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Rising Star Turns the Moon Red

Thomas H. Freeman • Answer Box • August 31, 2007

Student solves tricky puzzle for RADA’s Salome

Michael Nabarro is currently a student in the Specialist Lighting Design course at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) and due to graduate in December 2007. He has worked on productions ranging from Shakespeare to Gilbert & Sullivan, Leonard Bernstein and even Barry Manilow, and has been designing lighting for productions since the mid-1990s when he was at University College School in London. He also served as manager and licensee at the Amateur Drama Club Theatre while at Cambridge University. 

Recently, Michael needed help in solving a tricky puzzle for a RADA production of Oscar Wilde’s Salome staged at RADA’s John Gielgud Theatre. Michael had met David Lapham from Rosco earlier in the year after he came and conducted a session with the students, and Michael turned to him for help. “As Lapham is an LD as well, it was really interesting to talk to him about combining products in various ways to create different effects.”

Michael continues, “Sadly, budgets are usually so tight that what we can do in practice isn’t always so straightforward, but it was a very inspiring session.”

However, by lending the production a glass moon gobo, Lapham was able to help solve Mi-chael’s problem of creating a convincing depiction of the moon in Salome.

“The original intention was to do the moon as part of the set, but I wasn’t convinced it would work,” says Michael. “I really wanted to use gobos for it, and David really helped me by lending a visually superb moon gobo and further technical assistance.”

The moon also had to turn red as part of narrative. To achieve that, Michael pro-jected a precisely edged red light on top of the gobo effect. “It worked really well, I was very happy with it,” he says. “I’m a good old-fashioned gel person; I always prefer a light with a color-scroller to automated fixtures,” he smiles.  

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