Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 353.  Thursday, 3 June 1993.
From:           Kevin Berland <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 2 Jun 93 14:59 EDT
Subject: 4.0350  Unusual Fire Effect for *Hamlet*
Comment:        Re: SHK 4.0350  Unusual Fire Effect for *Hamlet*
If by "heating elements" you mean those thingies through which an electrical
current runs to produce heat (toaster, hair-dryer elements, electric fires,
etc.), DO NOT DO IT.
A live heating element onstage is a definite fire risk.  Furthermore, because
they cool so slowly, they'd be a menace to the actors or stagehands carrying
them offstage, and a continuing menace offstage.
Convincing fire effects can be done in other ways.  Try this, for one: if you
do not need your audience to see the coals themselves (a raised hearth or
oil-drum), then you can mount a light covered with a light-flame coloured gel,
with an eccentric wheel motor-mounted above, containing random pieces of darker
gels -- that'll take care of the flickering.  It can be turned on at the right
time (gradually) by your lighting tech offstage.  If you need the coals visible
you could try to find the glass or plastic coals used in the old artificial
fires (a junk shop?)....
Good luck -- Kevin Berland

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