White Light recently provided the lighting equipment for the Apollo Nights season at the Eventim Apollo – a week of exclusive live performances from a range of legendary music artists.
The inaugural Apollo Nights season at the Eventim Apollo in Hammersmith, London, brought together a premium VIP dining experience and a roster of headline artists for a week of shows at the landmark venue. Curated by Ollie Rosenblatt at Senbla, the season delivered a unique audience experience with the front stalls seating removed to create space for elegant VIP pre-show dining with live jazz piano before opening up the full auditorium for headline shows. The first performance was by Burt Bacharach and Joss Stone and was followed by George Benson and finally Marc Almond.
The lighting designer for the season was Ben M Rogers, who WL has previously worked with on the award-winning HAIR musical. Ben comments: “I was tasked with creating a flexible ‘festival’ rig that would frame the action on stage and enhance the auditorium for the dining experience. Taking the artists touring riders as a starting point, and working closely with WL’s Customer Services Team Leader Andy Cullen, I had to assemble a rig capable of delivering everything, from big, classy show looks to intimate moments.”
Alongside this, Ben also had to consider the building’s architecture when formulating his design. He explains: “The venue has exceptional sight lines with all seats able to see the full proscenium opening. I wanted to achieve layers of light to fill the large proscenium – so cascaded the fly bars and added a generous floor package to ensure we could deliver broad brush strokes of colour and shape to performances. Similarly, with the various set lists encompassing hits from over 50 years of music, I wanted to ensure the lighting design was versatile and could quickly evolve to match this.”
As part of his rig, Ben drew on Martin Professional MAC Aura XB and TW1 fixtures in order to provide colour washes. He drew on the Quantum Profiles for gobo texture and Viper Performances for the dining and key light duties. Additional eye candy effects were delivered with iPix BB4’s, ROBE picklePATTs and the Portman P1 units. The lighting was controlled using the MA2 console. WL also supplied all of the rigging, power and logistics for the production.
Ben comments: “In this busy season the team at White Light where fantastic in their ability to resource and support the show and their London base meant that last minute changes and evolutions to the design where easily accommodated.”
WL’s Head of Customer Service Craig Bennett comments: “Apollo Nights was a truly unique and exciting project for us to work on. It also shows how, as a company, we are able to work with a lighting designer and not only bring their vision to life but do so both on time and on budget. We really enjoyed working with Ben once again and look forward to continue doing so in the future.”
Photos courtesy of © Ben M Rogers/Senbla 2019.