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Robe lights up Her Majesty’s Theatre Adelaide

Robe lights up Her Majesty’s Theatre Adelaide

Robe lights up Her Majesty’s Theatre Adelaide


One of the first shows to open at the renovated Her Majesty’s Theatre in Adelaide was the State Opera of South Australia’s production of Summer of the 17th Dolls. Lighting designer Trudy Dalgleish deployed the Robe T1 Profiles and T1 Fresnels that are part of the new house rig, working closely with director Joseph Mitchell and set designer Simone Romaniuk to evoke the ambience and period feel of the piece, set in 1950s Melbourne.

“The whole process was collaborative and open,” commented Dalgleish. “Much of the time I come into a show with the set already under construction and little or no input into the real estate I might need for my rig, so Simone was wonderful to work with and very inclusive.”

The biggest challenge in lighting the piece was the three-sided box making up the set. The actors’ constant proximity to doors, walls, and other scenic elements made it difficult to light neatly with front or side positioned fixtures. Mitchell also wanted to represent constant movement and activity, different times of day, and the passing of time.

Dalgleish crafted front and side angled long moves with window and other gobos using the Robe moving lights. Ten of the T1 Fresnels were positioned on the overhead bars, five used for back light and five for general area wash lighting and special effects, with Dalgleish using wash lights to cover tight areas and illuminate actors.

The T1 Profiles were primarily deployed at FOH. Two were rigged on the front of the dress circle, two on the proscenium box boom positions either side and two on the bridge for front special effects, with a further two used for additional texturing and effects. Custom gobos in the T1 Profiles created the specific window shapes that the director wanted for the between-scene transitions to depict time passing, with the gobos moving slowly and subtly as the day progressed.

The fixtures also impressed Dalgleish with their quietness. “I’d absolutely recommend them for any environment like opera, where silence is a must,” she stated.

The T1s and all the other lights in the house rig were run via the theatre’s Gio console, with programmer Cameron Lane and head LX Rick Worringham both supplied to the production by the venue’s operators, Adelaide Festival Trust.

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