The historic Østre Gasværk Theatre in Copenhagen is the first theatre in the world to secure the rights to produce, conceptualise and perform Another Brick in THE WALL – Part 5 as a piece of musical theatre. Based on the legendary Pink Floyd double album of 1979 – which is still the third largest grossing album in the US, almost 45 years after its release – Another Brick in THE WALL, Part 5 is an extension of the three original album tracks – Part 1, 2, 3 – and Part 4 that was enacted as an opera in Montreal in 2017.

Having premiered to great acclaim in Copenhagen on Friday 22 September 2023, the new Danish staging is an ambitious one with a huge cast of singers, dancers, musicians and aerial artists. The production will also be staged in Musikhuset Aarhus, with a premiere slated for 5 January 2024.

Lighting designer, Jeppe Lawaetz, chose 24 Ayrton Huracán LT and 8 Ayrton Diablo as major lighting components in this highly technical production which includes 8 programable winches for flying aerial artists, 4 lifts, a full surround setup, a full tracking system of all performers and musicians on stage, 121 lighting fixtures and a projection setup of twenty-seven 12,000 ansi-lumen projectors that create a 180° projection surface.

Built as a gasometer in 1881 before being repurposed as a theatre in 1979, the circular Østre Gasværk Theatre has a large cavernous interior 46m in diameter with a fly height of 11m and seating capacity of 814.

The Theatre’s internal space forms a significant part of the set for THE WALL, Part 5, which means almost all lighting fixtures are visible, and therefore an integral part of the set. Fixtures are rigged along the outer walls and in concentric rings on overhead trusses following the curvature of the building and the circular centre stage.

“Because of the distances involved, we needed a very powerful fixture with a narrow zoom,” explains Lawaetz. “Having previously used Ayrton Eurus fixtures and found them to be a cost effective and reliable solution for musical productions, I turned again to Ayrton products, and VIGSØ (VIGSØ SALES is Ayrton’s exclusive distributor for Denmark) suggested the Huracán LT. As one of the most powerful fixtures on the market and with a zoom range all the way down to 3.5°, it proved to be an excellent choice for this production.

“For many of the scenes in this piece we used the Huracán’s ability to make a very narrow and even tight beam, creating pillars of light and thereby creating a ‘room within the room’. And for applications like these, where the lights are visible and part of the set, I especially appreciate the aesthetic appearance of the large front lens on the Huracán.”

Because the set design for THE WALL is based on the outer walls of Østre Gasværk, the same curves are replicated in a smaller set-wall built around the circular stage. “We wanted to build fixtures into the set wall, that would match the colour and light quality of the Huracán, and still have the same set of features, CMY, iris, effects wheel, frost and framing shutters,” explains Lawaetz. “At the same time, because the fixture had to be incorporated into a very tight space within the set, we needed a fixture with a small footprint and diameter. The tight space also dictated a fixture that did not need to do a full pan/tilt reset when powered on, simply because there might not be room for the fixture to do a full rotation. These were a lot of demands for a single fixture, and I was surprised to find all features in the small package of the Diablo. Because we installed the Diablo closer to the stage than the Huracán, it matched the output and zoom range of the Huracán in the rig very well. And with an almost identical feature set, the fixtures blended seamlessly together during programming of the show.”

Lawaetz was impressed with the versatility and uniformity of the two types of Ayrton products and how he could integrate them so well into his design. “I often design in close collaboration with the technicians that handle the productions, and because of the small footprint and the low weight, I will definitely consider the Diablo again when designing touring productions. And I would not hesitate to spec the Huracán for productions demanding high light output,” he confirms.

The creative team behind Another Brick in THE WALL, Part 5

Contributor: Johan Olsen m.fl.
Director: Heinrich Christensen
Set Designer: Kim Witzel
Costume Designer: Line Bech
Choreographer: Sofie Akerø
Band Master: Søren Graversen
Musical Arrangement: Søren Graversen Arial
Designer: Sita Bhuller Otto
Arial Consultant: Troels Frydensberg
Video Designers: JA Film
Sound Designers: Tim Høyer
Lighting Designers: Jeppe Lawaetz and Martin Jensen
Dramaturgical Consultant: Emmet Feigenberg
Artistic Director / Creative Producer: Søren Møller

Text: Julie Harper
Credits: © Søren Malmose and Østre Gasværk Theatre, © Jeppe Lawaetz

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