Blackburn based lighting and visuals rental company HSL supplied lighting equipment to the latest Katherine Jenkins UK tour, which was designed by Tim Routledge.
It's the first time that HSL has worked with the hugely popular classical / pop crossover singer Jenkins, but they have worked with Routledge on several previous occasions.
HSL's project manager was Mike Oates who says, “It was great to work with Tim and production manager Neil McDonald on this, especially as it was a bit different. It both contrasted and complimented all the other music tours in which we are currently involved with a classy design that looked great and was completely appropriate.”
The show was smaller in scale than Jenkins' last outing which played arenas. This was a deliberate move to return to playing more intimate spaces like theatres and concert halls, with the focus totally on Jenkins' vocal performance, rather than lots of additional razzmatazz.
She was accompanied by the 32- piece National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Anthony Inglis, and the tone of the show was set by her latest album “Daydream” which fuses folk roots with classical and a few shades of pop.
Routledge's creative starting point with the lighting was to put Jenkins centre stage and to overlay multiple soft-edge treatments. His show comprised many strong, and highly distinctive static looks with real presence and backbone.
Above Jenkins was a 4.5 diameter circular truss, a â€˜halo' type idea inspired by her hit “Angel” which provided lighting positions for both her when at centre stage …. and the orchestra behind.
He wanted the smallest, lightest and most unobtrusive fixtures possible and so chose GLP Impression LED wash lights, and Clay Paky Sharpies for his hard edged units. With minimal haze in the room, these lights also all had to be able to make an impact without any artificial aids!
The 18 sharpies – all on the circle truss - were used to silhouette Jenkins providing a dramatic start to the show, and for some songs they created virtual architectural pillars of light.
The main set element was the backdrop, a fabulous hand sewn three dimensional work also designed by Routledge and manufactured by Back2Front, taking ideas from the album art of dandelions blowing in the wind. The silver satin dandelions were sewn onto black wool serge.
A gauze was flown in front of this to add another layer of depth and an additional surface which could be soft-lit.
The backdrop itself was lit with a row of GLP impressions positioned along the floor, while the gauze was grazed upwards with 12 x Chroma-Q Color Force 12s adding more texture.
In addition to the circular truss, HSL supplied two rear trusses and one front, plus a floor package.
There were a total of 48 GLP Impressions dotted all over the trusses and on the floor, along with the Color Force 12s and the Sharpies.
On the front truss were eight Martin Professional MAC 700 Washes for covering the orchestra and the stage, which were also picked for their relatively small size.
HSL also supplied two Robert Juliat 2.5K follow spots.
Apart from the careful application of a â€˜less is more' philosophy to get the desired effect, the rig was designed to be able to shrink sensibly and fit into some of the smaller spaces.
Routledge operated the show using a grandMA2 light console with another running in full tracking backup.
He concludes, “HSL were fantastic – as always! The rig was thoroughly and diligently prepped, and supplied complete with a comprehensive â€˜LD package' containing every piece of data and documentation that you might possibly require throughout the course of a tour - which was a fabulous finishing touch”.
His lighting crew were Ben Holdsworth and Mark Mitchell, and sound for the six week tour was provided by RG Jones.
For more press info on the HSL Group, please contact Louise Stickland on +44 (0)1865 202679/+44 (0)7831 329888 or Email [email protected] Contact HSL direct on +44 (0)1254 698808, â€˜[email protected]' or check www.hslgroup.com.