Presenting: Storyhouse / by Rob Halliday

Rob is delighted to have been chosen to light much of the opening rep season of shows at the new Storyhouse theatre in Chester.

Storyhouse is a conversion of the abandoned 1930s Odeon cinema by architects Bennetts Associates, incorporating a theatre, a studio theatre, a cinema, and a library together with wonderful foyers spaces in what was the original cinema auditorium. The main theatre has a very particular trick: for most of the year it will operate as a proscenium arch theatre facing three levels of seating, perfect for receiving incoming tours. But for Storyhouse's own shows, it converts to a wonderfully intimate thrust stage, of the kind familiar to anyone who has visited the summer seasons of outdoor theatre at Chester’s Grovesnor Park Open Air Theatre over the last few years. The team behind Grovesnor Park are now running Storyhouse, and in fact three of the shows that open indoors at Storyhouse will later transfer outdoors to the park over the summer.

Rob has been involved with Storyhouse for the last three years, helping to oversee the technical planning for the theatre alongside theatre consultants Charcoalblue, and identifying the range of lighting fixtures and control systems needed to best deal with the theatre’s dual nature, before working with the theatre’s technical team to create the final shopping list of lighting equipment for the venue. As he says, “that probably then makes me the perfect choice to light the opening season of shows, since on the one hand I have a deep hypothetical knowledge of the theatre from years of staring at drawings of it, and on the other if I'm not happy with the equipment stock the theatre has the only person I can complain to is me!”

In the opening season, Rob will light The Beggar’s Opera and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, both directed by Storyhouse’s Artistic Director, Alex Clifton, and Alice In Wonderland, directed by Derek Bond. All three productions are designed by Jess Curtis.

The opening performance, of Beggar’s Opera, takes place on Thursday 11th May; it then plays in rep with the other shows and the season's fourth production, Julius Caesar