The Rocky Horror Show’s German Tour – Fabulous At Forty!
The long-running cult musical The Rocky Horror Show is back on stage for a 6-month tour of Germany and features an array of HARMAN Martin Professional lighting fixtures to underscore the production’s more distinctive elements.
Since its first performance at the Royal Court Theatre in London 40 years ago, more than 20 million people have seen Richard O’Brien’s bizarre story about a newly engaged couple, the mad transvestite Dr. Frank-N-Furter and his artificial creature, Rocky Horror.
For the German tour, lighting designer David Howe specified a rig mostly comprised of fixtures from Martin Professional, including MAC Viper Washes, MAC Viper Performances, MAC Auras, MAC 700 Profiles and Stagebars.
“The lighting designer is always the guy who has the wild ideas,” said Howe. “However, rather than creating an overwhelming light show, I wanted to draw the audience’s attention to the story, the characters, and the bizarre atmosphere in Dr. Frank-N-Furter’s house.”
No stranger to the production, this tour will be Howe’s sixth time working on the Rocky Horror Show.
“I used to specify the MAC 2000 Wash but this time I wanted to try out the MAC Viper Wash,” he said. “Its ability to blast colours out onto the stage is perfect for big venues and arenas.”
Howe refers to the MAC Viper as an upgrade over the MAC 2000 and speaks highly of the fixture’s benefits, especially for this particular production.
“The MAC Viper features beautiful, saturated colors and due to the high output, it really brings power to the lighting design- ideal to stage this crazy cocktail of classic rock ’n’ roll, eccentric people and broken conventions,” he said.
Howe replaced the MAC 401, which he used to illuminate the curtains on previous shows, with the MAC Aura.
“The MAC Aura’s LED technology makes it such a versatile fixture,” said Howe. “It’s great for lighting actors’ faces, which I could never have done with a traditional LED fixture. The MAC Aura’s tungsten adds a realistic quality that makes the light move in a fluent, natural way.”
However, technology and innovative features are not the only parameters Howe considers important. Since a successful show also needs reliable equipment and experienced partners, he recruited Showconcept, one of Germany’s leading full-service providers of technical equipment for touring, stage productions and TV-shows, to provide the lighting equipment, rigging and on-site assistance.
“My team of three doesn’t have time to concentrate on broken fixtures,” said Howe. “Showconcept’s team is completely professional. They make sure that the lights are always functional so that we can focus on the design.”
Andreas Rescheneder of Showconcept acted as technical director on the production.
“The equipment must usually endure eight shows per week plus rehearsals,” said Rescheneder. “If, for instance, I have 100 fixtures in the rig, I can’t risk half of them falling out and having to be repaired. I only invest in reliable and high-quality products, like Martin fixtures, which have been thoroughly tested by the manufacturer.”
The Rocky Horror Show is on tour in Germany until Aug. 2, 2015. For more information, please visit rocky-horror-show.de/
Photography Credit: Jens Hauer