- Technical theatre student Bradley Allen has used an Avolites Titan Mobile armed with the new Titan V9 operating system to light a production of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream at Colchester Institute.
This production saw Extended Diploma Acting students perform Shakespeare's famed romantic comedy, following events surrounding the marriage of Theseus and Hippolyta.
Allen, now in his second year of study, chose Avolites from a number of console manufacturers, controlling a lighting rig including 24 dimmers, 4 Robe Colorwash 575XTs, 2 Robe Colorspot 575s, and both Chauvet and Visage LED parcans from the Titan Mobile console.
"The brief for the lighting was that it should look timeless," says Allen. "The lighting process needed to be smooth and not cause issues. I felt Titan offered the most useful features for me."
Avolites Titan is renowned for its world-class rock and roll capabilities, with thousands of artists and lighting designers, big and small, using Avolites consoles to control their lighting worldwide. No less important is the wealth of theatre specific functions in Titan.
"The Titan Mobile is a brilliant console for theatre shows," says Allen. "It gave me the power and features of a full console, but in a tiny space. The new features are intuitive and easy to work out - I've never had any issues with finding anything or trying to work any features out, it all just works.
"The GUI is very user friendly, everything is clear, one thing I prefer in Avolites over others. You can customize the window layout so I could see everything I needed to, and it wasn't cluttered with the things I didn't need. It just makes sense to me in a busking sense, everything is in front of me, or exactly where I'd expect it."
The network connectivity of Titan allowed Allen to patch his fixtures without concern. "Using the Titan Remote app on iPhone sped up the focusing process, saving me from running back and forth, or having someone sat on the console doing nothing else."
It was the theatre specific tools, however, that particularly stood out to Allen for this project. "It is clear to me that the cue stack and theatrical features have improved," he notes. "Down to the little things, everything has been thought about, such as the auto scroll in playback view. It meant I could easily see the details of upcoming cues, without having to scroll to find them."
Another cue function allowed Allen to see cue fades on within the software. "Seeing this on screen is good, it tells you how long is left and when each fade is complete. Very handy for long fades you can't really notice!"
Allen also took time to comment on the updated Move in Dark, Palettes and Live Timings in Titan Version 9: "Move in Dark works very well, I didn't have to program extra cues, and fixtures were ready to go on 'Go'. Using palettes I could update positions and other attributes when actors and set moved places at the click of a button, rather than having to reprogram whole cues.
"Live timings makes it easy to change the times on the fly, brilliant when something on stage doesn't go quite as planned. And it's also simple to change times in the playback window," he concludes.
Discussing the overall advancements that Titan has made in its latest iteration, Allen believed the software to be amongst the best. "Titan has now caught up with standards in the theatre industry," he says. "I feel comfortable using Titan in a theatre situation, and would personally favour it over other solutions. The new features mean the console makes your design and ideas a reality with just a few button presses, and it doesn't limit me. I can experiment with creativity rather than stress about using a console.
"With the improvements being made to theatre features, I can see it quickly becoming my first choice for any event, as improvements will now build on a solid base."
Bradley Allen is studying BA (Hons) Technical Theatre at Colchester Institute.