Robe for Icelandic National Theatre

Wed, 17 May 2017 10:47

Othello at the Icelandic National Theatre

Robe moving lights are making a big impact at the Icelandic National Theatre (Ţjóđleikhúsiđ) in Reykjavík since they became an integral element of the available house lighting rig, a process that started in 2014 and has recently been continued with the addition of DL7S Profiles, LEDBeam 1000s and Actor6s.

The Robe fixtures were specified by Head of lighting Halldór Örn Óskarsson (Halli) and his team of colleagues.

Halli chose the new Robe luminaires after having a great experience with their original units, 14 of the first generation DLSs, which were acquired to replace their old FOH lights. The spec was exactly what they wanted – an LED moving head with shutters.

Seventeen DL7Ss, 25 x LEDBeam 1000s and 16 x Actor6s joined the rig, replacing a quantity of older tungsten and HMI moving lights from competitor brands.

Recently Halli lit a production of Shakespeare classic Othello (Óţelló) directed by Gísli Örn Garđarsson completely with the Robe LEDs plus a few metres of RGB LED ribbon. It was his first fully LED lighting design.

Börkur Jónsson’s interesting contemporary set was largely constructed from clear plastic sheaths, so it was a challenge to find the right colours to work with this surface and to create effects that would transform the plastic from transparent to opaque and solid with the lights.

There was also a square plastic box that was moved around the stage, so Halli’s starting point was this box being a place of warmth and safety … which was contrasted to the unknown of the outside world, presented as a more dangerous, cold and edgy environment.

All the DLS Profiles were positioned on the two FOH lighting bridges and balconies and used for front lighting.

The DL7S Profiles were rigged overhead on the LX fly bars and used as specials, for highlighting set pieces and actors in various places around the stage. They were also utilized for effects like rotating gobos on a tree to emulate its movement in the wind and as green laser lines for a construction site look.

The LEDBeam 1000s were rigged on the overhead bars and used for general colour washes on the plastic and as very narrow beams for the gripping end sequence.

The Actor6s were on 1.7 metre high side booms and on the floor along the back of the stage, where they could wash the entire stage floor and highlight the actors from the side perspective.

The black gloss floor completely covered in plastic sheeting was always going to be galvanising to light!

The wide angle of the LEDBeam 1000s assisted with colouring these expanses of clear plastic efficiently, while the range of hues available from the DL7 Profiles really worked well. The overall very low heat emissions from the lighting rig also helped with the physical installation of the plastic and keeping it in place without stretching.

“I felt I was completely covered in all creative and technical aspects using this rig to light this demanding show,” Halli comments. He also programmed it himself, using a grandMA2 light.