Adelaide-based Novatech Creative Event Technology worked closely with Arts Projects Australia to develop a turnkey touring audio and lighting solution for Kneehigh Theatre’s production of Noel Cowards’ ‘Brief Encounter’.
Despite advances in technology, lighting designer Malcolm Rippeth has been very happy to stick to a rig of ETC Source Four Revolutions and Source Four profiles, which have served well on tour in the UK and US as well as for the show's Broadway run.
According to Malcolm, there isn't anything to match the versatility of the Revolution as a tungsten source with exact colours.
The show was originally programmed on a Strand 520i but migrated to the Eos in 2009. Malcolm states that this definitely proved to be the right choice, citing ETC's excellent attitude and the software's designer and programmer focused development. Kneehigh now owns an Ion, which is in continual use on touring productions in the UK; Malcolm comments that the range of ETC consoles available and their interoperability have proven invaluable as the company works across different scales and continents.
For the Australian tour, touring electrician Ben Nichols used an ETC Eos Ti console (sub-hired from Chameleon Touring Systems) complete with ETC gateways and an ETC RFR to ease the focusing process. Custom looms for the rig made patching into each venue a breeze.
Ben Nichols explains that Brief Encounter has undertaken numerous tours in various countries, and the show has mostly utilised the EOS family of consoles. The EOS software is not only extremely powerful but also easy to use, which enables them to focus on lighting the show. He also favours the EOS Ti for the large touch screen that enables quick access to his direct selects and magic sheets.
The lighting rig includes over 60 flown fixtures, consisting of a mix of ETC Source Four Revolutions with custom strings and gobos, ETC Source Fours and PAR 64s. The remainder of the rig consists of 10 x custom built pre-rig booms, home to over thirty ETC Source Fours of varying sizes.
The show now finds itself on its second US tour, where Malcolm and Ben have replaced scroller-fronted tungsten Source Fours using Source Four LED Lustr+ units with great success. According to Malcolm, the colour matching has, with a little trial and error, proved superb; he hopes to make great use of it in the future.
Jands is a leading Australian distributor of professional lighting systems as well as audio and staging equipment.