The moving lights were part of the theatre's new in-house rig, supplied by Robe's South African distributor, DWR, in 2007.
JR applied his own unique style of lighting to the 4 week production, which contained all the glamour and glitz of a feel-good musical celebrating the music of the world's greatest pop divas, presented by some of South Africa's best female talent, backed by a live band. They performed songs from contemporary artists like Beyonce and Rihanna right through to classics from Aretha Franklin and Tina Turner.
A designer of vast experience who works extensively throughout SA and internationally, JR is an exponent at enhancing the emotions of performance through the application of lighting and effects. The rig had to be flexible and dynamic to deal with a wide variety of musical genres - from hard driving rock 'n' roll to soulful ballads and moody duets.
For "Sisters In Song", he very much interpreted the music with colour, programming up his grandMA full size console so it was a palette with which to paint the stage and the set designed by Sarah Roberts. The rig was typically very symmetrical and featured fantastic beam work and meticulously perfect cueing by Mandla Mtshali who is the resident operator.
Eight Robe ColorWash 750AT Tungstens were rigged on the balcony and used as a warm wash across the set and forestage, while the 24 ColorSpot 700E ATs flown on the rear fly bars were used for back lighting and narrow beam effects, cutting nicely thorough the rich washes. Sixteen Robe ColorWash 700E ATs were also positioned on the upstage fly bars, used for stage and set washing, with another 8 on side ladders for cross stage washes.
JR has used Robe products numerous times before, and likes many of their features, especially the fast iris speed. He reckons that they are currently the best moving lights available in terms of features and value for money.
"The iris speeds on the 700 Spots are great" he comments, explaining that he particularly likes the effect when going from a tight beam look into a shutter chase. The time taken to open looks is almost instant, giving maximum punch from the beam when flashing a shutter effect, "When you release the effect you get a accentuated flash of white iris full open and then you physically see the iris reduce the beam diameter again. This is a really excellent effect".
"Sisters In Song" was a massive success. The show was produced by Hazel Feldman and directed by Carlo Spettu.