White Light supply LED MAC Encore Performances for LD David Howe’s UK tour design
From the team behind the Olivier Award-winning The Play That Goes Wrong, The Comedy About A Bank Robbery is an hilarious and dynamic show focusing on the robbery of Minneapolis City Bank – and everything that goes wrong in the process. The play has run in the West End for three years at The Criterion Theatre and has been a smash hit with audiences and critics alike. It is now embarking on a UK tour with White Light supplying MAC Encore Performances from their rental stock for LD David Howe’s new design.
Production photos courtesy of Robert Day
David comments: “Bank Robbery is a play where the situation really brings the comedy to life. You have an escaped convict set on capturing a priceless diamond from the bank and with him his eccentric sidekick, trickster girlfriend and the maintenance man. The brief for me was to support the writing, which is extremely fast paced, as we swiftly move from one location to another, often by the way of musical montages. I worked closely with the other brilliant designers David Farley (Set Designer), Roberto Surface (Costume) and Jon Fiber (Sound) to create the world our writers envisaged. The writers were the performers in the original West End company and therefore the show evolved massively in rehearsals and it was very much an organic, collaborative process”.
Whereas the script remains the same as that performed in the West End, there were some changes to the production that needed to be implemented for the tour due to both space and logistical requirements.
David comments: “Structurally, the set is quite complex. It may look simple but contains much trickery to help achieve the visual and, often, gravity defying effects. David Farley produced a range of visualisations for each venue which proved invaluable to both producers and myself when planning the show. When I originally laid-out the West End design on paper (yes I use paper!), the show hadn’t even started rehearsals, so I had to design-in as much flexibility into the rig as possible; knowing the script would evolve. Coming back to the production for the tour I’ve been able to pare back and make stronger statements which give it vibrancy and set the tone from the start."
The West End’s rig, originally by Sparks Theatrical, is a mixture of MAC Viper Performance, MAC Auras and TW1s. The tour package however now features the new LED MAC Encore Performance (CLD) fixtures and MAC Auras as the basic spot/wash combination.
“I’ve been really impressed with the MAC Encore’s flexibility,” says David, “not only with the quality of LED light, but also the really great colour mixing which has meant I’ve been able to replicate some of the warmer colour tones I use in the West End version.”
In explaining the additional factors in his switch to MAC Encore David continues, “I decided to change from the excellent MAC Viper Performance to MAC Encore Performances as the tour is a long one and I needed to ensure, with limited maintenance time each week, I maximised the lamp life of the unit, so swapping to LED made perfect sense. Also with an all LED moving rig we have a virtually silent rig which really helps the audience. It also keeps running costs lower for the producers.”
The Comedy About A Bank Robbery opened in Birmingham in September and is currently at the Cheltenham Everyman Theatre and will tour until mid-2019. A Mischief Theatre Company production, The Comedy About A Bank Robbery is produced by Kenny Wax and Stage Presence in association with Birmingham Rep.