Pro-Light-News Studio & Theatre

MAC 250 Wash debuts in 'A Tivoli Fairytale'

A Tivoli FairytaleMartin Professional's MAC 250 Wash is playing an important part in Danish amusement park Tivoli's celebration of Hans Christian Andersen's 200 year birthday. Titled 'A Tivoli Fairytale', the show pays tribute to Denmark's beloved writer through the daily presentation of an imaginative puppet show. The free show plays at Tivoli's Open Air Stage and includes living fairy tales, special effects, historical readings, newly composed music and song. Andersen was a frequent visitor to the amusement park and it was there that he found inspiration for the fairytale 'The Nightingale'.
Cascades of light, music and special effects set the stage for a gigantic puppet show whose main character is the writer himself. Surrounded by iridescent puppets standing several meters tall, Andersen presents ten of his most popular fairytales including Thumbelina, The Emperor's New Clothes, The Princess and the Pea, The Little Mermaid, The Ugly Duckling and others.
Martin Scandinavia supplied 24 MAC 250 Wash for the tribute show. Four MAC 550 profile spots are also used. Lighting designer is Tue Selmer Friborg of Tivoli A/S. "I was involved with the project from the very beginning," he stated. "When we started to do the budgets we set aside quite an amount for lighting. Later on, the show was changed to an afternoon show and the lighting was cut out of the budget. Even later the show transformed into a nighttime show, and lighting became essential again. It was quite difficult to get this back in the budget, so I aimed for a white par can wash. That was it. Fortunately, the creative director, like me, wanted the lighting to be able to add more dynamism and more moods to the show, so I started to look for alternatives."
The larger-than-life puppets form a key element of the show. Fifty extras from Denmark and Sweden serve as puppeteers for the 46 puppets. Tue comments, "The puppets we use in the show are 6 meters tall and the audience is standing very close to them on both sides. I needed to get the fixtures up high in order to light the puppets without blinding the audience on the other side. It was essential that the lighting support towers be either moveable or very discrete. I aimed for the latter and chose to use moving lights in order to minimize the number of fixtures needed. When looking at Martin's product line I chose the MAC 300 - the MAC 600 was too big physically. I made a test with the MAC 300s and found that they - for this show - would be adequate."
"When talking to Frank Ovesen of Martin Scandinavia about this however he told me that a MAC 250 Wash was on the way. I received a field test version and learned that it was only comparable to the MAC 300 in size - light output was awesome."
The MAC 250 Wash are mounted on outdoor poles and encased in flowers. "Together with Martin Corneliussen of Seelite I developed four towers inspired by flowers. Each flower head contains a MAC 250 Wash and serves as rain protection. The flower heads only conceal half of the fixture, but so far I have had no problems related to moisture."
"I started by programming the show from one end to the other in a few hours. Then afterwards, through rehearsals, as I learned the show and the fixtures, I added cues and effects like you add layers of color to a sketch. I had been so anxious about not getting lux enough that I had programmed the fixtures at 100% output in all cues. I quickly realized that this was too bright, and now I have many cues where the 250s aren't at full."
"At the beginning of the summer we played every night at 22:00, but during the last days of that period, when the sun wouldn't set until the show was halfway through, a lot of people said they missed the mood and intimacy in the first half of the show. It turned out that the lighting, which originally was taken out of the show, plays a major role in creating the fairytale mood and the overall feeling of the show."
Created for children and the young at heart, 'A Tivoli Fairytale' is the brainchild of Gary Paben, a seasoned director of spectacular productions who has worked on such events as the Super Bowl halftime shows and the opening of the 2002 International Winter Paralympics in Salt Lake City. He was once senior show director for Walt Disney World.
'A Tivoli Fairytale' premiered on May 14th and runs until September 25th.
08/2005 pro-light-news
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