Bombay Dreams

Apollo Victoria Theatre (June 19 2002 – June 13 2004)

Lighting Designer: Hugh Vanstone


Bombay Dreams
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Salaam Bombay Dreams - Behind the Scenes
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G-Type (1990s - 2005?)


LSI: Bombay Dreams (August 2002)
[1.99Mb PDF]
From Lighting & Sound International


3 July 2002 (from
The conventional lighting package includes over 300 ETC Source 4 profiles and Pars, 28 DHA Par 56 Digital Light Curtains, eight of which are fitted with pitching yokes. Other notable equipment includes 4 x 36 way ETC Smartrack’s, two MDG atmosphere haze generators, two Le Maitre low smoke generators, four Systems Imaging photoflash strobes, 32 Wybron Coloram II scrollers and three Colour Arc 2 kW Xenon followspots. Vari-Lite are also providing four MAC 2000 Performance automated fixtures.
Vari-Lite’s Peter Marshall said: “It is great to work once again with Hugh Vanstone, production manager Richard Bullimore and his team to provide such a vast and varied lighting package for this new musical. The show offers a fresh approach to musical theatre. The music is lively and I must comment that Hugh Vanstone did a fantastic job, lighting such a diverse musical. ”

12 July 2002 (from
Hung from Triple E Unitrack are the main down-stage curtains, which are an integral part of the production. The Unitrack has been curved to match the shape and rake of the stage and is powered by a Stage Technologies Big-Tow winch, mounted on the stage-right fly floor. Triple E’s managing director, David Edelstein, said: “The principle of this operation is similar to systems we have supplied for The King & I and Kiss Me Kate. Triple E was contracted by Kimpton Walker, who we have worked with on a variety of projects – our relationship goes back to when Alan Walker and I worked at the National Theatre together.”

To recreate the colour and energy of a bustling Bombay, lighting designer Hugh Vanstone specified a colourful and diverse lighting rig, supplied by Vari-Lite (see Production News, 3rd July). “The lighting adds to the vibrant atmosphere of the musical,” explains Vanstone, “and helps to guide the audience’s eyes to the relevant parts of the stage”. With such an abundance of colour, the lighting design for Bombay Dreams is markedly different from much of his previous work. Yet despite a seemly blank canvas for creativity “a shortage of space at the venue meant equipment chosen for the lighting rig had to be carefully thought through,” said Vanstone.

The assortment of fixtures that form the lighting rig includes 31 Wybron 7.5” Coloram II colour scrollers, which are deployed as cross light. And as much of the colour for the production is provided by the vibrant set and vivid costumes, the scrollers are predominantly used in Rosco #00 clear and Lee 201. “I chose to use Wybron colour scrollers because I have worked with them on many occasions and, as with all Wybron equipment, they are highly reliable and durable,” commented Vanstone.

The rig also includes 20 six-lamp standard DHA Digital Light Curtains and 8 six-lamp DLCs with pitching yokes plus two double gobo rotators from DHA Lighting. “DLCs have been a favourite piece of equipment for years!” said Hugh. “Not only are they highly adaptable, but also incredibly simple and do what they do very well. Adaptability was paramount due to space limitations at the theatre.” Used in two groups, the pitching DLCs provide general-purpose backlight for the show, with the remaining standard DLCs used to light the cyclorama.

Also chosen for their flexibility and compactness were more than 200 ETC Source Fours, 60 Source Four Pars and four 36-way dimmer racks. “By short-yoking the Source Fours I was able to save valuable space on the cross light ladders. In my opinion, the ETC Source Four is by far the best conventional theatre light,” continued Vanstone. “It’s a global standard and also one of my favourites!”

Providing dimming for Bombay Dreams are four ETC Sensor dimmer racks, supplied by Stage Electrics, and installed at the Apollo Victoria for the tail end of Starlight Express in February 2001.