White Light Hits the Right Notes for Falsettos

White Light has supplied the lighting equipment for Falsettos which is currently running at London’s Other Palace Theatre.

Originally performed on Broadway in 1992, Falsettos is a double Tony Award-winning musical which offers a poignant look at the life of one family as they live through the AIDS crisis. Despite other productions across the globe, this is the first time the show has been performed in its entirety in London. It features a lighting design by Nic Farman, who comments: “For Falsettos I knew I would be working closely with PJ McEvoy, the set, costume and projection designer, who I’ve worked with a number of times before. Our brief was to be bold with the colour and the stage pictures we were creating to aid telling the narrative of the story. Projection is used heavily throughout so I had to be very specific with how I was lighting scenes to avoid washing out the image and to build a cohesive stage picture. Together we worked on building a vivid colour palette, bold colours denoting each of the characters in the show track through as an element within the projection, costume and lighting”. 






Whilst preparing for the show, Nic approached it as he would with any project: by responding to the script and music. He explains: “I was able to do a lot of work based on PJ’s initial storyboards of the projection content, alongside working with the director, Tara, to develop the concept. In rehearsals we started developing detailed blocking notes as we knew we didn’t have followspots on the show, but wanted to have the clarity of tightly spotting the cast which was to be achieved through the moving light rig alone. Once we were in to tech we had to work quickly and in broad brushstrokes initially to get a feel for the show as a whole. Falsettos is entirely sung through (39 songs in total), so there’s a lot of numbers to get through and we wanted to be detailed with the way we lit the show. Needless to say a lot of time was spent over previews finessing the design”.






Having supplied several of Nic’s shows already this year, he approached WL to hire the equipment once again on this occasion. He explains: “Having a shuttering, moving profile was really important to give us flexibility from Front of House when it came to creating specific spot specials so I called upon the Martin MAC Viper Performances. We also developed a concept of building ‘rooms’ of light on stage which the characters inhabited and worked with the set’s checkerboard floor. An additional overhead grid of Viper Performances gave me a bright option for that role.






He continues: “The rich colour palette we were aiming for meant I wanted a sidelight rig of LED profiles which came in the form of ETC Lustr 2s. It was also my first time using the Colorsource Cyc units which were brilliant, due to their brightness and colour depth. Finishing off the rig were Martin Mac Auras which gave me a flexible pipe end wash and GLP X4 Bar 20s as an impact backlight, which were used in pixel mode to add extra effects into some of the bigger show numbers”.






Falsettos has now opened to rave reviews and will run until 23rd November.






Nic concludes: “This is a very technical, ambitious show and one which I was proud to be a part of. I’d like to say thanks to my Production LX Anthony Hannah, LX technicians Dan Farr and Jordan Lightfoot and the team at The Other Palace and Selladoor. It was wonderful to work with WL as ever and a big thanks to Jonathan Haynes, Chris Delaney and Andy Cullen for the stellar service they provided”.






Full Credits:
Director & Choreography: Tara Overfield Wilkinson
Musical Director: Richard John
Musical Supervisor: Mark Crossland
Set, Costume & Projection Design: PJ McEvoy
Lighting Design: Nic Farman 
Sound Design: Chris Whybrow
Producer: Selladoor