Year2018
Set DesignerJenny Melville, 59 Productions
DirectorSamuel Hodges, Nuffield Southampton Theatres
Video DesignerSkhila Krishnan, 59 Productions
Design DirectorLeo Warner, 59 Productions

The Shadow Factory

NST City

How do you represent both the mechanics of flight and the sinister beauty of a Spitfire on stage?

This was the design challenge taken up by 59 Productions on The Shadow Factory – the inaugural show at the Nuffield Southampton Theatre’s brand new “NST City” venue in the heart of Southampton.

The answer: a combination of projection, sound, movement and a radical new deployment of TAIT Towers’ Nano Winches, combined by 59’s designers into a programmable kinetic sculpture, incorporating custom LED fixtures made by LED Creative.

59 has conceived a dynamic design solution utilising 36 small and extremely fast “Nano Winches”, developed by TAIT Towers. These single-axis movement devices are connected in groups of three to pairs of lighting bars, all controlled via a central computerised system, with the complex movements programmed via a lighting desk. Augmented by light and projection, the resulting ‘kinetic sculpture’ physically describes the mechanisms of powered flight and the organic, fluid beauty of a bird on the wing.

Technology meets art in order to illustrate the concept of flight, to describe architectural locations, and to represent the devastation of the second World War.

 

“The Nano Winches are critical to this production because they pass both power and data through the cable which creates incredibly complex, fast-moving kinetic sculptures very seamlessly and easy.”

– Jenny Melville, Set Designer, 59 Productions.

The Shadow Factory