This month’s CX carries a tale of lights done wrong, at least according to the writer. Unsure whether the lighting states we complained of were in the script, we emailed the lighting designer a draft, hoping to put the correct inflection. The show has been seen by a hundred thousand of us in Australia, and the 12,000 punters at the performance we attended can all agree on what we saw.
We say that whole songs performed by the artist known as Prince, in virtual darkness with only (sometimes) stage edge LEDs as the sole source of illumination, not counting the 95 exit signs around the arena, would be an error unless mandated by The Artist.
We said that a command from stage to: ‘Light The Audience’ would mean turn on the crowd lights, which indeed did occur several times. So we expanded by saying that when that same command came from the (darkness), and nothing happened, well that would be an error as well.
Further we say that when The Artist, indeed any artist, introduces a member of the band, one would appreciate being able to actually see to whom the acclaim should be directed. So we assert that a delayed activation of one followspot, which then lurched not onto the keyboard player but wandered, jailbreak style, around the dark set, seeking a target before settling on the vacant grand piano on the opposite end of the Symbol Set, was an error.
We sent the draft to Demfis Fyssicopulos (pictured above on his Facebook site), listed on the show program (we purchased this) as ‘Tour Director’ and ‘Lighting’. His website indicates he is indeed the lighting designer / director, and the Tarago driver rumor network advised he was in the ‘A Party’ of Artist, Model/Dancer, Twinz, DJ, Security and Manager who flew in on the private jet. We got his email addy from his website.
He was kind enough to respond straight away, but chose to not address our assertions other than an oblique line about ‘the titles being wrong’. We got his title from the show program, so we were unsure where that was going.
M Fyssicopulos assured us that anything relating to the backstage aspects of the show were wrapped in a legal blanket and that we were not permitted to report them. He took the trouble to make life very difficult for a number of Australian crew and production professionals associated with his tour, as they had signed confidentiality agreements and presumably (according to him) they had been a CX source. He included promoters Garry van Egmond and Christo van Egmond on his emailed threat to CX, presumably to add credential or weight to his threat.
He could have assured us that the lighting errors referred to above were intended, or were part of the art, or were human mistakes by a board operator other than himself. He could have extended the hand of human kindness and negotiated an outcome. But he just did what we say above, so he enabled the story. It led to CX making broader inquiries, which fuel the story.
What do you think?