Louise Stickland, Robe.Website, plus etnow.com, LSi online, Thu, 2007-08-09 01:00

Robe in Shakespeare Classic Lighting and scenic designer Andy Webb used 24 Robe moving lights and 22 Anolis LED fixtures on a recent Sundial Theatre Cirencester production of Shakespeare’s classic, “Comedy of Errors”. The convoluted, epic tale of mistaken identity, chaos, confusion, claim and counter-clam was staged by the Sundial Youth Theatre, featuring a cast of 25. Originally planned as an outdoor show, with the UK weather being even more unpredictable than usual this summer, they decided to go under cover! Webb worked closely with director Adam Fotheringham on evolving the aesthetics. They wanted a new look for the work, so Webb developed a cartoon-edge for the piece, with strong, vivid back-light, enhancing the angular shape of the set. He also wanted to be able to change into primary colours at any time and to create a mix between a warm Mediterranean village and a simple naturalistic floor/stage area. A major element of the set was a sail structure – an inverted triangle connected to the floor of the stage, spreading out to a 5 metre width on the FOH LX bar. Attached to this was a cream gauze – for both front and rear projection, with its edges dressed by Anolis ArcLine Optic 25x6 degree LED strips. The stage floor was painted in cream, enhancing the colour-changing properties of the whole space, “I really wanted to use a moving rig and prove that you could design very subtly with it” explains Webb. He utilised both the new Robe ColorSpot 700E ATs and ColorWash 700E ATs. Four of each were rigged onto the first FOH LX bar at the rear of the auditorium, placed equally along the bar. The wide angle of the 700s easily covered the full stage width, and these were used primarily with break up gobos and prism effects. “They are great” states Webb, “Well punchy enough to cut through with all the other lanterns on”. The other pair of ColorSpot 700E ATs was used onstage to provide crisp back light either side of the sail structure, helping define the angles of the set. He comments again that the wide beam spread was ideal for this venue and its low rigging height. Four Robe ColorSpot 575 ATs were used above the main performance space, equally positioned either side of centre as another source of break-up, and programmed in to accentuate the angles created with the back lights. The other pair of ColorSpot 575 ATs were focussed either side of the steps, also in a gobo break up, beaming out towards the rear corners of the auditorium. The follow spot towers were each side of the performance space - housing 4 Selecon 80V Pacific fixtures. Rigged onto the towers was a pair of ColorWash 575 ATs, crossing the stage to provide an intense side light. These were programmed with different colour temperatures to produce elements like sunlight, daylight and enhance the naturalistic feel of the forestage area, allowing the stronger colours to diffuse through from the back lanterns and rear LEDs. Another pair of ColorWash 575 ATs sat on the floor in front of the seating rack for low level crossing front light. These were useful to lift actors faces without having to run the follow spots too bright. Onstage, a trapeze bar dropped in with two more ColorWash 575 ATs either side of the sail structure. Webb explains that he wanted the units to be seen at this juncture, and have the 700s appearing in the gap above. Finally, a pair of Robe Wash 250 XTs were used to up-light the sail structure, along with two more Anolis ArcLine 25 x 6 degree Optic fixtures. The Anolis fixtures were a major part of the set, and specifically added to the ‘cartoon’ feel of the production. The central sail featured the aforementioned pair of ArcLine Optic 1200 mm strips, with three 400mm ArcLine Optics equally spaced down each side. Another pair of these Anolis LED fixtures was rigged either side of stage, towards the wings, following the same lines of the sail. A 1200 mm Anolis ArcLine Optic strip was fixed to the side of the steps, facing upwards and two more ArcLine Optic 400 mm fixtures were rigged between the steps and the side angled bars. The Anolis generally added symmetry to the picture. The rest of the rig consisted of eighteen 1K fresnels for additional side and FOH cover, the 4 follow spots and 2 hazers, used to create the atmosphere and highlight the beams. It was the first time Webb had used Robe’s ColorSpot 700E ATs and he was well impressed, specifically with the brightness and width of the beam angle - from 15 to 45 degrees! . He adds that “The new ‘lock’ unit to lock the pan/tilt for rigging is also really useful and made pulling the units up into the rig far easier, specially with the larger side handles.” Webb programmed the show onto two consoles – a Zero 88 Leap Frog and a Fat Frog – which he operated for the show. The Robe and Anolis fixtures were all hired in from Bath-based Enlightened Lighting. DSM for the production was Chris Gunnell. Stage manager Nick Newman and the four follow spot operators were Martin Brammer, Alex Sharp, Luke Ainscough and Jim “Dougie” Hobbs. Sound was by Alex Houston and the costume supervisor was Lettie Adams. The show ran for four nights and was a great success. We are a member of: 2007 © ROBE Show Lighting s.r.o., Disclaimer, Privacy Policy