Back To Japan: Mata Hari in Osaka by Rob Halliday

Rob has just returned from Osaka, where he has been working as associate lighting designer and lighting programmer to Rick Fisher for the new musical Mata Hari.

Produced by the Umeda Arts Theatre, directed by Sachiko Ishimaru and designed by Yukio Horio, the production has just completed an acclaimed, sold-out season in Osaka, and is currently transferring to the Forum in Tokyo for its run there.

Rick and Rob were supported in their work by a team from Engineer Lighting, who also supplied a lighting rig that included Vari-Lite VL3500s and VL3000 Spots, Martin TW1s and Viper Wash DX, DTS Katanas and ETC Source Four Lustr2s, all controlled from an ETC Eos control system. They were also delighted to get to work once again with the wonderful interpreter Sonoko Ishii.

The show marked Rick and Rob's second project in Tokyo, following on from the success of the Japanese production of Billy Elliot over the summer.



MH Logo VSmall.jpg

In Print: December-January 2018 by Rob Halliday

The Bridge LSi.png

This month in print, Rob has been writing about:

In LSi:

  • The new Bridge Theatre in London. [link]

And in The Stage:

  • Reflections on time to mark the start of the New Year.  [link]
  • A warning of the EU's plans to ban the supply of tungsten light bulbs for use in theatre lighting (and the threat to these lightbulbs as manufacturers stop making them). [link]

Tree of Codes: Sydney by Rob Halliday


The acclaimed dance show Tree of Codes which Rob created with director/choreographer Wayne McGregor, visual designer Olafur Eliasson and composer Jamie xx, is celebrating the new year at the Sydney Festival in Australia.

Once again, Rob was supported by a great team, including Australian production electrician Dale Mounsey, console operator Nathan Daqunha, and the teams from the Sydney ICC and Sydney Festival.

The show is playing at the new Darling Harbour Theatre, part of Sydney's re-built International Convention Centre. Four performances only, from January 6th to January 10th. Catch it while you can!

Tree of Codes at the Sydney Festival: [link]
Tree of Codes in CX magazine: [link]
Tree of Codes in LSi magazine: [link]

Photo: Ravi Deepres.

Show Updates in Macau by Rob Halliday


In the run-up to Christmas, Rob could be found in Macau - lighting a tree (and a dragon!).

Rob was there on behalf of Woodroffe Basset Design, working with Ptarmigan Integration  to update the lighting equipment on this now ten year old attraction within the rotunda of the Wynn Macau hotel. Two shows an hour are presented, the first the Tree of Prosperity, which appears from the basement and then transforms through four seasons by the magic of light, the second the more dramatic Dragon of Fortune

Originally lit with a combination of Source Four fixtures fitted with Seachanger colour changers and Martin Mac700 fixtures, the lighting rig has now been updated  to use ETC Source Four Lustr2s, Robe DL4 moving lights, Gantom miniature LED spotlights and LED cove lighting from Philips, replacing the original cold cathode system. The updates were completed by a new ETC Gio control system. 

This meant that Rob had to take the original showfile from an ETC Congo showfile, translate it into Eos format, then in advance of the time in Macau carefully match colours and beam parameters from the old fixture types to the new fixture types to give a good base translation of the show. The design was then evolved on site working with lighting designer Patrick Woodroffe to take advantage of the new opportunities offered by the new lighting fixtures - in particular the ability to do long, slow colour fades in the half hour period between each show, all without having to worry about mechanical failures in the colour change systems. 

In addition, Rob had to integrate the lighting system with the new Navigator show control system being installed at the same time by Tait, including feedback systems so that show control can check lighting is alive and responding correctly before running a show. Rob also provided training for the Wynn team, and comprehensive show documentation using his FocusTrack show documentation system, to allow them to precisely maintain the show.

Rob worked alongside a team from Ptarmigan Integration, led by Leslie Yau and Tim Wong, the team from Tait led by Andew Penney and Mike Sharp, and the Wynn Macau team led by Simon Yung. 

The updated show began playing in late December.

Wynn Macau: Tree of Prosperity [link], Dragon of Fortune [link]
Woodroffe Bassett Design: [link]
Ptarmigan Integration: [link]
Tait: [link]


In Print: September-November 2017 by Rob Halliday

It's been a slightly prolific few months of writing, with a number of articles that have been in progress for a long time appearing at the same time as some new subjects and some marking significant anniversaries.

In this month’s LSi:

  • The National Theatre building on London’s South Bank turned 40 last year; Rob takes a look at how the entertainment technology in the building has evolved over four decades. [link]
  • A look at the remarkable visuals of the current Sigur Rós tour, for which Bruno Poet was the lighting designer. [link]
  • The regular Classic Gear (looking at the Strand DDM memory console - [link]) and Tools from Beyond (looking at the Expatistan website - [link]) columns.

In last month’s LSi:

  • The 25th Anniversary of the ETC Source Four spotlight, which launched at LDI 1992 and has gone on to become the industry-standard workhorse; Rob talks to Fred Foster of ETC and Dave Cunningham of Entertec about how the Source Four came into being for LSi magazine.
  • The regular Classic Gear (looking at the original WholeHog lighting console as it marks its 25th anniversary - [link] ) and Tools from Beyond (looking at the TripIt travel service website - [link]) columns.

And in the issue before that:

  • A look behind the scenes at Tree of Codes as the acclaimed dance show, which Rob lit working alongside the visual artist Olafur Eliasson and the director/choreographer Wayne McGregor, travels the world. [link]
  • An examination of the latest version of the show control software QLab, which is now adding lighting to its control capabilities.
  • The regular Classic Gear (looking at the Mac500 spotlight - [link] ) and Tools from Beyond (looking at the FlightUpdate Pro iPhone app - [link]) columns.

Plus a variety of columns for The Stage newspaper. [link]


LSi NT 2017 Small.jpg

Tree of Codes: Melbourne by Rob Halliday


The acclaimed Tree of Codes opens tomorrow night (Tuesday 17th) as part of the Melbourne Festival, playing there until October 21st.

Rob has been in Melbourne re-creating the lighting the show, supported by production electrician Dale Mounsey and the fantastic crew at the State Theatre. 

Created at the 2015 Manchester Festival, a collaboration between Wayne McGregor, Olafur Eliasson and Jamie xx, the show has since been seen in New York, London, Paris and Aarhus, with more dates to be announced soon...

Melbourne Festival: [link]
Tree of Codes in CX magazine: [link]
Tree of Codes in LSi magazine: [link]

A Little Bit Of History by Rob Halliday


Combining as it does his loves of lighting, technology and history, Rob is extremely flattered and delighted to have been asked to chair a special panel at this year’s PLASA Show...

2017 marks the 25th anniversary of the launch of the revolutionary Whole Hog lighting console. To celebrate that, the trio behind the console, Nick Archdale, Tom Thorne and Nils Thorjussen, are re-craeting their original PLASA 1992 stand, complete with one of the first desks, ‘Mo’  (all twenty-four Hogs had names...) You'll be able to find them on stand T61.

On the afternoon of the Monday of the show (18th September), all three of them together with Pete Miles and Simon England, will take part in a session discussing the birth of the Whole Hog, the challenges they faced along the way, and much more besides. It should make a fascinating discussion; Rob will be there to gently guide it along - but mainly, he suspects, just to sit back and listen!

Come along - it should be a fascinating session.

PLASA Show 2017: [link]

Whole Hog at PLASA 2017: [link]