The Darkness play The Roundhouse (photo: Corinne Cumming)
UK - London’s Roundhouse concert and performing arts venue in Camden now has an all Robe moving light rig with a recent investment in 20 x Esprite luminaires, fitted with the HP (High Performance) LED engine for the highest output and strongest colours. The order was overseen for Robe UK by Curtis Lewis, their business development manager for the London area.
These fixtures join 82 existing Robe moving lights at the venue – 42 x LEDBeam 100s, 16 x DLF Washes, six DLX Spots and six LEDWash 600s – with the Esprites now the primary house rig spot fixtures, and available to all incoming productions.
Roundhouse head of lighting Steve Royle explained that the new Esprites are part of a major technical update and an ongoing sustainability drive to make the Roundhouse as energy efficient as possible.
He has held the head of lighting post since 2010 and was instrumental in the purchase of the LEDBeam 100s, DLF Washes and LEDBeam 600s in 2013. At that stage, there wasn’t an LED spot fixture on the market that was bright and viable enough to add to the rig, so they went with a set of discharge source fixtures.
Steve and his team looked at several possible options when it came to choosing the new LED spots. The Esprite emerged a clear winner.
“They are incredibly bright and bring a whole new meaning and range of possibilities to how shows can be lit,” he stated. “They ticked all our boxes and more. We needed a flexible, multipurpose light that fulfilled several requirements and that could cover our varied artistic and commercial programmes.”
He was also impressed with the smooth dimming curve and the range of colours, from the delicate pastels to the sumptuous rich saturates.
In the Roundhouse, the Esprites are rigged on the advance, rear, and mid trusses. The advance truss position is above the audience, so they are ideal for key lighting and specials.
They are also the first moving lights in the house and in these positions with framing shutters, so a cherry picker is not required on most days for focusing generic fixtures which was the procedure previously.
Some older generic profiles remain in the house which still require manual focusing which are now the only non-LED luminaires in the house rig.
The Roundhouse house lighting rig is controlled via an Avolites Arena console with a TNP (TitanNet Processor) and a Rock Solid Technologies ‘rock switch’ at FOH which flips eight universes of DMX and one Cat 5 simultaneously, providing an A/B switching facility between the house desk and any guest lighting consoles.
An average month sees around 20 shows staged in the busy venue which embraces music shows, circus, and other performance arts plus assorted business events.
Profits are ploughed back into the facilities and the venue’s charitable work. Thousands of young people take part in music, media and performing arts projects each year at the Roundhouse, including training in backstage roles as well as accessing state-of-the-art studio spaces. As well as this, the venue recently opened Roundhouse Works, a new creative centre for freelancers and entrepreneurs which includes a workspace and a range of studios.
Steve works with an in-house technical crew of 12 including eight venue techs, two senior techs, himself, and a technical manager, and above them are head of technical and production Ruth Butler plus four production managers.

Latest Issue. . .