Mateusz Karon, deputy of technical manager the Teatr Dramatyczny m. st. Warszawy (Dramatic Theater of the capital city of Warsaw), is very happy with the new Robe Tarrantulas – the most powerful of the current LED wash beam range – that are part of the house lighting rig for this important venue, which has been at the forefront of producing Polish drama since 1949 and ensconced in the Palace of Culture and Science venue since 1955.
There are two performance spaces – ‘Big’ and ‘Little’ stages – at the Palace of Culture, and the company also runs programmes in two other buildings around the city.
These four stages offer a busy and vibrant schedule of modern, classical and new works with a reputation for excellent acting and tackling relevant contemporary issues.
Each space stages between 10 and 12 shows a year, primarily their own productions, which equals a lot of annual performance activity!
Mateusz oversees all things technical in the main Dramatic Theatre building and creates new lighting specs as and when they are needed to ensure they keep pace with developing technology. These then go out to open tender.
When initially looking for new fixtures for key lighting – with Tarrantula as one of the contenders – Mateusz and his team were all impressed with the controllability of the fixture, and beyond that, the sheer power, which they thought would be perfect for the 460-capacity Big stage – in addition to key lighting duties. They also wanted a source with a high CRI … and Tarrantula fitted all the criteria.
The decision to choose the Tarrantulas – delivered directly by Robe’s Polish distributor, Prolight – was a collective one made by Mateusz and the Dramatic Theatre’s lighting crew in consultation with some key individuals including deputy technical director Mariusz Guglas and influential lighting designer Ewa Garniec.
“As well as meeting all the tender requirements … Tarrantula offered the best value for the money because it was multifunctional,” observed Mateusz, adding that ‘cost-efficiency’ is also factored into any purchases.
The Tarrantulas are the first Robe fixtures to be permanently installed in the building!
Before this, LED wash lights were regularly sub-hired, so having their own is a much better option, and the lighting department of six people and Matteusz are all delighted!
They all love the intensity and strength of the Tarrantulas. In addition to the many drama productions throughout the year, the Dramatic Theatre also produces musicals, and this is an ideal light source with its serious brightness, excellent colour mixing and quality output.
The team appreciates the lights being properly ‘made in Europe’ and the fact that the Czech Republic is a neighbouring country is another plus! Their overall impression is that it’s good to see their neighbours doing well and that Robe is one of the top professional moving light brands worldwide, and therefore a great investment.
One of the first productions to use the new Tarrantulas was the hit “Kinky Boots” – music and lyrics by Cyndi Lauper – which was lit by Lukasz Rozewicz (former head of lighting at the Dramatic Theatre, who is now technical director and LD at Mazowsze, the traditional Polish folk dance company).
However, the very first production to be entirely based around the new Tarrantulas was “Princess Turandot”, which premiered in September and was lit by lighting designer Ewa Garniec.
Photo Credits: Krzysztof Bieliński (courtesy Teatr Dramatyczny m. st. Warszawy), Louise Stickland
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