Meaghan Martin (Julie) and Oli Higginson (John) in Kim Davies’s Smoke at the Southwark Playhouse (photo: Lucy Hayes)
UK - London-based lighting designer Rajiv Pattani, formerly senior technician at the Bush Theatre, recently deployed a pair of the new compact Martin ERA 150 Wash fixtures for the production of Kim Davies’s play Smoke at the Southwark Playhouse.
In search of ‘the perfect super-compact yet high performing wash fixture’, Rajiv discovered the Martin ERA 150 Wash. “I was interested in finding the next new compact fixture, suitable for low-ceiling, tight theatre applications that would deliver great colour balance and a wide zoom range.” he explains.
Co-directors Polina Kalinina and Júlia Levai presented Smoke in the round, with an abstract non-naturalistic design by set designer Sami Fendall for the kitchen in which the play is set. Acting as the main colour wash the ERA 150’s were able to successfully bring the LD’s concept for the intense design to life.
Rajiv continues: “The colour rendition of the ERA 150 Wash is excellent, allowing me to use long subtle colour shifts as a pathway to an emotional moment or reaction between the characters, and with its wide zoom range I was able punctuate key emotional reactions with close-down moments and punchy zoom-in-out effects to heighten tension.”
In one memorable scene an opened fridge, spilling atmospheric effects, is dramatically lit by the ERA 150 Wash from both behind and in-front from their discrete positions.
Rajiv also praises the speed of the fixture’s pan and tilt and its quietness for theatre applications and concludes: “The ERA 150 Wash is tailor-made for applications in smaller spaces. It’s compact and lightweight, simple to programme, and delivers a usefully wide zoom range with exceptional colour balance. I look forward to using it on future projects.”
About to go into rehearsals, Rajiv’s next production is Great Expectations at the Mercury Theatre in Colchester. Martin Professional is exclusively distributed in the UK by Sound Technology.

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