Robe has a Laugh with The Mighty Boosh

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Lighting designer Arturo Ollandini is utilizing Robe ColorSpot and ColorWash 2500 moving lights in his design for hilarious comedy duo, The Mighty Boosh, currently enjoying a very successful UK tour.

The show, produced by Phil McIntyre Entertainments, is a lively mix of comedy and music which, lighting wise, had all the requirements of rock 'n' roll with a bit of camp and a generous scoop of theatre.

It's Ollandini's second Boosh tour. He was left to his own creative devices to come up with a flexible rig that fitted in around the centre-stage set, built on a revolve with set dressing one side and musicians on the reverse.

He chose an all moving light rig because parts of the show were still “work in progress” and constantly changing when they first hit the road, so he needed complete adaptability to go with the flow and modify lighting at any point.

They also kicked off playing a series of smaller venues before upscaling to larger theatres and city hall sized spaces after the first month, so again, he needed the rig to be versatile.

Apart from the given of highlighting the set, he knew that some stand up style routines would be performed downstage of the red velour front tabs …. Calling for plenty of glamour and glitz for the rock 'n' pop moments and lots of options for the theatrical elements.

The front truss contains 5 ColorSpot 2500E ATs and 4 ColorWash 2500E ATs and is rigged at least 5 metres from front-of-stage where possible, creating a real 'advanced bar' feel and giving proper front wash coverage. This helps fill the stage when it becomes busy as they are only carrying 2 follow spots.

For the start of the tour (in smaller venues) they used Robe 700 fixtures on this truss - supplied along with all the rest of the lighting by Sonalyst.

Ollandini remarks that the transition from the 700s to the 2500s was totally seamless, and he had to do very little retouching to the cues already in the desk with the new fixtures onboard.

Behind the front tabs is a 40ft wide by 18 deep box truss with four 4ft long underhung truss sections, the two rear ones dropping down 6ft, and in front of them, a pair dropping down 4ft either side of stage. All four sections each have a ColorSpot and a ColorWash 2500 rigged on them for side lighting.

On the back rail of the box are another ten 2500s - 6 ColorSpots and 6 ColorWashes.

The box truss also houses the show's 3 projectors supplied by XL Video, and upstage of this is a drapes truss, containing a white cyc and a full set of blacks.

The steps and bridge around the set have LED strips on the treads, and these and other set elements are also illuminated by a scattering of i-Pix Satellite brick fixtures. There are also some additional moving lights on the front rail of the box truss and the floor.

All lighting is programmed onto a Road Hog Full Boar console which Ollandini uses to operate the show, and this triggers another Full Boar running the Catalyst digital media server, programmed up with all the video cues.

Ollandini has used Robe before on two occasions - once for the Belfast Paralympics and on the last Ricky Gervaise tour.

He likes the fixtures, commenting that their reliability is excellent for long tours. On this one so far he's been impressed with the respective brightness of both 700 and 2500 Series. He also likes the colour ranges and the quality of the light output.

Ollandini's working alongside lighting tech Ross College, and closely with projectionist Mark Hughes. The tour is currently scheduled to run until January 2009.

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