Consent in the West End by Rob Halliday


Rob will be working once again with lighting designer Rick Fisher this month, helping him transfer the acclaimed play Consent from the National Theatre to London’s Pinter Theatre.

This continues a collaboration which stretches back almost two decades, and most recently has included productions of Billy Elliot in the US, Holland, Japan and touring the UK, and the new musical Mata Hari in Japan.

Rob will be serving as associate lighting designer and lighting programmer on the show as it is adapted by director Roger Michell, designer Hildegard Bechtler, lighting designer Rick Fisher and sound designer John Leonard from the traverse staging it enjoyed at the National’s Dorfman Theatre to the more traditional environs of the Pinter Theatre. The Pinter - and its previous incarnation, the Comedy, is also a theatre Rob has enjoyed a long association with, from A Glass Menagerie twenty years ago, to The Children’s HourThe Browning Version/Harlequinade, Death and the Maiden, and Merrily We Roll Along

Consent, written by Nina Raine, is produced by Sonia Friedman Productions and the National Theatre; it opens at the Pinter on May 29th.

Consent: [link]

#SaveStageLighting by Rob Halliday


Rob has spent much of the last few weeks working with the Association of Lighting Designer’s Save Stage Lighting campaign, which is working to alert people to the issues presented to entertainment lighting by the European Union’s proposed 2020 lighting regulations.

Under these regulations, if implemented as written, almost all of the entertainment lighting tools that are in use every day across Europe would no longer be available. This includes tungsten light bulbs - meaning that generations of lighting fixtures would quickly become redundant - but also even the very latest low-energy LED lighting fixtures. This because the new regulations remove the existing exemption that stage lighting enjoys, while also significantly tightening up the energy efficiency standards for lighting equipment.

For the ALD, Rob has written two guides to these regulations and the impact they could have, a ‘Primer’ aimed at explaining the rules to lighting people, and a ‘Briefing Document’ aimed at explaining the issue to those who run theatres. 

He has also been working with the Save Stage Lighting campaign’s Robbie Butler and Paule Constable to raise awareness of the issue across producing theatres, subsidised theatres and far beyond the world of theatre, into live music, events, film and television. 

Save Stage Lighting: [link]
Save Stage Lighting in The Stage: [link]

Return to the Royal Academy by Rob Halliday

  Photographer: Jake Wiltshire

Photographer: Jake Wiltshire

Rob is delighted to have been invited back to the Royal Academy of Music in London, to light the first of their annual musicals to appear in the Academy’s brand new theatre - the Susie Sainsbury Theatre.

Rob has been lighting the Academy’s summer musicals - two shows playing in rep - for most of the years since 1999. Amongst the many great productions, favourites have included TommyFolliesSweet Charity, City of AngelsA Chorus Line, Cabaret, Into the Woods and a remarkable production of Jane Eyre. He lit the last musicals in the old Jack Lyons theatre, Little Me and A Catered Affair, in 2013. After that the theatre was dis-mantled and an entirely new theatre created in the same space.

This year’s shows will be Working and Sweet Smell of Success, performing through June.

RAM Summer Musicals:
Working: [link]
Sweet Smell of Success:  [link]

Open In Rome: Giudizio Universale by Rob Halliday

  Photographer: Luca Parisse

Photographer: Luca Parisse

The night of Thursday March 15th saw the opening night of the new show Giudizio Universale in Rome, with the lighting co-designed by Rob and Bruno Poet.

Telling the story of Michelangelo and his work in the Sistine Chapel, the show is at the Auditorium Conciliazione, next to the Vatican, and is produced by Balich Worldwide Shows. The show's lighting supports a dramatic immersive design by Stufish centred around stunning projections by Luke Halls that allow the audience to examine Michelangelo’s work in much closer detail than is possible even by visiting the Sistine Chapel itself!

Rob and Bruno designed a rig which spans the ages of technology, from Clay Paky’s brand new Axcor Beam 300 (an LED version of their popular Sharpy fixture), to a spectacular feature created from 49 of the legendary Svoboda lights - complete with one new trick never before seen in a Svoboda.

Rob was supported in Rome by a team including assistant lighting designer/assistant programmer Robin Senoner, production electrician Daniele Giuliano, technical director Giandomenico Barbon and production manager Paolo Quarino. 

Giudizio Universale is a production by Marco Balich, co-directed by Lulu Helbek, with choreography by Fotis Nikolau, music by John Metcalfe, the main theme song by Sting, stage design by Stufish, video design by Luke Halls, costumes by Giovanna Buzzi and sound design by Mirko Perri. 

Produced with the scientific advice of the Vatican Museums, the show is a production of Artainment Worldwide Shows. Running now, with performances in Italian and English, the show is looking forward to a long run.

Giudizio Universale: [link]

Tree of Codes: Now Olivier Nominated by Rob Halliday

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Tree of Codes, the internationally acclaimed dance show which Rob created with director/choreographer Wayne McGregor, visual designer Olafur Eliasson, composer Jamie xx and sound designer Nick Sagar, has been nominated as Best New Dance Production in the 2018 Olivier Awards. The nomination follows the show’s run at Sadler’s Wells in London during 2017. [link].

Since Sadler’s Wells, the show has been seen in Aarhus, Melbourne and Sydney. New dates for the show during 2018, 2019 and 2020 will be confirmed shortly.

The 2018 Olivier Awards will be presented at the Royal Albert Hall in London on Sunday, April 8th.

Photo: Joel Chester Fildes

In Print: Refreshing An Icon in Sydney by Rob Halliday


Rob has been a fan of the breathtaking Sydney Opera House even before he first set eyes on it for real back in 1997. In the time since he has been privileged to visit it, to provide console training to the staff in it - and, most recently, to write about the recent refurbishment of the building’s Joan Sutherland Theatre.

Having been in use since the building opened back in 1973, the theatre was closed for the second half of 2017, during which time it underwent comprehensive upgrades to just about every part of its technical infrastructure - re-opening in time for a New Year’s Eve gala performance by Opera Australia.

Rob visited the theatre just a few days after this, to hear about the project from those who led it and to take a look at the new systems that are now in place.

You can read all about it in this month's edition of LSi magazine, available online or in print. [link]

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.



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In Print: December-January 2018 by Rob Halliday

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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]