Total Production

White Light Serves Time on Shawshank Redemption UK Tour

September 2015

Upon its initial release in 1994, The Shawkshank Redemption achieved critical acclaim and is still considered by many to be one of the greatest films ever made. It was nominated for seven Oscars and earlier this year was named as ‘The Nation’s Favourite Film’. Now, on the film’s 21st anniversary, renowned production company Bill Kenwright Ltd is touring a theatrical version of the show across the UK.

As the leading lighting supplier to West End and touring theatre, White Light was called upon to supply the lighting support for what promises to be a spectacular production.

The play has now opened in Windsor and will begin its UK Tour next week, visiting venues in Leeds, Brighton, Richmond, Birmingham, Aberdeen, Newcastle, Norwich, Cheltenham, Woking, Milton Keynes and Cardiff. Starring television’s Ian Kelsey and Patrick Robinson, The Shawshank Redemption tells the story of Andy Dufresne, a man serving a life sentence in the notorious Shawshank prison. Realising he cannot survive life behind bars, he strikes up an unlikely friendship with prison fixer Red and soon begins to hatch a plan to escape...Based on the Stephen King short story, it is directed for the stage by David Esbjornson with the lighting design by Chris Davey. Chris commented: “Shawshank is a male-dominated, testosterone world yet there are moments of true friendship and poetic beauty. Gary McCann, the Set Designer, has created a world in which the jail consists of towering, oppressive cells and windows yet with masses of texture to the walls. The overall layout allows for lots of space for cross light so I’ve aimed to be as sculptural as possible with my design.”

Chris drew on White Light’s extensive equipment range to help him light the world of The Shawshank Redemption. He comments: “The get-in for the show is one day for each venue so I had to use the most effective and efficient equipment possible. Fortunately, White Light was able to provide this for me.” The equipment used included Martin MAC Viper Performances, Martin MAC TW1 80v and Phillips Showline SL Par 150s. Chris adds: “I used the Vipers for a hard edge feel to help define the prison cells and amplify the intense moments in the play. Similarly, the SL Par 150s allowed for live colour changes during scenes which were ideal for time shifts.” White Light’s Moving Light Hire Manager Rachel Gale comments: “As with any piece of theatre we work on, the equipment we provide plays an important role in the show. It helps to create different worlds, intensify scenes and hopefully elevate the overall production.”

The Shawshank Redemption differs from the majority of theatre tours, due to the fact that it is based on such an iconic film; with this year marking 21 years since it was originally released. Chris comments: “There are a lot of expectations from creating such a significant film on stage. However, we feel that this production stands alone, largely due to the adaptation coming more from the Stephen King story. There are some really touching moments in the piece, and we have utilised the lighting to help really bring these to life and maximise the impact they have on those watching.” Rachel adds: “The Shawshank Redemption is a hugely popular film and many audience members will have an immediate connection to it. This production has provided us with a fantastic opportunity to help bring such a well-known and loved story to audiences all across the UK.”

With the show having now opened, it marks a further example of White Light’s position as the leading lighting supplier to theatre throughout the UK. Rachel comments: “Whether it’s a production in the West End, a theatre tour, a show at the Edinburgh Fringe or a piece of immersive theatre, we always ensure that we provide the best equipment and service to our clients – whatever the production.” Chris adds: “It’s clear as to why White Light is the leader of the lighting industry. They are competitive, helpful and extremely reliable. You can always depend on them - something which is vital on a large-scale tour such as this.”


Photo courtesy of Bill Kenwright Ltd and Chris Davey
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