London musicals have always been renowned for their captivating and dramatic performances. From the Elizabethan era to the present day, the use of special effects and technical elements has been essential in creating an immersive experience for audiences. In this article, we will explore the various effects used in London musicals, from smoke and rain to gods and ghosts, as well as the technical aspects of theatrical production. Scenography is the technical aspect of theatrical production, which includes stage design, stage machinery, lighting, sound, costume design and makeup.
In Elizabethan times, special effects were used to create a more dramatic experience for audiences. This included the use of smoke, rain, wind, violence and blood, gods and ghosts and spirits. To make the effect even more chilling, the audience sat in the dark for the first time in a British theater. Actors who were experts in imitating the murmur of dogs and the crowing of roosters or the moans of ghostly sounds would also be waiting in “Hell” to create those sound effects.
The competition was fierce and the more dramatic special effects generated a larger audience and greater profits. In modern times, sound designers have access to more advanced technology. They can send master tapes to a mastering studio in London and get a digital copy of their tapes within a week. This has made it easier for them to create sound effects for musicals. Theaters with permanent companies and extensive production programs employ resident artists to build and paint the stage.
For example, when “A Streetcar Named Desire” was first produced in London in 1949, three sets of double turntables and a microphone were supplied. Overall, special effects and technical elements are essential components of London musicals. They help create an immersive experience for audiences and make the performance even more captivating. From smoke and rain to gods and ghosts, these effects have been used since Elizabethan times to generate larger audiences and greater profits.