Helen Murray

White Light Goes on Tour with Poet in da Corner


Light has supplied the lighting equipment for the UK tour of Poet in da

Corner, following its critically-acclaimed run at the Royal Court Theatre.





Poet in

da Corner is a coming

of age story inspired by Dizzee Rascal’s seminal album Boy in Da Corner.

Written and performed by lyricist and poet Debris Stevenson, it originally ran

at the Royal Court in 2018. This latest tour is a brand-new production,

directed by Ola Ince and featuring a lighting design by Anna Watson. Anna

comments: “Poet in da Corner is a really original and unique story told

primarily through grime music. With this in mind, I always knew that the

lighting would have to work hard in order to match the show’s epic, fast-paced

soundtrack. I wanted my design to support the story and music as well as

capture the grime rave aesthetic. I also had to work alongside the set design

by Jacob Hughes which is a beautifully simple layout of yellow portals on truss

along with a high shine floor with a revolve. As a creative team, we set

ourselves one objective: to help create an unforgettable gig theatre vibe!”.






With the

creative team working so holistically, Anna ensured that she attended as many

rehearsals as possible. She explains: “I always try to attend rehearsals but it

was particularly important with this show as it really helped me get inside the

music and be familiar with the choreography which really drives the piece. It

also allows us to add extremely detailed cueing to the book whilst still in the

rehearsal room, which ultimately helped ease our move into the theatre”.







what equipment she needed for her design, Anna approached WL’s Hire team. In

terms of her fixture choices, she explains: “Overhead, we had 9 metres of GLP

Impression X4 Bar 20s and 9 x Martin MAC Aura XBs. The X4 Bars were the

lighting stars of the show. This was my first opportunity to really test these

units and they did not disappoint. Visible to the audience, we used them for a

huge variety of effects and atmospheric lighting. With incredible programming

from Stephen Settle, they filled or dissected the space with beautiful accuracy

and detail. The Aura XBs also worked hard as moving beams through haze or

acting as specials to light the performers. 







continues: “On the booms, we had ETC ColorSource PARs, ColorSource Profiles and

PAR 64s, with birdies used as footlights. We used 30 x RGBW LED fluorescents

upstage mainly behind a black BP screen, which gave them a slightly ghostly or

projected feel as they chased along or flickered to beats of the music. These

were only actually then revealed for one track which is set in a club but we

ensured they were shown off in their full glory. We used old school asymmetric

floods as audience blinders”.






As the

show was also visiting a range of venues across the UK, this is something that

Anna had to factor into her design. She comments: “As the show is touring to a

wide variety of venues (from medium size studios to Hackney Empire), couple

with the tight turnaround time at each, we wanted to reduce the variables as

much as possible, so made the decision to tour everything. Fortunately, with a

great deal of support from WL and GLP, we were able to put together a rig that

could feel big enough and flexible enough to support this bold, fast-paced and

beautifully loud show. The overhead kit is rigged on three freestanding truss

structures plus a metal frame at the front of the stage. The rig was always

going to have to work hard and, with a fairly simple set, it was down to the

lighting to capture the grime rave feel; something we feel we achieved”.






Poet in

da Corner opened at

the Royal Court Theatre and is now embarking on its UK tour, visiting The MAC,

Belfast later this week.






Anna concludes: “As always, I was very well looked after by the Royal Court team, with huge support by Johnny Wilson and the lighting team. Also a big thanks to WL for once again supplying me with the fixtures I needed”.