Damien Cooper lights Doctor Zhivago

Posted on Wednesday, March 9th, 2011


Last month, Australia hosted the premiere of a new musical Doctor Zhivago starring Anthony Warlow and Lucy Maunder. Opening at Sydney’s Lyric Theatre, Doctor Zhivago is one of the most breathtaking love stories ever told. This powerful and moving musical adaptation is magnificently lit by Damien Cooper using a rig that includes twelve Martin MACIII and twelve Martin TW1 tungsten fixtures.

“The MACIII is a great light and I love the shutter modules,” said Damien. “As the set goes very low at the front I needed to replace follow spots as they couldn’t get all the upstage shots. I needed a light that was bright enough to compete with the Robert Juliat 2.5K follow spots and the MACIII certainly does that. I have them on the dress circle bars and front of house truss from where they can get underneath the headers and replace the brightness of the follow spots.”

The MAC TWI fixtures were used for incandescent specials, mostly side lighting from the box boom.

Five brick wall scenery pieces – a false proscenium and four ruined arches – with textured brick work are brought to life by a total of fifty-four Pro Shop LED Fusion Bars.

“Normally I would have used an incandescent source but we didn’t have enough dimmers so I opted for a LED source,” explained Damien. “It’s worked well but it is always a little harder with LED however we managed to make them blend in well. We also have seven Martin LED StageBars underneath the floor so they can do fire effects through the traps.”

Damien always prefers to use Robert Juliat follow spots and this show was no exception with three 2.5K Aramis follow spots specified.

“”Robert Juliat follow spots are bright, punchy and reliable,” he said. “We needed a 2.5K to compete with the moving lights.”

A MA Lighting grandMA console (programmed by Jason Fripp) is used for control which Damien describes as fast and efficient to track moving lights and very easy to use for theatre work.

Lighting was supplied by Chameleon Touring Systems.

Photos: Kurt Sneddon