Scene One - "Suburban Back Garden" Midsummer's eve - (Daylight)
• Beam of yellow light from off stage as Grandad and Nan arrive through the door.
• Night falls during page eight in preparation for Nan using torch.
• Blue gel light on white clouds.
Scene Two - "In the Night Skies Above"
• If you are using a dark coloured backcloth it will "soak up" the lights so be prepared to throw more light at it.
Scene Three - "Suburban Back Garden" (Night)
• Bring lights down in preparation for the lightening at end.
• Piano lights should be turned off for black out.
Scene Four - "Suburban Back Garden - Under a Lonely Sky" (Night)
• Bring lights down in preparation for the lightning.
• LIGHTNING: Your school could buy/hire a gobo from a theatrical supplier.
To create theatrical lightning, put your gobo in a profile spot lamp and line it up to fall on the painted sky, but also light the stage with a photoflood bulb. Link these two together through a dimmer board "flash button". NOTE: Domestic bell pushers are definitely not to be used.
TIP: To avoid the bulbs being blown by the sudden surge of power, run them through a dimmer so they will be warmed up before being "flashed". Another alternative is to use a professional photographer's flash bulb instead.
Scene Five "Suburban Back Garden - Music and Dance of the Spheres" (Night)
• Slowly builds up to glorious moving colours as the planets come right again.
• Perhaps an off stage Disco Ball to reflect coloured moving lights onto the stage.
• COMETS AND SHOOTING STARS: Hire a moving gobo light and project shooting stars and comets on the backcloth during the grand dance of the spheres at the end.
• This scene is perfect to introduce Ultra Violet lighting particularly during 'The Universe is Turning' song.
Ultra Violet lighting
"Ultra Violet", usually shortened to UV, is also known as "Black Light"
You can often hire UV lamps from you local theatrical supplier (or Disco dance equipment rental shop).
Most of the larger UV lamps take a few minutes to warm up, so it is normal practice to switch them on a little while before they are needed. This is quite often during the scene which comes previous to the one in which you want the effect. The drawback to this is that, as they slowly start to activate, so items on the stage start to glow i.e. light coloured costumes, handkerchiefs etc. To solve this problem, mount the UV lamp on the floor. Put a cardboard sheet in front of the lamp to stop the light spilling and then remove it when required.
Using UV Fluorescent Paint
The type of paint which is energised by UV light is called Fluorescent paint. This is not to be confused with "Phosphorescent" paint which has an afterglow once exposed to daylight.
When painting with Fluorescent paint, especially the "invisible", colourless version, work as much as you can in darkness with the UV lights switched on. That way you can see what you have painted. This is great fun as the paint glows, the brush glows and your overalls will glow too. If your performance is going to be during the day then don't forget to black out the hall windows to make the UV scene effective.
Appropriate time to use the UV effect in the Sleepover Planet
Painting with fluorescent paint is not as successful as poster or acrylic paints as it's not possible to get the subtle gradations or mixes. As the bulk of the performance of the "Planets" will be viewed under the normal stage lights then you should prepare a separate set of coloured cardboard discs the same size as the regular "Show" Planets but painted with the fluorescent colours. One disc per Planet child.
When to use the Ultra Violet display
Select a part of the show which lends itself to a dedicated UV event and the best bit for this is the Round Song "Universe is Turning" Scene 5 (Page 16). Here's one possible scenario:-
First verse under the normal stage lights with the round being sung and the "Planets" jostling as per the script. However, towards the end of this verse, in ones and twos the Planets unobtrusively leave the stage and collect their UV discs from the wings which they then hold in front of their existing ones and return onto the acting area.
At the end of this verse, with all the Planets now holding their fluorescent discs, the stage lights are extinguished, the singing continues, and the Planets perform their 'ballet' under UV lights only, coming into orbiting-order as the script requires. This sequence would be quite a magical surprise moment. As each Planet child is carrying one disc which is only painted on the front, their planet will 'wink' out when they turn.
During the applause at the end of this sequence the Planets return their fluorescent discs to the props person waiting in the wings.