Luc Peumans from leading European lighting and visual design practice Painting with
Light was asked to create a lighting scheme for the recent new musical “Sky’ which
ran at the Theatre Amsterdam featuring spectacular 3D video scenery.
The show was produced by Imagine Nation (Robin de Levita & Kees Abrahams) and
featured music by John Ewbank and Marco Borsato.
Peumans, himself experienced at working in 3D and “surround visual’ environments,
was also asked to collaborate on this production because of flair for lighting this
hybrid genre of performance, which combines the emotion and connection of
musical theatre with the latest presentation technologies.
The striking curved set was designed by Boris Kudlika and all the video content
produced by Platige Image from Poland who were also co-producers. The scenic and
digital parameters had already been decided when Peumans came on-board.
The Sky narrative centred around a familiar story – teenage girl in a tough family
scenario, bullied at school, gets into drugs and falls into a coma … where things
start to look up as she transitions into a wondrous dream-world. Seeing life in a
different perspective she realises she must fight to be an individual and gain
The brief for lighting included creating a stark differential between the two worlds –
reality and dreams – and the need to make statements and interpret moods and
also draw the audience further into the all-enveloping 3D environment, so the “show
experience’ became truly immersive.
Either side of the stage Peumans positioned five lighting ladders each one rigged
with two Martin MAC III Performances, which he thinks is a powerful 1500W source
with shutters capable of throwing long distances and being highly accurate.
MAC III Performances were the main moving lights, with 59 in total on the lighting
rig, plus 18 x RUSH MH 3 Beams, mostly deployed in the overhead and advanced
trusses and in the hallway at the rear of the auditorium. Another 14 x MAC Viper
Performances were rigged in an arc around the back of the audience.
The MH 3 Beams which were used in a club scene – where the complete club
interior was mapped in the lighting desk – and 12 x RUSH MH 6 LED wash lights
were used for washing the main stage floor and matching it with the digital set.
Smoke – and getting the right smoke – was essential to many of the lighting scenes
working on multiple levels – accentuating the subtlety and mood as well as the
contrasts and the big bold statements that the director Bobby Boermans wanted.
Taking no chances, no less than 12 machines were strategically deployed around
the space – four Jem Glaciator low foggers, four Martin K1 hazers and four new
Look Solutions Viper NT 2.6s.
All the lighting kit was supplied by Focus in Amsterdam.
A complete Coolux Media server system to control all the video content and feed
the nine projectors was supplied by Painting with Light.