Rob learnt about lighting from those he was lucky enough to work with early on, particularly at the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain. He’s tried to carry that on, sharing whatever he can about the art, craft, technology and life of lighting with anyone who’s interested. This has included:
Rob writes about productions (those he has been involved with and others) and entertainment technology. He writes regularly for Lighting & Sound International, Lighting & Sound America, Live Design and the British theatre newspaper The Stage, to which he contributes a monthly column.
The ‘greatest hits’ of these articles have been collected into the Entertainment In Production books. [link]
Classic Gear, the L&SI column he writes taking a nostalgic look back at the products that have shaped the entertainment industry in one way or another, entered its 11th year this year.
Rob is a popular speaker at industry trade shows and other events, talking about productions and entertainment technology, old and new.
His talk Inventing The Future: The Story of the National Theatre’s Lightboard was a full-house hit at the 2016 PLASA Show, as was his Short(ish) History of Computers in Lighting Control at the National Museum of Computing in Bletchley in 2015.
[Inventing The Future]
Last May he returned to Showlight, at which he previously spoke in 2009, this time to talk about his work on the acclaimed dance show Tree of Codes.
He also recently hosted sessions about Chester’s Storyhouse and about the forthcoming EU Lighting regulations at PLASA Focus in Leeds, and organised and spoke on a panel entitled Bursting The Bubble: LED, Regulation and the Future of Lighting at the ITEAC conference in London.
PLASA Focus: [link]
Rob teaches at drama schools, as well as mentoring or supervising students working on productions. He is a regular guest lecturer at Rose Bruford College, a three-time guest artiste at the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts, was this year’s guest lecturer on stage lighting at the Politecnico di Milano in Italy, and has also worked with Central, Guildhall, Mountview and RADA in London and other colleges around the world.
In late 2014, at the invitation of ARKO, the South Korean Arts Council, Rob delivered a well received and sold-out lighting masterclass in Seoul, together with a public speech on the art and craft of entertainment lighting.
Rob is happy to offer advice across all areas of lighting. In particular, he is often called upon to help specify the lighting equipment for new theatres to ensure that they have the best possible mix of the latest products and latest technologies balanced with more traditional, established products - all within their budget!
Most recently, he has worked in this capacity for Storyhouse in Chester; prior to that he specified the equipment for CAST in Doncaster, making it one of the first theatres in the world to adopt the Source Four LED as the core of its lighting rig. Before that he was involved in the opening of Leicester’s Curve.
Rob is one of the founders of the Backstage Heritage Collection, which aims to document and, where possible, preserve the many remarkable advances in entertainment technology created through the years, and the memories of both those who created the technology, and those who put it to use on shows. [link]