Schouwburg is the municipal Theatre in Kortrijk in the West Flanders region of Belgium, and is located right at the heart of this attractive city in Schouwburgplein (Theatre Square). Flanked by several historic buildings, it offers two stage spaces, an 800-seater main hall and a smaller 120 capacity space that is scheduled for a complete rebuild over the next two years.
The Theatre has recently invested in Robe T1 Profile and LEDBeam 150 moving lights and is now in preparation for – hopefully – being able to return to full post-pandemic programme of live performances.
As an A-List theatre with a regular stream of high-profile productions, Stadsschouwburg is a great reference site for Robe and another acclaimed showcase for T1s.
The Schouwburg Kortrijk’s newest Robe moving lights were a recommendation by lighting technician Lander Riemaeker who has worked there for eight years and often lights the venue’s own productions. He also engages in external freelance work as an LD, programmer, and operator.
It was Lander who brought the first Robe fixtures – LEDWash 300s – into Schouwburg Kortrijk shortly after he started working there 8 years ago. Before then, he was regularly using Robe products whilst working for rental company PVL and always found Robe to be a solid option.
The LEDWash 300s were very successful, so when the time came to find a spot luminaire with a good output, smooth dimming and framing shutters, several different brands were considered, and after shootouts, Robe’s T1 Profile proved to be “by far the nicest option and the best investment,” commented Lander.
They were all super-impressed with the white multi-chip light engine and CMY colour mixing.
Lander was already familiar with Robe’s first-generation DL theatrical LED moving light range through working at the theatre in his home city of Oostkamp (which also has LEDWash 300s) but when he saw T1 after it was launched, he was “blown away” with the design and its suitability for any theatre application.
Lander works with a team of three other lighting programmers / techs at Schouwburg Kortrijk, plus head of technical Hans Rouquart, and he also had to consult – and convince – theatre director Alexander Ververken that T1 Profiles were the right choice!
Emphasising the power-saving capabilities of LED fixtures in the house was decisive in this process on top of all the creative attributes of the fixtures which were already appreciated by the lighting team, so Alexander went ahead and approached the city of Kortrijk to apply for the funding.
Thanks to the T1s, Schouwburg Kortrijk has seen a substantial annual reduction in the electricity bill as the theatre now has almost no conventional fixtures, just the odd one or two for specials and front light, which are used primarily for incoming productions rather than their own.
Four T1s comfortably provide enough front light for most shows in the main house.
The new LEDBeam 150s arrived at the same time as the T1 Profiles and have replaced the original LEDBeam 300s in the main theatre which have moved to another theatre run by the same technical team. The LEDBeam 150s are also handy as FX fixtures in addition to providing good washes.
Around 20% of Schouwburg Kortrijk’s shows are own productions with guest companies responsible for the other 80%, and during the pandemic, they have been hosting a variety of streamed shows.
Lander think’s Robe’s current moving light range is “excellent,” highly competitive and very reliable plus the support from Benelux distributor Controllux is also “first class”. At the Schouwburg Kortrijk, incoming LDs and technicians are happy to work with Robe and he notes that many theatre productions are also independently using the T1 range.
Photo Credits: Sara Druk, Jonas Verbeke, Ellen Goegebuer, Louise Stickland