The South African State Theatre in Pretoria has added more Robe LED fixtures to its lighting inventory … specified by Head of Lighting Simon King.
The latest purchase includes 12 x MMX Spots, four DLX Spots and four ROBIN 300 LEDWashes and follows quickly on the heels of 40 x Robe LEDForce 18 PARs and eight new ColorSpot 250E ATs.
The Theatre also now has a total of 36 x LEDWash 600s, the first batch of which were purchased in 2011 from Robe’s SA distributor DWR, after being specified by King who was keen to embrace the many advantages of LED stage lighting.
The State Theatre – housed in its distinctive and imposing building in the heart of the city – has five main performance spaces, the largest two being the 1300 capacity Opera Stage and the 650 capacity Drama Stage – and a fantastic reputation for excellence in multiple genres. It also likes to keep moving with the times.
Dr. Quinton W Simpson was appointed as the organisation’s new CEO in 2012 and was very conducive to Simon King’s proposals to move more and more towards LED lighting as the fixtures became brighter, more efficient and ever more cost effective!
The theatre is 75% a receiving house and 25% producing, staging around 30 major productions per year, several with long runs, plus a variety of other shows and performances ranging from Gospel Choirs, rock concerts, raves, dramas, dance works, opera – and virtually every other type of performance including the spoken word.
Flexibility is therefore a key to any new lighting investments!
“LED makes sense in terms of reducing power consumption and on-going maintenance costs,” states King, adding that it’s a bit of a ‘no brainer’ really considering the pace and direction of LED development.
It also helps with the justification of future cap-ex allowances if they can demonstrate a discernible overall cost saving – so it’s ‘win-win’ all round!Apart from all these positives, especially with drama shows, having low noise equipment is essential – and once again, LEDs win out.
Another “Major reason” they chose Robe states King … is the superlative service from DWR, “Any product is worthless without good service and support,” he says with conviction. Not that they have needed much to be fixed with the Robes of course … as the fixtures have proven very reliable.The new Robes are distributed around the Theatre’s different spaces – the majority on the two main stages.
The four DLXs and two of the ROBIN 300 LEDWashes are in the Arena Theatre together with six LEDForce 18s, while the eight ColorSpot 250E ATs are in the Rendezvous Theatre, and two more LEDWash 300s are in the Cabaret venue.
The MMX Spot is currently King’s favourite moving light. “The punch and the zoom are lovely,” he effuses, “Together with the colour mixing, the gobos and of course the dual graphics wheel”, concluding that it’s an ‘Ultimately flexible” unit ideally suited to their needs.
The State Theatre’s LX crew love all of the new Robes because they are light in weight and easy to handle.
King lights around 50% of the shows staged in the State Theatre’s venues as well as having his own international lighting design clients.
Recently he lit a production of ‘The Merry Widow’ in Montevideo, Uruguay, at the Archivo Nacional De La Imagen-Sodre and was delighted to be using Robe LEDWash 600s in his rig, which were specially hired in for the occasion.
The first Robe T2 Profiles to arrive in Australia were snapped up by Perth-based lighting and visual rental and production company What Noiz and made their debut on the lighting rig designed by Matt Marshall for West Australian Ballet’s compelling “As One: Ballet at the Quarry”.
The Staatsschauspiel Dresden in Germany joins a long and growing number of high-profile performing arts venues that are investing in Robe’s T1 series of moving lights, a refined product line tailored to meet the exacting demands of this sector.
Robe luminaires were selected for another premium cultural project, this one at the Said-Galiev Cultural Centre in Derbyshki in Kazan, the capital of the Russian semi-autonomous region of Tatarstan, an area renowned as a lively melting pot of Russian and Tatar heritage.
Danish rental operation Live Company made a massive investment in Robe ESPRITE and LEDWash 300X moving lights, together with a RoboSpot remote follow spot system, in March 2020 just before the pandemic hit effectively closing the live concert and event industry worldwide.
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