Live Events

Miss Moneypenny’s Night at the Proms lit with Elation rig

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 10:27

In late November, England’s infamous club and house music brand, Miss Moneypenny’s, finally got their Night at the Proms with a lavish party celebration marking 25 years since the internationally recognised club brand began in Birmingham.

Held at Symphony Hall in Birmingham, full-service production company, Stage Production Co., were called on to produce all the technical elements of the show and used an Elation Professional lighting system as an important element of the lavish visuals. Known for its flamboyance and glamour, Miss Moneypenny’s Night at the Proms was no different than a night at the historic club as house and dance classics were fused with music by the Birmingham Gay Symphony Orchestra in a sensational show.

Stage, nightclub and festival

“We needed to create a combination of big stage looks, nightclub vibes and a festival feeling and once again Elation was our go-to product for the show,” said Stage Production’s Jordan Lake, managing director at the Birmingham-based company that also handled rigging (Duratruss) and sound. Production design was by Jordan himself with lighting programming and operation by Ben Butler, Stage Production’s full-time lighting designer.

“We had to make sure the orchestra was evenly lit throughout the show, so we needed a nice solid wash, but it couldn’t overpower the stage as this show was just as much about the visual impact than it was the orchestra,” Jordan states. “We wanted to make sure the audience saw the stage and the show as a whole, so they were almost overwhelmed by lights, musicians, performers, and effects. We needed to build an intense show but all the while keeping a bit of clarity so each show element could shine in its own right.”

Large kit to get creative with

Jordan chose a mix of Elation Platinum Beam 5R Extreme™ moving head beam lights, Rayzor Q12™ LED moving heads, ACL 360 Matrix™ LED moving panels, Protron 3K™ LED strobes and Cuepix Blinder WW2s™ and explains that there was quite a dramatic raking of four main trusses with the downstage truss trimmed at 17 meters and the most upstage truss trimmed at only 9 meters. “That meant we had a big expanse of kit to get creative with,” he says. “We had all the lighting fixtures laid out in different grid patterns, so each fixture group had its own identity on stage and changed the shape of the rig.”

Platinum Beam 5R Extremes provided the bulk of the mid-air lighting effects throughout the show. “You can paint the air with them all night long and define the feeling of a particular track just by changing their focus position,” Jordan said of the powerful colour-changing light with 3-degree pin spot beam. “For big string section build-ups, we could lift the beams tilt position slowly, and you could see people raise their arms at the same time.”

An element of the show that Jordan says they needed to be careful about was not causing difficulties for the orchestra with strobe lighting while all the time having lots of strobes. Jordan solved the issue by arranging Protron 3K LED strobes in a diamond grid above the stage spread over four trusses. “When we used them to blind the audience it looked as though you had some kind of celestial body of lights hovering above the orchestra,” he explains, then adds “Naturally we had Cuepix WW2 Blinders to give those essential arms-in-the-air moments.”

The stage was very busy with a 65-piece orchestra, monitor desks, front fills, a conductor, solicit singer, props, and a cast of 30 dancers and acrobats, Jordan says, so a small but powerful fixture to outline the orchestra rostrum and the stage edge was needed. Compact and high-speed Rayzor Q12 LED wash luminaires were chosen as the floor package and, reports Jordan, worked brilliantly. “The layout of the LED’s on the Q12’s is cool because you can get loads of nice looks, and a particular favourite of ours is to take out the top and bottom row of pixels and then you have this little block of less moving around, a really cool look.”

Across the back of the orchestra riser, around the curve of the stalls, were placed ACL 360 Matrix fixtures, Elation’s popular continuously rotating 5x5 matrix LED panel that projects a distinctive beam. “They’ve got this great square beam they put out in the air. And the pixel mapping capabilities meant we could get some slick linear looks similar to the ACL 360 Bars,” Jordan says, adding that they worked great for some of the edgier musical numbers.

A Night at the Proms marked Miss Moneypenny’s first show in Birmingham in nearly ten years. The show was recorded on Facebook and social media broadcast with audio recorded for future use. Jordan concludes, “The show was a big hit and the lighting played a big part in creating a great atmosphere. Beams, strobes and blinders are our most in-demand kit. Every day of every week we send them out the door onto a show, and they just keep going.”