Philips Lighting recently announced that, for the second consecutive year, its
entertainment lighting technology has been chosen for The National Theatre’s outdoor
River Stage season, building on its long-standing relationship with the venue.
Located on London’s famous South Bank, the River Stage provides an eclectic mix of
theatre, DJs, family fun, vibrant dance, outdoor cinema, workshops and live music
acts. This diverse programme benefits from the Philips Entertainment Lighting product
portfolio, which offers flexible, easy to access, low energy stage lighting that can
evoke the appropriate atmosphere and character of each of the unique performance
styles while coping with all weathers.
Lighting designer for the event, Huw Llewellyn says: “It’s the diversity of
performances that taxes us most. We require a portfolio of lights that work cohesively
to realise all creative requests. We’re tasked to design over 50 unique lighting themes,
accommodating everything from big, bad, brash lighting for the creative HQ of
London’s alternative scene, The Glory, with their Apocalypstick rave, to subtle and
arty ‘dance for the masses’ operation – the Rambert Dance Company.
“Reliability is crucial, given the fast turnarounds between the various acts. It means
we can focus on designing imaginative lighting looks for each of the performances,”
Llewellyn adds. “We’re using the Philips VL6000s for the first time – the big, fat beam
set the fixture apart, and we use them for mid-air and search light effects. We also
require a cohesive general cover for the stage that will cut through daylight, and we
chose the powerful, multi-look Philips SL Hydrus 350 which offers everything from a
tight, narrow beam to a high-output, broad wash.”
New this year are the Philips SL LEDSpot 300s, which give Llewellyn shuttering, two
gobo wheels, colour, two prisms, and a clean white light. “They mix well with the
Philips SL Beam 300fx wash,” says Llewellyn.
Also new are the Philips SL Bar 720ZT moveable battens which can provide eye-candy
upstage, act as body-sculpting lighting for Rambert, or create some drama with strong
sidelight beams. “We also love the Philips SL SUNLED 10 strips. It’s the little things
that make a difference,” concludes Llewellyn. “As theatre designers, we appreciate the
dimming properties that enable a really warm tungsten look at low levels.”
Colin Kavanagh, General Manager for Philips Entertainment Lighting comments:
“Philips Lighting has had a long and positive relationship with The National Theatre.
Over ten years ago we supplied the iconic, colour changing architectural lighting for
the building when LED was effectively in its infancy. It’s wonderful to work closely with
a team that’s happy to operate at the cutting edge of new technology and push the
boundaries of creative, dynamic lighting. The River Stage is a great showcase for what
is artistically possible with LED lighting technology today.”