White Light supplies Royal Shakespeare Company

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The RSC is dedicated to producing the plays of Shakespeare and his contemporaries (photo: Manuel Harlan)

The Royal Shakespeare Company is one of Britain’s most renowned theatre companies. Based in Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace of William Shakespeare, it is dedicated to producing the plays of Shakespeare and his contemporaries as well as developing new work from living artists.

The RSC has three theatre spaces: the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, the Swan Theatre and the recently-opened Studio Theatre at The Other Place. Wanting to replace the existing tungsten units in their main Royal Shakespeare space, they approach White Light to supply them with the very latest LED lighting fixtures.

The Royal Shakespeare Theatre is a 1040 seat thrust stage theatre which first opened in 1932. The theatre is a ‘one-room’ space which allows the actors and audience to share the same space, as they did when Shakespeare’s plays were first produced. The space was renovated in 2010 as part of the Transformation Project. Ensuring that the theatre continues to draw on state-of-the-art equipment, the RSC recently decided to invest in some new lighting to complement its existing rig.

Vince Herbert is head of lighting at the RSC. He comments, “Historically we’ve relied heavily on tungsten equipment to light our cycloramas and back-projection screens. However, we’ve come to realise that this is not only quite limiting but also less energy-efficient. Therefore, following what is seemingly the industry trend, we decided to make the move to LED.”

Vince then contacted WL who visited the space and demoed a series of LED fixtures in order to find a product most suited to the space. Jonathan Haynes, WL’s business development manager, comments, “The Royal Shakespeare Theatre is such an impressive venue so it was important that the correct equipment was chosen. You can only really make this decision once you’ve seen how lights respond within a particular space, hence the reason why we felt it necessary to demonstrate what we had available.”

After testing out a series of lights, Vince and his team soon decided that the ETC Source 4 Series 2 Lustrs were the ideal addition to their existing lighting rig. Vince adds: “The Lustrs are a fantastic piece of equipment. Their output is incredible, they’re extremely adaptable and the fact that they’re LED means they are extremely energy-efficient. They also fit nicely with our existing kit which is very ETC-centric.”

Following the purchase of the Lustrs, they have already been used throughout the summer season. The sale marks another example of WL supplying a renowned theatre, having recently provided Shakepeare’s Globe in London with its first-ever theatrical lighting rig.

Jonathan adds, “It’s fantastic that we, as a company, are able to work with a renowned organisation such as the RSC and ensure they receive the exact equipment that they require. We appreciate that as lighting technology continues to advance, venues up and down the country will want to utilise this to ensure their venues receive the best technical support possible. Due to our continued investment and unparalleled resources, we are in a position to provide this.”

(Jim Evans)

This article is originally from LSI Online.

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