Copenhagen’s Det Ny Teater (The New Theatre) has recently invested substantially in new Robe moving lights with the purchase of 16 x Robe T1 Profiles that have joined the house rig together with an additional 20 Spiiders (bringing the total to 30). Also new are two RoboSpot systems with two T1 Profile FollowSpots, plus 11 x Tetra2 moving LED battens and 18 x LEDBeam 350s.
This was possible thanks to financing via the AP Møller Foundation which was started in 1953 by ship owner AP Møller and his wife Chastine McKinney Møller to support areas of importance to them, including buildings of historical and cultural value and a number of other cultural criteria.
The fixtures were delivered by Robe’s Danish distributor Light Partner. All these fixtures are in daily use to facilitate Ny Theatre’s busy repertory schedule.
Located centrally in the vibrant Danish capital, the cosy 1000-capacity venue actually dates to 1908 explained Kasper Blicher Beknes, deputy CEO and as the venue’s former technical manager who is still integrally involved in every aspect of its operation. Since starting there in 1996 Kasper has taken on many technical and administrative roles and is passionate about all aspects of Det Ny Teater and its impressive heritage.
Like many theatres, the shift to LED has been measured.
“Until now, we always had an issue with the last 50% of the LED dimming curve,” Kasper admits, in the same breath saying T1 is the first fixture they’ve seen where “you genuinely can’t tell the difference,” adding that the brightness and volume of LED light sources has “advanced massively” even just in the last five years.
Apart from the desire – and increased requirement – to be as sustainable as possible, the power saving of LEDs was a big advantage in the quest of getting the fixtures into Det Ny Teater.
The old conventional HMI follow spots on the second balcony were well overdue for replacement. The noise they made was a constant issue with audiences as well as the associated intercom and operator chatter.
Kasper and his team, including current head of lighting John PG Jónsson, also saw the value of being able to use different Robe lights on the same RoboSpot system, and RoboSpot has been a great hit with all the incoming lighting designers so far who have been keen to use it.
One of these was UK-based LD Nick Richings, lighting a revival of a 2006 production of “The Producers” which utilized all the new kit.
In this case, Nick used a single T1 Profile FollowSpot on each RoboSpot system, but others have used multiple fixtures for remote following, and sometimes upstage and backlighting luminaires have been operated this way.
“The Producers” featured the same essential lighting design as the original production, reworked and modernized.
“The kit has definitely moved on since 2006,” commented Kasper who worked as the chief LX on that 2006 show.
Nick Richings agreed, and although he has used the Robe ESPRITES many times before, this was his first with T1 profiles, which he thought were “controlled yet bright and perfect for the house”, adding that, naturally, the T1 FollowSpots matched the colour and quality of the rest of the rig perfectly!
Nick utilized 11 Robe Tetra2s as the main back light, rigged overhead in the venue’s Bay 4 which proved “fantastic for getting back light into some critical places and also saving space.”
One challenge was that the LX bars were trimmed at 9 meters, and The Producers, a relentlessly busy show for lighting cues, needed to be lit in a very compressed timeframe, so having the Tetra2s and XX LEDBeam 350s at his disposal – and deployable in tighter spaces – was a great help in achieving key aesthetic goals.
The LEDBeam 350s were compact and fast primary side lighting working in conjunction with the Tetra2s. The size of both types of fixtures enabled them to be squeezed in between the set portals which was a good position.
The quietness of the T1 Profile was also much appreciated, an essential element for ‘old skool’ musical theatre.
The Producers’ set practicals included 5300 pixels and 1000 light bulbs. Another major difference between this and the 2006 version was that the scenery was now digitally printed, giving a much wider colour gamut than the old hand-painted set, so all the colour saturation points were different, and the required colour spectrum was much tighter.
Nick relished being back at Det Ny Teater. “The team here are amazing and everyone goes above and beyond in helping to deliver fantastic results,” he concluded.
The show was programmed on a grandMA3 by Copenhagen based Joshua Kroon.
Photo: Miklos Szabo.