White Light Returns to Jermyn Street Theatre Tonight at 8:30

Located in London’s West End, the Jermyn Street Theatre is one of the capital’s most renowned studio theatres. It was recently re-launched under new Artistic Director Tom Littler as a full-scale producing theatre, creating around eight to ten in-house productions every year. One of these is Tonight at 8:30 by Noel Coward. The Lighting Designer was Tim Mascall who called upon White Light to supply the lighting equipment.

Tonight at 8:30 by Noel Coward is a series of one act plays; nine of which were staged at the Jermyn Street Theatre, broken into three separate trilogies running in rep. Tim explains: “It’s a really interesting production as one night you’ll see three of the nine and another you could see a different three. At weekends, the theatre stages all nine plays each Saturday and Sunday so you could spend an entire day watching them all! The theatre also commissioned a fourth trilogy of plays entitled Tomorrow at Noon which were responses to the Coward pieces and played each Monday and Tuesday of the run”.

Tim was brought on board by Artistic Director Tom Litter who directed all of the plays, with Stella Powell directing the Tomorrow at Noon pieces. Tim comments: “One of the biggest elements of my brief was to create a rig flexible enough to cover 12 different plays with as minimal turn around time as possible in between each. The structure of each evening is that between the first and second piece there is a ‘pause’ of around 5 minutes in which the audience remain in their seats whilst the set is turned around and then the second turn around happens during the interval. This was all achieved with some meticulous planing and scene change choreography from Set Designer Louie Whitemore and Associate Director Gabby Bird”.

Tim approached WL to provide him with his desired list of fixtures. He explains: “The main obstacle was the logistics of trying to mount 12 different plays in one venue with extremely limited space, both in terms of storage and a complete lack of any wings! There is no getting away from the fact that Jermyn Street Theatre is a small studio space, with the grid being just under 4m! The lighting infrastructure of the theatre has remained largely the same for more than 10 years and so we needed to install additional DMX and power distribution to utilise the LED based fixtures. The MAC Auras in particular offered me some much needed flexibility in terms of being able to quickly respond to changes in the blocking once we were in tech whereas the LED fresnels gave me a far greater colour pallet than what would have otherwise been available”.

The show has recently finished its run following critical acclaim.  It marks one of several productions that WL is currently supplying across London including West End smashes such as Harry Potter and the Cursed Child(LD – Neil Austin), Tina Turner – The Musical (LD – Bruno Poet), Consent(LD – Rick Fisher) along with Describe the Night at Hampstead Theatre (LD – Johanna Town), Mayfly at the Orange Tree Theatre (LD – Christopher Nairne), Fatherland at Lyric Hammersmith (LD – Jon Clark) and Why is the Sky Blue at the Southwark Playhouse (LD – Elliot Griggs).

Tim concludes: “It was thanks to the commitment and skill of the creative and production teams together with the sheer ambition of the theatre – backed up by genuine support from the management – that this ambitious project was possible. Louie Whitemore’s design often gets a round of applause during the visible turnarounds as various elements are revealed. Tom Attwood (Sound Design) and Emily Stuart (Costume Design) were, as they always are, both amazing to work with”.

Photos courtesy of Robert Workman.