Total Production


January 3 2008

(UK) - The new Tom Stoppard play, 'Rock 'n' Roll,' is a sweeping, thought-provoking and often funny play about love, cultural revolution and music in Communist Czechoslovakia.

Broadway at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre on 4 November. Lighting design is by Howard Harrison (Mary Poppins, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Mamma Mia!) who was LD on the original London production that started at the Royal Court Theatre before moving to the West End, where it played successfully for 9 months. Associate lighting designer is Daniel Walker with Marc Polimeni handling lighting programming.
Howard uses 12 Martin MAC TW1 tungsten wash lights (80 v, narrow angle lens) for tight moving specials on the Broadway production. “One of the problems we had was that the light we used in London - an old Strand Pirouette PC moving head - was hard to source in America,” Howard explains. “There was nothing that quite replaces what it does which is basically very small, tight specials to something a bit bigger, and moves and changes color. The one light of new technology that does that is the MAC TW1.”

The MAC TW1 is a 1200 W wash fixture that combines a motorized zoom, CMY color mixing and both internal and external electronic dimming with the warmth of tungsten halogen. Supplied by Scharff Weisberg, “Rock 'n' Roll” represents the Martin wash light’s Broadway debut. Other lighting gear was supplied by PRG.

“They do something that no one else does – very tight specials to a larger area in the same unit,” Howard states. “They go very tight, they have a very good color mixing system, and they have dimming shutters as well as an on board dimmer which is new and very useful. Overall, they are an excellent fixture. Martin made it possible to get a hold of the TW1 with the narrow lens and we were very grateful to them for doing that.”

Howard has several TW1s placed overhead for the majority of the backlighting and overhead specials with four additional units located at FOH, two per side, for front fill on specials. “They’re the workhorse of the production and they do a lot of the show,” he says. Other moving heads on the production include VL 1000s and VL 3000s. Lighting control is from a Strand 550i.

Winner of several theatre awards for Best New Play, “Rock 'n' Roll” is the story of the lives of a host of characters affected by the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968 and has received rave reviews since its opening.


January 3 2008: Martin MAC TW1 Luminaire Makes Broadway Debut on “Rock 'n' Roll”
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