POSTED ON 03/04/2018

The record-breaking production of Shrek the Musical has exploded back onto the stage this year on a second UK & Ireland tour and we've joined the Shrektacular adventure!

Hailed 5 stars by the Sunday Telegraph as “…a great show for all the family,” this fun-loving story introduces us to the elusive Shrek and his unlikely friend in tow, Donkey, as they set off on a quest to rescue Princess Fiona. 

With lighting equipment supplied to meet the design of leading lighting designer Hugh Vanstone, we've invested in Martin MAC Viper Performances and MAC Aura XB fixtures to meet the requirements of the Shrek tour and many others, expanding our lighting inventory as part of our ongoing programme of investment in new equipment.

The rig was further made up of MAC Viper Wash DXs and ETC LUSTR2 Profiles. Utilising Chroma-Q Color Force 72 Battens, we offered an updated Cyc lighting solution, removing the need for the older, heavy ETC Par battens. We also supplied smoke effects and two Robert Juliat Cyrano Followspots to complete the design. All this was controlled off a GrandaMA2 network.

Hugh Vanstone said “Going to Hawthorn allowed me to use all the latest equipment which in the end resulted in a better, brighter show! The equipment was all in great condition which is especially important to me as a designer when you have a very limited time to tech and light the show.

“Shrek, unsurprisingly, has a very green set which is very difficult to light in some (non-green) scenes. Being able to move away from the scrollers I previously used was great because now it’s much easier to get from one colour to another without ghastly colour clashes.”

In preparation for the tour, we welcomed Senior Production Electrician, Fraser Hall and his team to our warehouse in Leicestershire, where they spent a busy week preparing the equipment.

Working from Fraser’s specification, we invested further by adding additional Doughty modular rigging system to our stock. These were turned into lighting ladders and tour in custom made ‘toast racks’ which not only enable safe transportation but ensure a quick fit-up time. These were prepared by the team at the warehouse with fixtures being pre-rigged ready for a year-long tour.

Vanstone added “The happiness of my crew is important to me and the reports of working at the Hawthorn prep facility were great.”

Chris Hirst, Associate Lighting Designer and Programmer, said: “Hawthorn were brilliant in helping us modernise and improve our rig from the last tour. I was very impressed with the moving light prep. All Vipers and Auras arrived in top condition, correctly set up with even fields, and well-serviced parts. The entire rig felt brand new.

“The Hawthorn team provided excellent support from our first phone call about the job and continue to provide excellent support on the road.”

Mark Burnett, Business Development Manager at Hawthorn, said: “It’s been a huge honour to work with the creative team behind Shrek the Musical once again; further strengthening our long-standing relationship with the production team. It’s a real family favourite with high production values. I have no doubt this tour will be as successful as its debut.

Shrek the Musical tours the UK before closing at Leeds Grand Theatre in January 2019.

Photos by Helen Maybanks