British Lighting Designer, Graham McLusky, lit the annual pantomime at the Joburg Theatre, utilising the theatre’s new lighting gear, which included 12 Claypaky Sharpy Plus fixtures recently purchased from DWR Distribution.
Graham’s history with the production dates back to when Director Janice Honeyman and Producer Bernard Jay wanted to hire an established UK panto lighting designer to launch their new production. They consulted with UK pantomime producers Qdos, which creates and maintains spectacular stage sets and more than 100,000 costumes for an enormous portfolio of shows.
Graham sends his lighting plots and plans for the season’s panto before arriving on site; he usually stays in South Africa for two weeks during production. The crew has an entire week to set up the rig before the show moves into the theatre; they strip out most of the theatre’s permanent rig to accommodate Graham’s needs.
“Jack and the Beanstalk” marked the first time Graham had a chance to use Claypaky’s Sharpy Plus luminaires. “I’ve never used a Sharpy before, though other lighting designers have said I ought to try them,” he said. “However, I usually don’t need really piercing beams of light. When I discovered that the Sharpy Plus units have gobos and an effects wheel, I thought I’d incorporate them in the show. We also used them as special pick-ups on the stage as well as for throwing beam shapes and patterns over the audience.”