London fringe theatre made an outstanding return to the capital, as a socially distanced and full COVID-compliant live musical production of post-pandemic England 2020, staged in a specially renovated garden space at The Eagle Pub in Vauxhall.
“Fanny & Stella” a hilarious, poignant, and sharp-witted com-romp through some extraordinary events gave theatre fans a snapshot into the real lives of two eccentric Victorian Londoners – Ernest Boulton and Frederick William Park. Based on the book and lyrics by Glenn Chandler (creator of hit TV series ‘Taggart’) the show was directed by Steven Dexter and produced by Peter Bull and Richard Lambert of Lambco Productions. Richard also designed and operated the lighting using his handy Zero 88 FLX S24 console.
Richard Lambert, Lambco Productions, said: ” It was perfect for the job. Portable and fits easily onto a fold-out table, and just like the essence of the show, it popped up! It packs away into a tiny flight case about the size of a satchel!”
With a 6 PM and 8.30 PM performance most days, lighting still made a subtle impact even on the earlier shows, especially on cloudy days, while for the later ones, the stage lighting combined seamlessly with natural light as dusk fell. This included some stunning sunsets over the month.
The main lighting fixtures were six GLP X4 Atom 30W full colour LED luminaires rigged on scaff bars above the audience area alongside some outdoor birdies. A Zero 88 portable Betapack provided dimming for the garden spots. These lights created a nice face-wash and some keying for the cast to stand on correct ‘marks’ at strategic moments.
Additionally, Richard scattered P-light strings around the garden in the bushes and foliage to augment the general ambience. It was effectively a one-scene lighting show, carefully balanced for that fusion of stage and natural lighting. This ‘naturalistic’ approach to lighting also enabled the highly talented cast to shine without distraction or augmentation.
While he didn’t even scratch the surface of the power of the FLX S24 on this, Richard likes the FLX consoles for many reasons including the ZerOS software which enables “quick and intuitive” programming, and also makes shows highly cross-compatible between consoles.
He made the most of the surrounding environment, threading power and DMX cables through plant pots and along trellises in the garden and storing the console multicore in a hanging basket overnight! After each day’s final performance, the Garden was re-opened to pub patrons and audience members who wanted to enjoy an al-fresco drink.