Category Archives: Theatre

Live from the Music Theatre Guild Awards 2009

It’s awards night season for the theatre community in Melbourne.

The Music Theatre Guild Awards are tonight followed by the Victorian Drama League Awards tomorrow night.

I have representation in both.
I have two lighting design nominations and am also part of a nominated ensemble group.
On top of that I’m directly related to about 6 other awards for best shows and technical and design awards.

The nominations for the VDL’s are somewhat different with nominations only being announced on the night.
The History Boys should be in with a very good chance for a few awards. Being the Technical Manager of this show I won’t be personally nominated but will be proud of any nominations or awards for the show.

I’ll be posting a few updates at the two ceremonies, and keeping a running commentary on Facebook.
(Ah technology)

Stay tuned.

Call Girl the musical

Well it’s time for a show.

I’m followspotting Call Girl the musical for the next 3 weeks at Chapel off  chapel.

No, it’s not a musical about the escort industry but rather a new Australian musical by Tracy Harvey about a call centre.

The story follows Jean Brown on her first day at a shonky customer contact centre populated by flawed characters, including a money hungry man-eater boss from Caroline Springs, a wheeler dealer salesman of dubious reputation, a vacuous air-head brat and a desperate to prove himself team leader with zero training

I’ve got some tickets available for the previews next week if anyone wants them.

I’m Shout!ing.

Well, I’m on the eve of one of my bigger lighting designs.

It’s for CLOC music theatre’s production of Shout!.

I’ve remembered why I hat big designs for organised companies. It means I have to be organised.
I’m just too good at procrastinating….

On the otherhand, it’s not that hard. I’m using WYSIWYG for all the hard work.
If I really had the time, i’d visualise it as well, not just do the planning in it.

The hardest part with software like this, is getting the initial infastructure into it for each venue. Once you’ve done it once, you re-use it.
In this case, I just imported a 2D CAD drawing of the venue and then went 3D for the LX from there.

Shout! capture from WYSIWYG
Off to print the finished plan & associated paperwork before I get some sleep before my 6am bumpin….
6am! Cruel.

Photos & details from my past 4 or 5 shows soon..

How To Make 105 Minutes Seem Like 105 Minutes (Without Really Trying)

Well, first off, I think this is the year of underlit shows. I’ve just seen another show where the designer, although with good design intent, has missed important ensemble action because of lack of light.Enough said.

Now, something that constantly amazes me is when there is no music during a blackout. With a show as long as HTSIBWRT, it’s important to keep the action moving. It’s the set designers job to create a set that can assist with this. If the set design fails, why do directors and MDs just ignore this and let there be an awkward silence (or not so as we hear crew fumble in the darkness).

I mean really, it’s a no brainer.

Rant out.

Over the Tasmin

I recently ventured south over Bass Straight to see a friend perform back with her former theatre company in Launceston for their 25th aniversery concert.The Princess Theatre is a lovely old venue with Art Deco stylings. I guess regional companies such as Ballarat & Bendigo use venues similar to this as well, but here in Melbourne town, It would be like using Her Maj or The Princess.
I wish the companies I worked with could use such a venue for their shows.
A bit weird not really having a foyer in a cold place like Launceston though…

How was the show? It was a show… with 3 people (including my friend) that actually performed the number they were doing…
I now also know why I generally avoid the South Pacific type shows.. I don’t fall asleep.
When you’re doing a concert, it’s all about the performance of the performer. There is normally no set or costume (or the rest of the show) to support the numbers otherwise.

Also it pays to have comms between the MD and SM or at least the desk op. Many many times, there was an awkward moment of silence with the lights up and performer on stage waiting for the music to start.

Lighting tips of the day:
When using moving lights for over the audience effects, once is enough.
It gets a bit tired being blinded between each musical number.

Programing moving lights?
Make sure you pre-move & pre-set your gobo & position attributes before cues they are in.
That way they won’t fade (move) to their indended position when the fixture also fades up.

Crazy for leongatha

I’m down in Leongatha watching Crazy for you. (It’s interval) All I can say is, I’m loving it!I might occasionally chuckle at some of the production elements of the show, but the cast is really really funny! In a good way. The guys playing the town yolkals are doing it as only country folk could. And you know what? They have some female talent out here, like 20 girls that can tap!
But trust me to have my eye on a girl who’s really interesting to watch, in all regards, only to look in the program and find she’s a secondary student.

Gah! I never touched her I swear!

A night at the Opera

This evening I ventured to the Nat (National Theatre) in St Kilda to see The Merry Widow which my friend was lighting. I remember now why I light musical theatre and not opera.

Opera just moves too slow.

She did an excellent job though, considering it was her first proper design as such. The looks were simple, but elegant, which is what you need in opera.

Did I mention star cloths are cool?

The Nat is a lovely old venue, but how I wish some person the same age as the theatre would just drop dead and leave their fortune to the venue....

The decal gap....

No, it's not like 'the sock gap', it's that place on stage where the lead performer always wants to stand, but the decals only get his feet...

Life’s a Cabaret

Well I’ve just emerged from 4 weeks of shows. 3 shows, each 2 weeks, in 4 weeks. Doesn’t add up.

Cabaret, rave reviews, for my lighting individually as well. Happy with that.

Hot Mikado, not a bad little show, with a nice set (if I say so myself) and a last minute LX design which came out better than I thought it would with the time I had.

Rent. Sold out season, rave reviews.   Look out for the Australian premier of The Wild Party next in September