By Design: Rick Fisher Lights Mata Hari

UK-based lighting designer Rick Fisher recently spent a month in Japan, lighting a full-scale musical about the famous female spy, Mata Hari, written by Frank Wildhorn and Ivan Menchell, with performances January 21-28, 2018 at Umeda Arts Theatre in Osaka and and February 3-12, 2018 at International Forum C in Tokyo.

In lighting Mata HariRick Fisher found that Japanese commercial theatres tend to be very wide and not so very deep, perhaps a result of traditional Kabuki staging which is very wide and not deep at all. "Our theatres were approximately 16-18 meters wide," he says. "The set is a full-stage floor cloth painted with an abstract black and white streaky pattern with the streaks going in different directions, and three very low, side masking panels on either side that were approximately three meters tall, which effectively closed in the playing area to about 14 meters across." Directed by Sachiko Ishimaru, Mata Hari's design team also included Yukio Horio (sets), Hiroko Sogawa (costumes), and Koichi Yamamoto (sound).

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