Saddleworth Players

Setting a passionate woman alight

Hello, I’m David Plowright and I designed and ran the lighting for Saddleworth Players production of “A Passionate Woman”.

Set a play in an attic, on the roof, and even above it, it premiered at the West Yorkshire Playhouse, with the house on a revolve and where effects such as - well, a balloon against a blue sky - can be flown to a height of 10 metres.

Now adapt the play for Millgate Arts Centre, and interesting challenges result, not least a massive wooden beam across the stage with a clearance of a little over three metres. With the tallest cast on top of the tallest set we've built, this had the potential for real headaches. A blue sky behind with projected fluffy clouds ruled out most lighting positions to avoid light spill. And with the set's roof in place, no adjustments could be made to lights above.

A couple of weeks up ladders ensued, with much head scratching, trying out strange lighting angles, rigging temporary supports and running cables. Finally, 49 lanterns and about 150 metres of extension cables later, we had a compromise which (I hope) did justice to our superb cast and set. Now all we have to do is put it back as it was before...

David Plowright, Dec 11, 2015