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Introduction : Lighting Design at the Questors Theatre

The Questors Theatre, Europe's largest community theatre is based in Mattock Lane, Ealing, London, W5.
It has two auditoria:

The Judi Dench Playhouse

The acting area is highly configurable and a thrust stage is used for most productions, although it is possible to configure the Playhouse as a conventional proscenium auditorium or for 'theatre in the round'. Depending on the configuration audiences of 250 to 350 can be accommodated.

The Playhouse set for 'The Dresser', May 1998
The Stanislavsky Room

A more intimate space, usually known as 'the Stanislavski Room' or the 'Studio'. It is essentially an empty box roughly the shape of a squash court. Portable seating rostra allow an almost infinite flexibility and audiences of 80 to 100 can be accommodated.

The Studio set for 'Deathtrap', October 1998
The theatre has an active and very experienced Lighting Department. I first became involved in 1995 and worked on a number of shows, initially as a rigger, before progressing to focussing and lighting operator. I was invited to join the Lighting Committee in 1997, since when I have designed the lighting for 50 or so productions.

In November 2015 Andrew Dixon and I were elected Joint Heads of Lighting at Questors, serving in that capacity until September 2018. Andrew took responsibilty for assigning lighting designers to productions, while my role was to oversee the equipment and develop the theatre's lighting facilities. Successful infrastructure projects have included the implementation of a DMX data distribution in the Judi Dench Playhouse [2016], the introduction of our first set of LED profile luminaires and a dedicated power distribution network to support these and future acquistions of LED fixtures [2017], and an Ethernet distribution system, DMX gateway and console backup system [2018].

p.s. One of the joys of live theatre is that things can, and do, go wrong from time to time.
Here is an example of Coarse Stage Management.

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This document is © Chris Newall 2020 and is not for sale or general publication.

Author : Chris Newall
Last update : 23rd April 2020