Stranger Things: The First Shadow

London: Phoenix Theatre
Previews from 17 November 2023
Opened 14 December 2023
Booking to December 2024

Official website:

Created by The Duffer Brothers
Directed by Stephen Daldry
Co-Directed by Justin Martin
Written by Kate Trefry
Original Story by The Duffer Brothers, Jack Thorne & Kate Trefry
Set Design by Miriam Buether
Costume Design by Brigitte Reiffenstuel
Lighting Design by Jon Clark
Sound Design by Paul Arditti
Illusions designed by Jamie Harrison and Chris Fisher
Video Design by 59 Productions
Choreography by Coral Messam
Produced by Sonia Friedman

Set in Hawkins, Indiana in 1959, this is a stunning prequel to the hit Netflix series. The storyline is dark (in line with the last season of the TV show) and is packed with stunning visual imagination, featuring breathtaking effects and illusions. 

Related Equipment:



LSI: Stranger Things The First Shadow (March 2024)
[External Website]
From Lighting & Sound International


Very effective lighting design sets the atmosphere perfectly, while ensuring everything that needs to be hidden remains so. 
Also very happy to see some classic stage lanterns in the rig. Eight Strand Patt,123s are featured in the school play scenes, on stands. There are also a number of Strand Patt.743s and Parcans rigged below the balcony for the climactic stunt sequence. All the lanterns have been adapted for LED Slim Par light sources. 


Making great use of the theme music from the TV show, along with new material, the show really does feel like an extended episode. The sound is flawlessly executed, with all voices amplified, along with some voice changing effects for one character. 

Scenic / Automation

Nearly 100 axes of automation are used, from the 3 ring revolve, centre lift, and two main bridges (the attic and the theatre balcony), to a number of automation levitation effects with live performers which have not been seen before. 
This is the most complex automation setup seen in London for some time. 
The theatre grid wasn’t sufficiently strong to support the weight, so there are four huge truss legs which are supported direct from the theatre foundations which do most of the (literal) heavy lifting. 



Original TV show trailer