The Royal Albert Hall in London has become the first live performance in the UK to fit Robe’s BMFL Spot moving light, purchasing 17 fixtures for its in-house lighting rig.
The decision was made by the venue’s senior technical manager, Ollie Jeffery and award-winning lighting design and systems manager, Richard Rhys Thomas. The units were delivered by Robe UK in conjunction with TSL Lighting where the process was coordinated by Ashley Lewis, Robe UK’s key account manager for Touring, TV, Theatre and Film.
The Hall stages approximately 400 performances per year in the main auditorium, which has a capacity of over 5,000 (variable according to configuration) and is known for its famous organ, built in 1871 and comprising 9,999 pipes.
Jeffery explained: “2015 is a significant year for us. We are investing in over £400,000-worth of technical developments throughout the building: including rebuilding our stage, and installing a new riser system and new orchestral chairs.
“The purchase of the new BMFL is the start of a five-year replacement programme for lighting, which will see us update some of the older units. It is important that we have the most up-to-date technology for the vibrant and diverse selection of incoming productions choosing to use the in-house facilities. Keeping abreast of the latest technologies, and the desire to offer flexible world-class solutions to clients, were both major factors in the BMFL purchase.
“More recently, Richard and the lighting crew have been sub-hiring Robe fixtures regularly for an assortment of shows, so by the time they bought their own, they had plenty of experience with the brand, first hand.
“Just to be sure, as it was a big decision, they also invited six independent lighting designers to assess the options and make recommendations for a high powered moving light purchase which culminated in a day of shoot-outs between all the short-listed contenders. As a direct result of that, they decided on BMFL Spots.”
Rhys Thomas said: ”We needed a truly versatile fixture to cover for all the shows that we are asked to light ourselves, in addition to a light source that would satisfy a wide range of visiting LDs from all over the world.”
Picture: David Morrell