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]

Another Chance To See Tree of Codes by Rob Halliday

Tree of Codes at Manchester International Festival 2015 credit Joel Chester Fildes  3019.jpg

Turns out, Aarhus wasn't the last chance to see the remarkable dance show Tree of Codes, on which Rob collaborated with Wayne McGregor, Olafur Eliasson and Jamie xx, originally at the Manchester International Festival and subsequently in New York, Paris, London and Denmark.

The show has another confirmed date, this time in Australia as part of the 2017 Melbourne Festival. 

The show will play at Melbourne's Lyric Theatre from October 17-21st. 

Further details and tickets are available via the Melbourne Festival website [link]

Photographer: Joel Chester Fildes

Billy Japan: Playing Now by Rob Halliday

Billy Elliot opened in Japan on Tuesday 25th July, to a tremendous reception for what is a really fantastic production of the show.

Rob worked as the Associate Lighting Designer and Lighting Programmer on the show, carrying out all of the pre-production design and planning work, then working with Lighting Designer Rick Fisher in Tokyo to get the show up-and-running. This is the fifth version of Billy Rob has worked on, having also been involved with the last US tour, the London production, the Dutch production and the UK tour, which recently ended a hugely successful year with a short season in Hamburg.

The Japanese production used a rig evolved from that designed for the UK tour, which replaced all of the traditional Source Four-plus-scroller colour changers with ETC Source Four Series2 Lustr LED fixtures. The Japanese production took another step into the world of LED lighting, with Martin Mac Auras replacing the previous Vari-Lite VL2000 Wash fixtures.

Rob and Rick were supported in Japan by a fantastic lighting team (Oshima-sam, Yuta, Katsu, Miwa, Anarin, Mari, Eiji and Takayama-san), a wonderful stage manager (Toku-san), a great production manager (Kanai-san), the wonderful producing team at HoriPro, and a brilliant translator, the wonderful Sonoko.

Billy Elliot plays at the ACT Theatre in Akasaka, Tokyo, until October before transferring to Osaka for a short season there.


Storyhouse - And More - In Print by Rob Halliday

Having been involved with Chester’s Storyhouse for the last three years, firstly as technical advisor for lighting and then as the lighting designer for the opening three shows, Rob has now written about this remarkable new theatre for Light &Sound International magazine, which is available in print or online. [link]

This article its just one of several written by Rob to appear this month. The others are:

  • His monthly column in The Stage, this time looking at those who work in the entertainment world might find their jobs are safe from being replaced by the rise of technology. [link]
  • Classic Gear, in LSi, this month featuring the irrepressible Henry Hoover.

  • Tools from Beyond, also in LSi, this month featuring the clever transcription service Trint. [link]

Heading East... by Rob Halliday

With Storyhouse successfully open and its first three shows up and running, Rob has now headed east, to Tokyo, for the new Japanese production of Billy Elliot.

Rob is the Associate Lighting Designer and Lighting Programmer for the show, working alongside Lighting Designer Rick Fisher. Rob has previously served the same role on Billy’s last US tour, the Dutch production, and the current UK tour which is about to set off to Germany to play a season in Hamburg. He also adapted the original production from Strand to ETC lighting control during its long run in London.

Produced by HoriPro, Billy Elliot opens at the Akasaka ACT Theatre in Tokyo in late July and plays there until the autumn before transferring to Osaka. 


Show Three at Storyhouse by Rob Halliday

Rob returns this week to Storyhouse in Chester, to light the third show of the opening season - A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

The show is directed by Storyhouse’s Artistic Director, Alex Clifton, and designed by Jess Curtis, continuing the collaboration from the theatre’s opening show, The Beggar’s Opera; that show continues as part of what will soon be a four show rep season.

Rob also lit the second show in the season, Alice in Wonderland, and is delighted to be part of the hugely successful opening of this exciting new theatre.