← Choose a Document Les Mis 1985 - Barbican Theatre | 1985 Les Miserables David Hersey
LES MISERABLES, 1985 Barbican - original production
Scan of the hand-drawn paper light plot, dated just after opening night. Scratched out on one of the FOH bridges (above chan104) is ‘FSP1’ - the traditional front centre followspot that was never used. For the rest of time the remaining followspots (6 x 1KW Beamlights) were numbered 2/3/4/5/6/7 in honour of their lost comrade. Six spots but only four operators: the operators on the side stage bridges moved up and down between spots 5/7 and spots 4/6.

As with so many pre-CAD era plots, the joy is being able to get glimpses of what changed as the show evolved through the erased but still visible fixtures on the side bridges, and the line of fixtures denoted as ‘UV’ upstage. No-one can now remember what these were for, except perhaps an idea for lighting the underground sewer scene.

The very big FOH rig is the RSC permanent rep rig that existed in the theatre anyway, rather than something put in specifically for the show.

It is interesting to analyse the colours used, since while some are familiar from David Hersey's other work (particularly R68 and R03) others are less so, particularly 850 and L144. On the latter David has commented “Yes I did have a 144 period which was replaced by R71.” The L144 did not make it to the Palace.

Colour changers were four-colour semaphore colours, made by CCT Lighting. Control was the theatre’s in-house Strand Galaxy. Not shown on the plan is the Kodak Carousel slide projector used to project the captions which narrate the big time jumps during the show.

from comments by Rob Halliday