Buzz on the musical theatre wires is that the newly opened Jersey Boys is absolutely unmissable. Fresh from its Singapore tour- where the show played to rapt audiences at the Marina Bay Sands, Singapore - the show opened in South Africa on 3rd April 2013 for a ten week run and continues at the Artscape Theatre Cape Town from 19 June for a 7 week period.

A variety of rental companies from USA, Europe, Australia and South Africa quoted on technical supply for the production and the Lighting equipment and staffing contract was awarded to South African theatre rental company, Gearhouse Splitbeam, for the Asian and South African legs of the tour. The Sound, LED, Automation and Rigging packages were all brought in from the USA. 

Splitbeam’s Managing Director, Alistair Kilbee took on the role of Technical Director and along with Splitbeam Operators, Clement Makama, Simon Mashobane and Solly Thaane, has toured with the show in Singapore and SA.

“Splitbeam being the lighting supplier on Jersey Boys is the culmination of a dream for me,” he says “Not only did we win the job against some of the largest rental companies in the world, but we have proved that a South African rental company can supply lighting and staff for an international tour just as well as any company from the USA or Europe.” 

The lighting rig is very specific to the production and the company had to supply exactly what had been specified in the USA, including having to purchase items they did not have in stock. The design won the Tony Award in 2005 and has been favourably received all around the world.

The rig is predominantly comprised of ETC source four fixtures together with more than 50 VL2500 (spots and washes). “The VL2500s are the theatre-show work horses,” says Kilbee. “They are small and powerful moving lights that don’t take up too much grid space, which is important on this production as the grid is very tight. We are also using Prolyte pre-rig trussing, as the show needs to move in and out of venues very fast and this product is ideally suited to achieve this.” 

Associate Lighting Designer (USA), Patricia Nichols, was on site in Singapore to get the show up and running and Associate Lighting Designer (SA), Denis Hutchinson, has seen the production into its South Africa run. 

“As with all franchise musicals, the original Broadway design is the basis,” says Hutchinson. “In the States, those designs are modified in terms of scale for both the first and second national tours, and usually what we see in SA is one of those versions. In this case, the Asian/South African tour is a composite between the first national and Toronto productions, with a slightly reduced rig for ease of touring.” 

He explains that on a tour like this, it is vitally important that everything onstage is set up in exactly the same relationship to everything else, regardless of which theatre the show is playing in. The only real variation, lighting-wise, takes place in the front of house lighting where adjustments have to be made, in terms of differing throws and angles, from venue to venue. He adds that although the choice of fixture was not his on Jersey Boys; he is nonetheless “rather fond of the VL2500’s”

He is also rather fond of Splitbeam it seems. “I've worked with Splitbeam since their inception (and with a lot of their staff since before then) and it's always been a good experience. Gear is properly maintained and prepped and the guys know what they're doing. 

Splitbeam is the only specialist theatrical lighting hire company in the country and as such has expertise and equipment not found in the concert and corporate sectors. It's been a long time coming, but they are already making a huge difference for those of us who work the theatre side of the fence.”

Jersey Boys was produced in the USA by Dodger Properties LLC New York, Base Entertainment in Asia and in South Africa by Showtime Management.

Jersey Boys - Lighting 


Qty Description80 ETC Source 4 Profiles (various degrees)15 ETC Source 4 Par - VNSP10 Mini 10 @ 500watts, 240v Complete22 L&E Broadcyc Unit 3 Cell @ 650w, 240v12 PAR-40 Strips - 6#0# 3 Circuit @ 300w, 240v29 VL2500 Spot22 VL2500 Wash5 AVOLITE ART 2000 Dimmer2 48 Way Power Distro1 Softcue Light systemControl

Qty Description1 GRAND MA NPU1 GRAND MA 2 Lite1 Grand MA PC Wing2 PROLINE WUXGA 18,5" LCD Monitor4 ACER 17" MonitorsTrussing and Pipe

Qty Description8 3m Prolyte Pre-Rigged Truss6 2.350m Prolyte40 Altman 12" SidearmsAccessories

Qty Description8 FLOCKED -SHORT Full Top Hat -VL2500 Spot7 FLOCKED -SHORT Full Top Hat - VL2500 Wash50 FLOCKED Full 6.25" Top Hat25 FLOCKED Half Top Hat (Eyelash)50 "A" SIZE Template Holders for Source Four 19º-36ºEffects

Qty Description2 MDG Atmosphere Hazer Machine w/ DMX Interfaces - New Style (2 Channel)2 MARTIN JEM Fans - DMX Controllable Variable Speed 

Story Robyn D'Alessandro, Photo by Wong Maye-E

Jun 1, 2013

The Gearhouse Group of Companies