Sydney has a new theatre and by all accounts, it’s a ripper!
The Sydney ColiseumTheatre, West HQ in Rooty Hill gave its first public performance last week, unveiling a new, multi-purpose, 2000-seat venue that is a great addition to Western Sydney and the Sydney theatre scene generally.
Designed by Cox Architecture, the Sydney Coliseum is a part of the West HQ destination – the 8 hectare site of the iconic Rooty Hill RSL, who financed the new venue. Built-in just over two years, it’s an astonishing investment and achievement.
The lighting installation was successfully delivered by HF Event Services who were engaged by West HQ fifteen months ago. Immediately, they questioned why so many filament-based theatrical lighting fixtures and dimmers were specified in the original design.
“The current trend is to move towards LED lighting for obvious reasons such as power saving, less maintenance required and no bulb changing,” commented Colin Baldwin, Managing Director of HF Events. “In our opinion, we created a more appropriate lighting specification that is nearly 100% all LED. The only exception being the followspots, which we planned to upgrade to LED next year when more powerful LED engine fixtures become available.”
It was decided to keep four digital dimmers in the specification, for the purpose of touring productions that may require traditional lighting fixtures, artists can be simply patched into the control system. The venue offers 368 stage lighting outlets from the power/dimmer room providing remarkable flexibility.
ELC active DMX units were chosen to provide sCAN protocol over Ethernet to all positions in the theatre. Eight ELC dmxLAN node GB units give the venue full capability of setting all the DMX universes around the venue. The ELC dmxLAN Node 3 truss mount with PoE gives the venue the capability to run nodes to any location in the venue.
Box booms positioned either side of the proscenium can easily be configured with multiple fixtures, however, currently there are eight ShowPRO LED FusionPar H XII per side as well as six ShowPRO LED Profiles per side.
“The ShowPRO LED Fusion Pars are punchy and have a very nice dimming curve,” said Colin. “In total, we have 48 of them around the stage and on the orchestra truss for colour wash. In fact, you could fully light the stage just with the FusionPars.
“We have 34 ShowPRO LED Profile HP which are also on Bridges 1 and 2 and they’ve all been fitted with a general theatre warm, cool gel or open white. Then we added 34 x ShowPRO LED Fresnels with barn doors on the stage bars for lighting up and downstage, in a traditional theatrical manner.”
Ten ShowPRO LED CYC2 RGBAL, can be mounted on a fly bar or on stage from where they can provide considerable Cyc coverage thanks to the two adjustable heads on each unit.
For the all-important moving light choice, the decision was made to go with Ayrton fixtures chosen for their ground-breaking work with LED moving head fixtures. Ayrton fixtures combine compact size and weight, low power consumption, brightness, functionality, wireless DMX capabilities, and state-of-the-art engineering …… plus they look good too!
Ten Ayrton Levante-S compact wash lights that weigh only 22 kg each and deliver light output greater than 20,000 lumens while consuming only 300 W, were specified by Colin.
“The Ayrton line has really impressed us,” he remarked. “The Levante is a very punchy wash light and has great capability with gobos and beam shaping. It’s a marvel of technology that should keep the most demanding lighting designers happy. I’m hoping the venue will add more of these to their inventory next year.”
For a venue that is designed for an extremely wide variety of events, a stage lighting design that could cater to absolutely everything was necessary. The original spec called for Ayrton Mistral-S, which Colin had no hesitation including in the redesign.
“The Mistral is a superior, compact and light-weight LED profile that delivers a very high light output,” he added. “They also have amazing optics, great gobo selection, colour mixing and when partnered with the super-quiet Levantes, complement each other to provide a wide range of moving light effects and coverage. We hope all touring shows take advantage of them.”
A couple of Look Solutions Unique Hazer 2.1 units, chosen for the reliability and price, ensure all these aerial effects and gobos are seen in all their glory.
For control, there was no other option than MA Lighting with Colin recommending the new release grandMA3 to Bicci Henderson (Head of Technical Production at West HQ). As Colin pointed out, MA consoles are the most widely used lighting surface on the entire planet!
“Some people however questioned why I didn’t opt for a more traditional theatre lighting console, but I just referred back to the brief, which was to provide a lighting system suitable for a multi-purpose venue,” he added. “You really can’t go past grandMA consoles.”
Colin and his crew couldn’t fault the service and backup provided by Show Technology, particularly from Gareth Mealing who was their main contact on the project.