Cascade, A Night Of Light Entertainment


The Alnwick Garden in Northcumberland, England — the most popular visitor attraction in the Northeast — opened in 2002 as a vision of the Duchess of Northcumberland for a contemplative public space accessible to all. Only about halfway to completion, it treats visitors to water features, one of the largest tree houses in the world, and of course, an array of gardens. One of the most impressive water displays is “The Grand Cascade,” the largest water feature of its kind in the UK, with 7,260 gallons of water per minute emerging at its peak flow.

In June, the World Summit on Arts and Culture held an event at the Garden over three nights, including Cascade, a site-specific installation event created by award-winning artist and lighting designer, Simon Corder. Corder incorporated a 984' (300m) walk-through fluorescent light-art installation created for this special location, complete with theatrical lighting, jazz, and performance.

“The premise of Cascade was that a local jazz duo had been booked to play a set following dinner,” says Corder. “This unassuming pair regularly plays small gigs around the Northeast in hotels and bars. In an inversion of the famous Stonehenge incident in the 1984 movie cult classic Spinal Tap, the pair found themselves playing in the midst of the spectacular Alnwick Garden Cascade in Northcumberland.”

The installation included having the audience walk around and through the hornbeam pergolas. “As a finale, Will Todd performed a new twelve-minute piece of music,” says Corder. “There was an element of performance art, as a waiter clambered through the Cascade to deliver the musicians a bottle of Newcastle Brown Ale while his umbrella bearers made an elegant progress balancing on the walls alongside him.”

For the event, White Light supplied lighting services and the theatrical lighting installation, which included 150 PAR64 fixtures. Avolites ART2000 racks were in two locations and run from an Avolites Pearl console. EncapSulite supplied 138 HFI Stick-Lite fluorescent fittings with T5 technology, IP64-rated with integral electronic ballasts and including lavender, chrome green, orange, sky blue, and candy pink deep dyed polyester sleeves.

Crew for the evening included stage manager Chris Hynes; water systems by Steven Tell-wright for ST controls; production electrician Jack Thompson for White Light; chief lighting technician Dave Robinson; lighting technicians David Thompson, Petter Skramstad, and Nick Woolley; head gardener Derek Horton for The Alnwick Garden; and operations manager Peter Gaynor for The Alnwick Garden.