Martin sets the mood for West Side Story

Posted on Tuesday, July 27th, 2010


Fifty years after its Australian premiere, Joey McKneely’s vibrant stage production of the classic dance musical West Side Story has arrived in Sydney after wild critical acclaim in Paris, Tokyo, Beijing and London.

This production was originally lit by Peter Halbsgut resulting in a nomination for a Tony Award. Several years down the track, the design has been adapted to suit various locations and emerging technologies. In Australia Greg Yates is the Associate Lighting Designer with Chameleon Touring Systems supplying the lighting equipment for the tour.

The lighting rig dominated by Martin MAC moving lights including eighteen MAC700 spots with custom gobos, eighteen MAC2000 wash with PC lens and two MAC2000 Performance.

”Those two MAC2000 Performances work their butts off!” said Greg. “They’re situated one each side out the front and do lots of specials. They go all the way from tight spots to fairly big coverage with a gobo. They work so hard we’ll be stuffed if one went down during a show! However, so far they’ve been great

There are four lighting bars over the stage with the MAC700 and MAC2000 wash fixtures spread fairly evenly amongst them.

Twenty-two Martin StageBar 54 LED fixtures are situated on the top of the back cyc casting light downwards.

”The Martin StageBars are fantastic,” remarked Greg. “The colours are great, the intensity is great and the fact that there are no gels is great.”

A coolux Pandora’s Box media player is handling the projections for the back cyc and although only four layers are being utilized as there are only ten images and no movie files.

”It’s not working very hard as there aren’t that many images but it’s great for the streetscapes,” Greg added.

Production photography ©Branco Gaica