A redesign of the playing area at the Royal Shakespeare Company's Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon for the 2001 season meant that a completely new repertoire lighting rig was required. And, when designing that rig, the RSC's head of lighting Vince Herbert and lighting designer Peter Mumford saw the potential for some new lighting opportunities, they turned to The Moving Light Company for advice.

Their plan was to move beyond the increasingly-standard use of automated lighting: as well as having the lights pointing themselves in different directions from fixed positions, they wanted the lights themselves to move! The tracking system for the lights was to be created by the RSC, with the drives and control provided by automation specialists Stage Technologies. Dave Isherwood from The Moving Light Company was able to show the RSC the wide range of equipment held in MLCo's stock. After careful examination, they opted for the High End Studio Color washlight, settling on a system of 12 Studio Color Ms with magnetic power supply, and six Studio Color Ss with electronic power supply and the position correction system. The Studio Colors are arranged over both horizontal and vertical tracks, allowing the widest possible range of lighting angles from a relatively minimal rig. Controlled from the theatre's Strand 500-series control system, installed in 1998 by White Light and The Service Company, the new rig has already been put to use by a wide range of lighting designers, including Peter Mumford, Pat Collins and Ben Ormerod.

Anyone interested in seeing the next development in the use of moving lights in action can catch a show at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre - or can visit the RSC lighting department's website.

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