGM P10 strobes for a rear stage wash and nine Claypaky Washes providing backlight. Also on this truss are 20 ETC Source PAR MFL 575W.
The smaller curved truss holds five Martin MAC Quantum Spots for overhead specials and a little bit of punch, as well as six more Claypaky Sharpy Washes.
The LX2 bar houses four Martin MAC Auras, two at each end for sidelight, six ETC Source Four, and four Chauvet Slimbank 18 Blacklights. LX1 holds six Martin Quantum Spots as well as seven ShowPRO Collider strobes.
Front of House it’s primarily conventionals, such as ETC Lustrs and Source Fours, with four Martin Encore Performance CLDs that are used to shutter-off set pieces.
A Robe BMFL Long Throw is used as a followspot and controlled from the console, except for the pan and tilt. The operator can override dimmer control if required.
Control is by an ETC EOS using the internal media server to bitmap the LED pixel tape. The 70-minute show has approximately 900 cues, mostly time-coded, with only a couple of dozen manual called cues.
The tour will start in Canberra with a larger rig including two larger towers reaching the front truss to create a false proscenium and another two packed with more lights and effects behind them.
Chameleon Touring Systems will supply the entire tour as it visits Canberra, Adelaide, Melbourne and Brisbane.
Production Electrician: Scott Opie
Head of LX: Kate Taylor
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