The challenge for Dreamgirls, which is currently touring The Netherlands, is that the main setting is backstage at a theatre.

All the locations alternate between this, various onstage performance scenes and other connected places as the story unfolds, however the set – designed by Eric Van Der Palen – does not essentially change.

“This was certainly not as easy a task as you might think,” explains Luc. “It was a big challenge that took time and energy to find the tricks that work. We had to constantly make it very clear what is happening and where right the way through the performance”.

The house LX bars are used at each venue, so the lighting positions are based on five generic over-stage bars together with the portal bars at the sides right at the front of the auditoriums and the rigging positions at FOH.

It comprises a completely Martin moving light rig supplied by Netherlands-based Focus, the rental division of Rent All from Bemel. For upstage, Luc chose 12 SGM P5 LED floods to wash down the Cyc.

The next bars are rigged with a mix of Mac Viper Profiles, Mac 700 Washes and Mac 2K Performances.

The total fixture counts are 11 Viper Profiles, 19 Mac 700 Washes, seven Mac 2K Performances, plus eight MAC 250 Beams on the floor and scattered around the set.

Eight ‘ballet’ towers stage left and right – clearly visible as part of the set – provide convenient hanging places for 32 PARs used for base cross-stage washes.

Also ensconced into the set are two classic style Pantographs, refurbished for the tour and used as a scenic element, each rigged with 5K Mole Beams used to help recreate the retro TV Studio look.

One scene utilises 36 active Showtec Sunstrips on four separate fly bars arranged in four vertical and two horizontal sections each 6m long. These are programmed to produce neon-style patterns specifically for the Miami show scenes, and again helping to produce a complete contrast to backstage day-to-day ‘work light’ scenes.

Downstage on the floor are six footlights made up of one cell Par 36 DWEs which are also visible as part of the set.

“The LEDs all emphasize the style of vintage neon lighting that was so characteristic of signage and theatres in the 1960s and 70s,” adds Luc.

The brick set wall at the back has its own complete grid of concrete beams and integrated into these are another 18 Par 36 DWE blinders.

As well as the toured lighting units, Dreamgirls utilises any house lighting fixtures that are available at FOH in each venue, which is typically a selection of Profiles, PC Spots and fresnels.

Lighting was programmed during rehearsals in the Zaantheatre, Zaandam on a grandMA2 console by PWL’s Paco Mispelters, and is being operated on the road by Ruud Kuipers and Nik Tenten.

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