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© Joe Atkins


04 | 02 | 2016

“Quick, responsive, bullet proof and flexible”

grandMA2 joins Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Snow White is one of the most famous and enduring fairy tales worldwide. The Brothers Grimm initially published it in 1812 in the first edition of their collection of Grimms' Fairy Tales. The Grimms completed their final revision of the story in 1854. Recently this popular tale was staged by the Hull New Theatre in the UK. Produced by Michael Harrison for Qdos Entertainment Ltd. and with a lighting design of Joe Atkins, the show  made use of a grandMA2 light for lighting control.

Atkins explained why he chose the grandMA2: “Because it is the best in the world, it is quick, responsive, bullet-proof and flexible. The direct import plug-in for Vectorworks makes the show set-up very quick and precise, assisting with the 3D elements as well. We also had an MA onPC command wing with us so we could continue to program off-site, which was a very nice facility.”

“On shows of this type we have only one day to program, so the rig needs to be very adaptable”, added Joe. “With the scenery set-up on a show of this nature there is rarely much space left for lighting, so we normally only get three single hung LX bars and a cyclorama bar. I managed to get four ladders into the design as well. Not always popular with the stage crew and the Foyes flying system, but we are nice guys, so they cut us a break! The rig needed to cover many scenic situations which often change and develop during the technical rehearsals, but with no time to re-hang any fixtures, so flexibility is everything! Many of the stage trucks are pretty tall structures which can often hinder the use of cross light, especially in the middle and upstage positions, so the pipe-ends need to be able to take up the job that side-light would normally do. The whole rig is working hard for the whole show, so we tend to stay off of the colour wheels and almost always use the colour mixing system. This does not always allow quite the punch that the colour wheel can give, but the flexibility to get out of one look quickly and into another one is vital in this set-up.”

“These Christmas shows are always very special, ‘panto’ is a real hybrid comedy show that needs to delight the children and make the adults laugh. It has to be very fast paced - we never go to blackout even in scene changes, we have to move the lighting states with the scenery moves so the very second that the change is complete …  the actors are on the stage and away we go again”, Joe continued.

“I think probably my best note from this year (my first year using a grandMA2 on a show like this) is that the grandMA2 kept up with me! A great deal of credit of course must go to Marcus Krömer who programmed at a phenomenal rate. I usually find that I have to wait for the programming to catch up with me but rarely on this did I have to wait before moving on.”

Marcus Krömer was the programmer. Storm Lighting delivered the lighting equipment. Ambersphere Solutions is MA Lighting’s exclusive distributor in the United Kingdom.

Photos: © Joe Atkins

Used Equipment:

1 x grandMA2 light