Production Services Ireland (PSI) supplied lighting and video equipment for the acclaimed "An Appointment With Mr Yeats" show by The Waterboys - a concept musical performance set to the poetry of the legendary Irish poet and dramatist, WB Yeats - which has just finished its first Irish tour.
PSI's Sean Pagel was asked to create a lighting and visuals design following on from Belfast based PSI's supply of equipment to "An Appointment" show earlier in the year, a one off at Dublin's Abbey Theatre,
Say's Pagel, "It is a great honour for us to be involved something as original, interesting and special as this show. Mike Scott knows exactly what he wants and his attention to absolutely every detail is impressive ".
Pagel's brief was to design a complimentary theatre show for the performance that was practical to tour in a rock 'n' style, and fitted nicely into all the venues - which were generally around 2000 capacity theatres. Pagel was given a DVD of the original show plus a full transcript, and worked very closely with Scott to build a classy and appropriate setting.
The lighting rig consisted of 12 Vari*Lite 2500 Spots, 16 Robe ColorWash 700s, 18 Source Four Profiles, 9 Cantata 1.2K fresnels, 4 x 4-cell moles and 2 MR16 Birdies at the front of the stage.
It was not a lot of lights, so each fixture had to be multi-functional as well as precisely used. The Moles were used just for the encore, where the band played 2 Waterboys songs, at which point the whole atmosphere changed from an accessible but cerebral concept show to a complete rock out as a dynamic sign off.
The Sanyo XF45 10K video projector was rigged at the FOH position and beamed onto 2 surfaces. The first was a 4 metre diameter circular screen stretched over a trussing framework. Taking full advantage of the flying facilities at all the venues, this was rigged so it could be flown in and out at the appropriate moments, appearing stage centre behind the drums, so it was low, intimate and connected to the band.
One of Scott's original ideas was that the circular screen in the show should resemble a moon, complete with an underplayed touch of mystery and magic, so flying it in and out as-and-when needed was a great solution.
All the video content was commissioned by Mike Scott and programmed onto 2 Green Hippo media servers. Some of it, stored on a Hippotizer, was MIDI triggered by drummer Ash Soan's Mac Book Pro running ProLogic Express. This was linked to a Hippo Express at FOH, used as a Zoo Keeper and triggered by Pagel's Avolites Diamond 4 console running the latest TITAN software.
Upstage - behind the 'moon' - was a 14 metre wide by 8 metre deep white silk, revealed by a black drape in front of it being kabuki dropped. The silk was lit by 6 Robe ColorWashes after the reveal, and used for 2 projection pieces, a cloud effect, and a film made from animated stills edited by Scott about the 2009 post election protests in Iran, which ran during "Let The Earth Bear Witness".
It was an extremely busy show for Pagel in terms of cueing which had to be spot on. "It's also the most complex show we have done to date in terms of linking the Hippos and co-ordinating their timing and triggering both with the timecode and manually," explains Pagel when speaking of the challenges.
His crew of 3 were Joe Byrne, Brian Crowe and Michael Jarvis who looked after the projection. Byrne also looked after the Hippos and the MIDI timecode triggering. There were also no production rehearsals, so he spent a week in PSI's WYSIWYG suite to ensure these elements were ready for the first show.
An Appointment With Mr. Yeats is scheduled to continue in the UK in early 2011
For more press info on Production Services Ireland, please call Louise Stickland on +44 (0)1865 202679 or +44 (0)7831 329888 or Email [email protected]'. Call PSI direct on +44 (0)2890 814858 or check www.productionireland.com