Lighting Design

Playing Now: Amour by Rob Halliday

Amour , Charing Cross Theatre. Photographer:  Scott Rylander

Amour, Charing Cross Theatre. Photographer: Scott Rylander

Amour, lit by Rob, opened at the Charing Cross Theatre in London last night.

A ‘musical fantasy’ with music by the multi award-winning Michel Legrand and English lyrics by Jeremy Sams from the original by Didier Van Cauwelaert, the show is adapted from the 1943 short story Le Passe-Muraille by Marcel Aymé. The show enjoyed a short run in New York in 2002; this is its first professional production in the UK.

Produced by Danielle Tarento, the production is directed by Hannah Chissick, choreographed by Matt Cole with design by Adrian Gee. The show continues follows on from Rob’s collaborations with Hannah on Sweet Smell of Success and Cry Baby over the last year; they will work together again next month on The Wild Party at the Royal Academy of Music.

Amour: [link]
Gallery: [link]

Playing Now: Shrek by Rob Halliday


Rob has just completed lighting Shrek at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre in Guildford, for GSA.

As GSA’s Mig Burgess has delighted in pointing out online, the production uses five (or more) shades of green - a colour not normally seen much out of panto season, but which becomes quite useful when the leading character has a green face!

The show’s lighting has been supported by Ambersphere, allowing students to experience the Robert Juliat Dalis cyc lights, and the Ayrton Ghibli and Clay Paky K20 and Axcor Beam 300 LED moving lights.

GSA and Ambersphere are holding an open day about this equipment and the latest advances in colour rending with LED sources - plus the chance to see the rig in action over extracts from the show - this Wednesday, March 25th, from 2-5pm; Rob will be there to talk about LEDs, lighting when the leading performer is green and anything else that comes up!

Shrek at the Yvonne Arnaud: [link]
GSA / Ambersphere Lighting Open Day: [link]

Playing Now: Cry-Baby by Rob Halliday


Rob has just completed lighting the musical Cry-Baby for the ArtsEd School in London; the show opened tonight.

The show is directed by Hannah Chissick, for whom Rob lit Sweet Smell of Success at the Royal Academy last summer. It is choreographed by Chris Whittaker, designed by Philip Whitcomb, with musical direction by Tamara Saringer and sound design by Tom Marshall. It plays until Saturday January 26th.

Cry-Baby at Arts Ed: [link]

Tree of Codes: Hong Kong by Rob Halliday

Photographer: Joel Chester Fildes

Photographer: Joel Chester Fildes

Tree of Codes, the acclaimed dance show created with director/choreographer Wayne McGregor, visual artist Olafur Eliasson and composer Jamie xx, is back, this time playing in Hong Kong as part of the New Vision Arts Festival.

The show will be at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre from 19-21 October 2018. 

Tree of Codes Hong Kong: [link]


Summer at the Royal Academy of Music by Rob Halliday

Rob has just finished lighting the Royal Academy of Music's summer musicals, this year Working, directed by Kimberley Sykes, and Sweet Smell of Success, directed by Hannah Chissick.

Rob has been a regular at the Academy over the last nineteen years, lighting a remarkable range of shows including A Catered Affair, A Little Night MusicA... My Name Is Alice, CabaretA Chorus LineCity of AngelsInto The WoodsJane EyreOh What A Lovely WarPromises PromisesSweeney ToddSweet CharityTommy and others.

However, this year was the opening year of the Academy's new Susie Sainsbury Theatre, built in the same space as the previous theatre and connected to the same (though enlarged) stage - giving the somewhat unusual experience of sitting in a completely new auditorium looking at a very familiar stage (and, in particular, a very familiar, very distinctive theatre back wall!).

Designer Basia Binkowksa took full advantage of the opportunities offered by the expanded stage, however, and the lighting made use of the latest technology purchased as part of the refurbishment, including ETC's Lustr2 LED spotlights and Martin's Mac Encore LED moving lights. 

Rob was supported by RAM's fantastic technical team of Michal 'Skip' Francis and Anthony Hannah, by the technical students from Rose Bruford (particularly production electricians Liam Rudd and Stephen 'Legs' Carter and programmers Jonny Myers and Josh Musgrave), and was delighted to be working once again alongside sound designer Mike Walker and his team, and with RAM's Musical Theatre Company Manager Katie Blumenblatt, Events Manager Gilly Schofield, and of course by the Head of Musical Theatre Daniel Bowling.

It was a pleasure to be back, and to be involved in two such fantastic productions.


Working   Royal Academy of Music, 2018 Director: Kimblerley Sykes Choreographer: Aline David Designer: Basia Binkowska  

Royal Academy of Music, 2018
Director: Kimblerley Sykes
Choreographer: Aline David
Designer: Basia Binkowska

RIMINI 2018: Making Giudizio Universale by Rob Halliday

Rob was delighted to be invited by Clay Paky to speak at this year’s Music Inside Rimini trade show at Rimini, Italy - a show he’s heard about since he first started working in lighting, but which, until now, he’s never visited.

Rob spoke about the making of the show Giudizio Universale, the Balich Worldiwde Shows production which is playing now in Rome and which uses a rig equipment from Clay Paky and sister company ADB, including fifty of ADB’s classic, but still remarkable, Svoboda fixtures.

However the talk wasn’t just about the technology involved, but about the challenges of designing shows such as this, and then making them work in challenging venues on tight schedules while still achieving the initial vision for the lighting - and having a good time doing so! Having a good selection of snacks (healthy and unhealthy) on the production desk is just one of the tips Rob shared.

The talk was well attended, and well received by all those who were there.

Giudizio Universale: [link]
Music Inside Rimini: [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]