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Clay Paky on the Take That European Tour
Lighting Designer
Simon Tutchner
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Thirteen years after their first top ten hits, Take That have returned to the international scene with a European tour of 50 dates in 10 Countries which confirms the ongoing popularity of one of the biggest phenomenon in the pop music world in recent years.

The LD Simon Tutchner chose to use 160 projectors, of which 68 Alpha Spot HPE 1200 Clay Paky and 40 Alpha Profile 1200 Clay Paky, supplied by PRG Europe. “They create the most excellent graphic effects, both quantity and quality wise” – he says. “I had little time to prepare the show and the alternatives that these projectors give me seem truly endless! I chose the effects that could interact best with the scenography, which entails a huge curtain and 7 mega led video-walls, on which fantasy images and close-ups of the four singers were alternated.”

The Alpha Spot HPE and the Alpha Profile 1200 are installed on the three stages, two of which in the background and a third, circular, in the middle of the audience, and connected to the other two by a self-propelled bridge. The HPE are primarily used for front and angle lighting, and the Profiles mainly for back-lighting. The same set design is used for all the dates of the tour, except two, where the structure did not permit us to mount all three stages.

The tour production team travels with an average of 4-6 dates a week, and moves all the material by itself, without using local rental companies, and uses 24 trucks and a huge group of people who travel Europe together with the artists. This tour-de-force is very demanding for the products used, that undergo constant mechanical and environmental stress. “The HPE and the Profiles proved to be exceptionally reliable and hard-wearing – my team says that they are «bullet proof». When you have so many commitments so close together, it is really important to be able to count on reliable projectors, that don’t create problems of any kind.”

Simon Tutchner tells us he has a theatrical background, where he attended Drama School, and this reflects in his light design ideas: “I often try to reproduce a “theatrical” atmosphere in my light shows, putting the artists in the centre of the scene. I frequently use spotlights to highlight the star, I use slow movements of the projectors and I don’t make an intrusive use of graphic effects. The world fame of Take That, and also the type of music that they perform, are ideal for a light interpretation of this kind.”

The show, as I said, extends over three stages, one of which is circular and in the middle of the audience.“This characteristic allows the fans to surround their idols, to embrace them in their imagination, and at the same time it offers a different solution of set and lighting design.” The exhibition on the main stage has a more intimate atmosphere: the motorized trusses that overhang the stage are coloured, they are lowered onto the stage and they rotate concentrically on two axes, whilst a large LED sphere reflects the colours throughout the whole environment.

“Besides being extraordinarily bright, the Alpha products also have perfect focus, on any surface and at all distances” – Simon Tutchner adds. This characteristic is particularly important when one operates on different projection surfaces, and when it is necessary to combine the artists’ plan with that of the musicians and the guest-vocalists.

The Take That tour will be terminated on December 23rd 2007 in Manchester, native city of the group, where there will be an incredible 11 consecutive dates. The success that the tour in Europe is having, and the love shown all over the world by so many fans, has clarified once more that this group still has so much to offer to the musical world in the future.