Robe washes for Rockhampton Pilbeam theatre
Monday, 12 October 2020
robe-pilbeam-theatreJim Thorogood and Ashley Salter at the Pilbeam Theatre (pre-covid photo: Louise Stickland)
Australia - The Pilbeam Theatre in Rockhampton, Queensland, is a lively performing arts hub for the city and region. Located in a commanding position fronting onto the Fitzroy River, before the coronavirus pandemic dramatically impacted on all areas of performing arts the venue regularly presented a diverse mix of drama, dance, musical, concerts and comedy productions in its main 1000 capacity auditorium, and they also invested in Robe T1 PC wash moving lights.
These are replacing 12 tungsten moving head washes – from a competitor brand – as part of a general lighting upgrade which is part of a programme to transition to LED.
Jim Thorogood is the theatre’s head of lighting. The venue is both a producing and a receiving house, and he lights most of the shows produced there. Jim was integrally involved in the specification of the T1 PCs together with Ashley Salta who, as supervisor of technical & production services, oversees all the equipment spends.
They wanted a product that had more output than the previous tungsten moving lights and that was good quality.
They looked at several single source LED options, but what struck Jim about the T1s was the richness and depth of the light produced by the multichip LED. “It was far superior to anything else we looked at,” he commented, adding that he also liked the barndoor mechanism and other features of the T1.
“We were keen to replace tungsten with the newer technology, but the source also had to match as much as possible in appearance and style, and the T1 was the only fixture that did this well, specifically in the white ranges where the quality was outstanding.”
Up to five shows would run during a standard (pre-COVID) week in the Pilbeam’s busy schedule. Sometimes, a show would play daily for three or four weeks and other times there will be a selection of different productions.
From Ashley’s management perspective, “it was vital we chose a product that is reliable and well supported, both now and in the future”. He explained that their geographical location, which is not near to any large cities, means they need to utilise their cap ex prudently and be able to rely on other factors like consistent and competent phone support.
He feels that they have developed a good relationship with both Robe and Australian distributor Jands.
“The transition to LED lighting is a big step and we are keen on getting as much tungsten emulation as possible from the replacement fixtures so we can offer Jim and any visiting LDs all the effects that they know and love but in a new and more sustainable source.”
The new T1 PCs join a generic rig including 48 x 1200W fresnels and 36 x Source Four profiles.

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