Robe on Chicago at The Leys Great Hall
Tuesday, 14 January 2020
robe-chicago-dsc4371-photo-by-eliza-wilmotChicago at The Leys, Cambridge (photo: Eliza Wilmot)
UK - Lighting designer Jacob Gowler took the opportunity to use Robe’s new T1 Profiles and LEDBeam 150s for the first time on a Cambridge Theatre Company (CTC) production of the crime-and-passion fuelled musical Chicago (High School Edition), staged over six performances in the 337-seat Great Hall at The Leys School in Cambridge.
CTC was founded in 2015 by Louis Ling to offer a range of opportunities for performers - young and old - to participate in high-quality theatre, and it now performs to over 9000 people annually. Since 2017, CTC has developed its focus on the youth community, and by working with professional directors, LDs, choreographers and musical directors, enables its young performers to experience unique opportunities to develop their skills.
For this production, the professionals were Jacob, director Chris Cuming, set and costume designer Frankie Gerrard and sound designer Nick Hall. It was the first time that CTC had worked with a professional lighting and set designer as part of the creative team.
Jacob was asked onboard for this project by Louis Ling. Jacob specified the Robe elements, which were supplied by rental company CEG and used in conjunction with the Great Hall’s mainly LED-based house lighting rig.
Of the seven T1 Profiles, five were in the overhead rig, three for backlight and two as a top light over the set following its V shape. Two more were positioned out front in the house, all in high positions.
Two LEDBeam 150s were rigged on the circle rail and two in the ‘under slip’ positions beneath the circle balcony - their small size was ideal for this position. The LEDBeam 150s were all fitted with ‘egg crate’ LCDs for greater directionality as they also had to cover acting that took place in the audience.
The LEDBeam 150s were used as key lights in some scenes, and as a small wash light in tricky positions as well as for face light and low-level highlighting and lowlighting. Being able to drop them into a colour or a shade of white at any time was another benefit. The high circle LEDBeam 150s lit the pros arch for preset.
As a programmer as well as a designer, Jacob states it was “a dream” to programme the T1s and LEDBeam 150s on the theatre’s ETC console.
(Jim Evans)

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