It’s true, you don’t see many shows that are about lighting. Usually it’s just a component, but after seeing ‘Luminous: the Nicholas Stellar Story’, I feel like I should’ve thought of this first. Historical musicals are always tricky to get right, but this one really did nail it: costumes, songs, acting…I was a little bit jealous!
But the best part was how they used the lighting in unprecedented ways. It would flicker in and out to show the mood, the fellow playing Tesla was able to manipulate the stage lights himself, in a re-enactment of his famous electricity displays to the public…and oh, so many ways. I shan’t spoil anything. Of course, having a sponsorship from several major providers of industrial LED lighting solutions must’ve made things quite a bit easier. What do I have to do to get support for my shows like that? Well, using a lot of LED lighting would be a good start. Thing is, lighting is such a delicate thing when we’re talking about theatre. It’s not about big, bright, beaming power; it’s about subtlety, setting the correct mood, and other such things. Too much power in one scene, and BAM. Scene ruined, and the audience is made to feel uncomfortable by the blazing industrial LEDs bleeding through the cracks of the sacred fourth wall. I saw it happen, once, during a production of ‘Granny!’, the hit musical about a very old lady who’s accidentally adopted and makes the lives of everyone around her miserable through song.
That poor old woman…probably her last acting job, and she gets sent to hospital when a studio light came off its hinges and pointed its beam right in her face, scorching her retinas. Oh, that wasn’t anything to do with the energy efficient lighting of course. I hear not many people get that privilege for their musicals.