Blackburn UK based HSL continued its mega busy start to the year supplying lighting equipment and crew for Alexandra Burke’s “All Night Long” UK tour for Production North.

It was Burke’s first solo headline tour, for which a very tasty lighting design was created by Phil Wiffin. Together with special video content made by Helena Spencer, some amazing choreography by Sisco Gomez and Burke’s highly energetic performance, the show was a slick, pacey cocktail of entertainment encompassing a variety of styles and genres from Urban to pop!

HSL’s project manager Mike Oates says, “It was good to be working with Production North again. The show looked great, and Production North produced a brilliant result with real diversity and value which was flexible and adaptable to fit into the range of venues on the itinerary”.

Dominic Crookes was out on the road operating the show, working with HSL tech Jason Dixon. Crooks and Wiffin programmed the show during one production day ahead of the first gig at Rhyl Pavilion in Wales.

The set featured a wide set of steps centre stage with a walkway at the back and two sets of side stairs feeding off left and right.

Up above, the lighting rig was based on 3 trusses. Wiffin fully utilised his mastery of the minimal to make it look raw and spare one minute and huge and dynamic the next with careful positioning and intelligent programming.

On the front truss were 2 Vari*Lite 3000 Spots and 8 x Robe ColorWash 2500E ATs.

The mid truss had 8 x GLP Impression Zoom LED washes and a kabuki drop, which came down at the top of the set, half way through the intro.

On the back truss were 9 x V*L 3000s and 10 more GLP Impression Zooms. Hanging on wires from it were 5 panels of Pixled F15 LED screen supplied by XL Video, and rigged on drop pipes positioned so they were in between the video panels, were 4 x Robe ROBIN 300 Beams.

On the floor were another 6 x Robe ColorWash 2500E AT two downstage left and 2 downstage right each side, plus 2 more in the upstage corners. They were joined by 4 ROBIN 300 Beams downstage and upstage left and right.

Making the most of convenient clamp points on the set handrails were 4 i-Pix BB7s pointing directly forward and really accentuating the depth of the performance space, and their petal like shape adding some more visual interest to the picture.

Twelve vertical Sunstrips were distributed evenly between front and back trusses and the floor. These were used for subtle ‘creeping’ chase effects and also as a more non conventional blinder.

Wiffin ensured that all numbers in the set looked different – a task he made look relatively effortless, with something new popping up in every song. The set ranged from ballads with subtle key lighting and a starcloth to full on pop-tastic dance-out numbers with massive beamy lighting to grungy urban with edgy and sparse illumination, complete with a Destiny’s Child medley mid way through.

Says Crookes, “It was a great tour to work on, lots of nice friendly people, sold out shows and an excellent vibe. The tech support from HSL has been brilliant as always!”.

Sound was supplied by Wigwam, also a regular Production North choice, with Mark Littlewood mixing FOH & Andy “Baggy” Robinson on monitors. Technical stage manager was James Kelly and production co-ordinator, Jill Aram.


Date of issue : 28th March 2011.

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