UK - The latest lighting console from British lighting and video control manufacturer Avolites is currently being used to control the versatile lighting rig on the National Theatre's River Stage Festival on London's South Bank.
A free outdoor event, the River Stage Festival runs each weekend throughout the month of August. Audiences are invited to see a wide range performances from award-winning dance and cinema to family workshops, live music and theatre.
"The festival's varied performance agenda features over 60 live events," says Huw Llewellyn, the National Theatre's Lighting Resources Supervisor and chief lighting designer for the River Stage. "To meet demand we needed a lighting console that could deliver an extensive range of lighting control options."
The Arena console is the latest control surface in the Avolites Titan range, with 40 precision playback faders and two touch screens for on-board programming. For advanced control, Llewellyn has added a Tiger Touch Fader Wing to his set up, providing him with a further 30 faders.
"For the festival we are running the Arena on the latest Avolites Titan v10.1 software," says Llewellyn. "The software's updated Key Frames Shape feature is great. I use it regularly to create quick effects and looks for the River Stage's wide performance agenda. If I am ever running out of ideas I use Key Frame Shapes to tweak a few attributes and change the direction of the effect within the shape generator - then bang, I have a completely new look. It is a huge time saver."
Alongside Key Frame Shapes, Llewellyn cites v10.1's BPM Master as another workhorse feature in his set up. The feature ensures all chases and their attached effects remain not only at the same tempo, but also in synchronisation with the beat and each other. Effects, including Key Frame Shapes, can be assigned several beats per cycle, allowing for more creative control when programing and during live performance.
"I choose to work with Avolites desks because I work with clients with high expectations," says Llewellyn. "This means I need a high-quality control system capable of delivering the top standard. For me, both Avolites dimmers and desks are perfect."
The River Stage's full programme can be found on the National Theatre website at: https://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/shows/river-stage-2017.
The eclectic agenda includes dance performances from internationally acclaimed dance company, Rambert, musical acts from East London's The Glory and Jazz FM's break through act of the year Nérija. Alongside the festival's performance programme, Summer pop-up's include the Apothecary Cocktail Bar, the National's vintage ice cream and pizza vans and the Garden Bar at the Green Room.