Play Me with Robe

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Leading Finnish lighting designer Mikki Kunttu has designed lights, screens and sets for the smash hit musical "Play Me", an exciting new production staged at the Swedish Theatre in Helsinki, Finland, based on a virtual reality game intertwined with a talent contest at the Q-Club.

At the core of the lighting rig are 18 Robe ColorSpot 700E ATs, together with some Robe ColorSpot 1200E ATs. It is a compact sized rig for the ambitious visuality and storyline of the show, and as Kunttu puts it, the ColorSpot 700E ATs "really work hard".

His choice of moving light was based on the best value fixtures available with the most features. He needed units that had both spot and wash capabilities and a "super good strobe" - so the ColorSpot 700E ATs are proving ideal.

The fixtures are hung above the stage in various upstage and downstage positions for optimal stage coverage, with some on the deck. Kunttu utilises most of their features and functions during the pacey, all-action show which flips between real and virtual worlds in a fabulously rich mix of music, visuals, acrobatics and stunning choreography.

"Reliability, dynamics and real flexibility" were key elements reinforcing his decision to go with Robe. He's also been using the brand for a long time and more recently and specifically, the 700 Series on a lot of projects. These currently include 2 leading TV shows - Talent Finland and Big Brother Finland, so he knew exactly what they would be "capable of achieving".

Play Me also features some other moving lights, a host of conventionals and strobes. The theatre is an excellent venue for the staging of this very contemporary work - which also includes a chance for the audience to text votes for their favourite talent competition contestant in the interval. They make use of a highly effective revolving stage, and both set and screens rotate 360 degrees, giving a real edge to the whole performance.

The between scene/location cuts are dramatic, edgy and movie-like in style, and this is why the show is also heavily video based, and why the lighting had to be exceptionally diverse and to combine seamlessly with the video.

Kunttu programmed the lights himself on a grandMA full size console, and it is now being run by the theatre's LX crew.

All the rental gear is supplied by Helsinki-based rental operation Moving Light Oy, and the show is currently scheduled to run until Spring 2010 and expected to extend into the summer due to popular demand.

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