Wild Rice @ Funan is part of a modern performing arts complex sitting at the heart of Singapore’s buzzing civic and cultural district. Built in 2019, the main Ngee Ann Kongsi Theatre space offers an intimate 358-capacity space with Singapore’s only thrust stage, which was inspired by the Royal Shakespeare Company’s famous Swan Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon in the UK.

In 2022, the theatre took delivery of a new Robe moving light package – 10  T1 Profiles and 16 ParFect 150s – which joined the original lighting rig that was specified by theatre design consultants Charcoalblue when the venue opened. More recently, the theatre invested in Robe again, purchasing Tetra2 moving LED battens and LEDBeam 350 wash beams to boost the general lighting rig.

The fixtures were delivered via Robe’s Asia Pacific office, and these important lighting investments were overseen by Wild Rice’s then technical manager, Sagaya David Kanagasingam, who has worked at the theatre since 2019.

David explains that Robe T1 Profiles were first used at the Wild Rice in 2020 for a production of Peter Pan, the annual pantomime show that year, and they were specified by lighting designer Michael Chan who wanted additional key lighting for faces.

Before then, David had used them a few times at the renowned Singapore Repertory Theatre (SRT) where he had worked for many years. There he also worked with Robe’s original DL7 theatre orientated luminaires, which he was instrumental in getting into SRT’s main venue.

David and his Wild Rice team which includes five full time technical staff, plus interns and freelancers, were all hugely impressed with the beautiful flesh tones and high CRI of the T1s and the impact they had on Peter Pan.

When the time was right, and everything was moving on from the pandemic, it was determined that they needed some additional moving lights in the venue to boost the lighting production values offered to incoming productions.

“We already all loved the T1s,” he recalls, “we knew they were highly compatible with the existing house rig and were certain that having them here would benefit everyone using the space.”

In addition to quality of light, they needed a silent or low noise fixture, an especially pertinent issue with the open design of the main auditorium.

“We also wanted fixtures with a good range of subtle and nuanced colours, pastel tones and other more unusual hues that are frequently used for theatrical shows,” he noted. The T1 met all the criteria and the price was right.

ParFects were added to the order as ultimately useful all-round general purpose LED luminaires which can be used in virtually any theatrical circumstance.

Having all these Robes in the rig enables Wild Rice @ Funan to offer huge flexibility for its wide array of performances that embrace dance, drama, music, musicals, and comedy.

David’s positive experiences with Robe both here and at SRT – including for their acclaimed ‘Shakespeare in the Park’ outdoor productions – means that he trusts the brand as “reliable and very robust”.

“This together with the range of whites, the colours and colour mixing, quietness and of course the brilliant service and support from Robe AP” all make Robe a winning choice for this busy environment.

Photo by Louise Stickland.


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July/August 2024 issue

2024 A1 Buyers Guide