The Castle Chooses Strand
Friday, 17 August 2001
The Castle Chooses StrandThe photograph shows (right to left) Roger Hennigan of The Service Company, Bill Richards of Strand lighting, with Lesley Gash, Heath Garrioch and Dan Heath from The Castle in Wellingborough.
White Light Sales has provided The Castle Theatre in Wellingborough, Northampton with a new Strand 520i lighting control console. The Service Company completed the installation. "Last summer, The Service Company lent them a Strand 520 for an outdoor gig they were holding to celebrate the Millennium," recalls The Service Company’s Roger Hennigan. "They were so impressed that they wanted one!"

The theatre is a 500-seat theatre that can be used in proscenium format or converted to a flat floor space, and which hosts a wide range of productions and events during the course of a year. They were using a Galaxy Nova console, but chief electrician Lesley Gash felt that it was time to move to a newer console with more flexible control over DMX devices such as scrollers and moving lights. The 520i seemed to fit the bill perfectly. Hennigan says: "Following discussions with the crew, we upgraded their Strand PALS data distribution to create a full DMX system, adding XTBA DMX Network ports to give 11 opto-isolated and buffered DMX outlets around the theatre."

"We then replaced the existing Galaxy Nova with a 250-channel Strand 520i, ETC Reflection DMX backup, Strand R120 radio remote and R120 wired remote, all supplied by White Light Sales. We also created a custom desktop panel to control the theatre’s existing independent circuits, replacing a panel that had been part of the Galaxy. To complete the handover, Strand’s Bill Richards came up for a day’s training."

In choosing a 500-series console, The Castle follows the example set by many other theatres and shows around the country; in London alone, 500 Series consoles can currently be found at the Albery, Comedy, Coliseum, Drury Lane, Her Majesty’s, Piccadilly, Prince of Wales, Pit and Whitehall Theatres as well as at the Royal Festival Hall. 500 Series consoles are also in use at the Royal National Theatre, the Royal Shakespeare Company and on many tours of all scales.

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