Crazy weeks and sleep

It’s been a few crazy weeks.  To summarize roughly, they went something like this… At the end of October, I was lucky enough to be a guest at Fantasycon, which this year was held in Chester.  On the Friday of going to Fantasycon, I first went to Ipswich to see rehearsals for a (stunningly good) dance show I’ve been working on for a year.  The 9 a.m. train from Liverpool St arrived with more than enough time to spare to watch a couple of runs, talk to the choreographer, sit down with the production manager and work through the outstanding…

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Some Days In The City

‘Tis the season of grass pollen and brown fluff, and all across London people are snuffling, coughing and choking their way through a gently, if variably beautiful summer. Growth is everywhere.  Trees that five weeks ago were stubby twigs with tiny buds are now dangling over the pavement, forcing people to duck beneath them as they scurry around.  Along the canal, the walkway has halved in width in some places as wild blueberry bushes and giant budlias have suddenly spurted forward, growing just fast enough to remind you that urban civilization is indeed a tender thing, and will fall within…

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Save Stage Lighting

In 2020 a new law will come into place across Europe which aims to make lighting more efficient.  This is a Good Thing.  Tungsten bulbs have, in the past, clocked in ridiculously high wattages for absurdly low outputs, and given that large swathes of everywhere are in danger of being flooded by man-made global warming in the coming decades, every little helps. I mean, regulating industry properly would be great too, but hey… The technology of lighting has leapt forward in the last ten years by leaps and bounds, and this is reflected in theatre and gigging too.  LED is…

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Let’s Go On A Journey!

Technicians: you’ve got a good bullshit metre.  You gotta have one.  And your bullshit metre is mostly right.  Unfortunately the side-effect of this is that sometimes perfectly acceptable words which can be used in a helpful context, have become mired with a slurry of effluence. Take, for example, ‘journey’. Like most technicians, I instinctively flinch when I hear ‘journey’.  And that’s because most of the time I hear it in this context: “So Cat, I’m just wondering if there’s any way we can enhance the emotional journey with lighting?  Maybe with blue?” In theory, this is not an invalid statement. …

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More Art Less Tools

I do hope I don’t get thrown out of the Association of Lighting Designers for this one… The ALD has a motto.  It’s on its website, it’s on its magazine – ‘More Art Less Tools’. I would cautiously suggest that it’s a terrible motto. For a start, it’s grammatically pants.  Yes, I know, pedantry, but someone’s gotta bring it up and having raised it, we can all move on.  More art… fewer tools… next…. Beneath that, there is a noble intention.  There’s conversations about the simple beauty of a single, well-judged lamp cunningly rigged which, through its elegant contribution to…

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