Lee Curran Bends Reality In Woyzeck With CHAUVET Professional

by PLSN Staff • in
  • Featured
  • International News
• Created: August 2, 2018

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BIRMINGHAM, UK –- From its very creation, Woyzeck has defied easy categorization. The great German dramatist Georg Büchner died before he finished this woeful tale of a soldier returning home from war to an uncertain life, leaving the play, like a work of timeless jazz, open to endless interpretations by future writers who would “complete” his story in their own fashion. Over 180 years after its creator’s passing, Woyzeck resonates as powerfully as ever. This is very evident in the Birmingham Repertory Theatre’s recent production of the drama, which features some piercingly intense imagery that’s made all the more evocative by the Lee Curran’s lighting, created with CHAUVET Professional Ovation, Maverick and COLORado fixtures.

More details from Chauvet (www.chauvetprofessional.com):

In keeping with the open-ended spirit of Woyzeck, the Birmingham Repertory’s production of the play grew out of a change of plans on the part of the theatrical company. Initially, the company had planned to run a different show with a different director in its Spring-Summer 2018 season. When that director had to withdraw due to another commitment, Roxana Silbert, AD of the company, took over as director and decided to do Leo Butler’s adaptation of Woyzeck rather than the original show.

“I had never worked with Roxana before,” said Curran. “We had a meeting, and agreed we’d like to do Woyzeck. It wound up being a wonderful experience.”

The production that followed this initial meeting was gripping, sensual and challenging in a way that excited the imagination, as it followed the slowly disintegrating life of a soldier who returns from war to find his world and sense of reality falling apart. Creatively choreographed dances (clubbers bopping in slow motion to “Bang Bang”), moody scenic elements, and surreal costumes (ghosts carrying a baby doll) convey a sense of reality gone awry.

Curran’s lighting accentuates and advances this mood with its eerily evocative color changes.  “I conveyed the protagonist’s increasing disorientation mainly through my color palette,” he said. “A lot of pale greens, and occasionally pale pinks, were used for contrast at moments where Woyzeck’s grasp on reality slips.”

Essential to Curran realizing his design concept were the CHAUVET Professional fixtures in his rig. He used 11 Maverick MK2 Washes, 32 Ovation E-910FC color-mixing LED ellipsoidals, and 32 COLORado Batten 72 linear wash fixtures to create a varied colorscape for the production.


“I think the biggest challenge for me in this show involved creating a rig that could handle this multi-dimensional story,” he said.  “I needed to light crowd scenes with about one hundred people filling a very large stage, but also focus in on a moment between two people in the crowd, or deal with more intimate scenes on a balcony. We had big dance numbers, surreal nightmare sequences, a nightclub, and a dinghy floating on the ocean – all of which needed to be distinct.


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