"I love that moment in tech when you're in the auditorium and the cast and orchestra are on stage in front of you, performing the show seemingly just for you. How fabulous is that? What better job could there be?"
Rob Halliday has worked as a lighting designer and
lighting programmer for the last twenty-five years. His
speciality is large scale musicals, though he has also
brought the techniques and technology from these shows
to productions of all types and scales.
As a lighting designer, his most recent work includes realising the lighting for Tree of Codes with Olafur Eliasson, Dietrich Letters touring the UK, Hello Dolly, Sweeney Todd and Buried Child at the Leicester Curve, Goodbye Barcelona at the Arcola, Daddy Cool in London and Berlin, and Promises, Promises & The Pajama Game at the Royal Academy of Music. The touring production of My Fair Lady, which he designed with Oliver Fenwick and David Hersey in 2005 won the Touring Broadway Award for best production design for its US tour in 2007.
As a lighting programmer - a job title he was probably the first to coin - he works on a wide range of shows including the acclaimed film My Week With Marilyn, and in the theatre Bend It Like Beckham, Shakespeare In Love, Merrily We Roll Along, Beautiful, Betty Blue Eyes, Billy Elliot, The Children’s Hour, Spelling Bee, Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella, the hit revival of Evita and the Tony Award-winning Red in New York, the recent Jude Law Hamlet, the Tony-award nominated and Drama Desk-award winning New York Equus, Les Misérables, Miss Saigon, Oliver!, Mary Poppins, Ragtime, Martin Guerre, Oklahoma!, and many, many more all over the world.
Many of these shows were the most complex of their
time, with Mary Poppins still the largest rig
on Broadway controlled from a single console. He was a
pioneer of having one programmer and one console deal
with the entire lighting rig, which is now standard
practice on most theatre shows.
He is led by a love of theatre and of new challenges, 'showbiz is my life' the quip he uses to explain why he's spent so much time in darkened theatre auditoria!
Rob also writes about lighting and technical production for publications including Lighting & Sound International, Lighting & Sound America, Lighting Dimensions, Entertainment Design, and others, including a regular column for The Stage newspaper. The best of these articles have been collected into two books, Entertainment In Production vol 1 (1994-1999) and vol 2 (2000-2006), available now from ET Books and other good booksellers, in electronic form for the Kindle and iPad, or read more here.
Rob also runs lectures or workshops at trade shows including PLASA and LDI, and at drama colleges including LAMDA, Guildhall, Central, NIDA, RADA, Rose Bruford and the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, and helps preserve historic lighting equipment through the Backstage Heritage Collection.