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grandMA equipment specified at Johannesburg theatre

test 14 December 2007

Overseeing an important part of the site’s technical infrastructure is Denis Hutchinson, who serves as consultant and LD for the theatre. “The intention of being both consultant and LD was two-fold,” he explained. “Firstly, I had to see to the completion of the theatre and be on hand for trouble-shooting. The second motive was purely selfish – I chose the new toys for the theatre and I wanted to be the first to play with them.”

Having eventually selected an extensive specification of fixtures that would be suitable for the theatre in the long-term (including 68 moving heads), Hutchinson had to get to grips with a production that could not be the subject of overly elaborate lighting. “In 1962, there were no moving lights other than follow-spots, and although certain things like colour wheels were technically possible, it was not until 1978 that Tharon Musser used 64 of them on [a production of the musical] Ballroom and dazzled everyone,” he noted. “I do cheat a little, but it would look odd if I did too many modern effects in what is actually a period piece.”

The automated lighting and control equipment was supplied by DWR Distribution. Prosound, T&A Lighting, Electrosonic and Iyeza were also involved in the project.

PICTURE CREDIT: John Hogg

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