|ETC Sensor Dimming for London Palladium Theatre|
|Tuesday, 20 October 2009 21:21|
Following two years of planning, the Palladium in London’s West End has installed and commissioned new ETC Sensor dimmer racks – some 670 ways – and a Unison system for the house and worklights as well as the “independent” circuits.
“We knew we needed to replace our previous dimmers, which were installed in 1964 and were definitely at the end of their working life,” explains the Really Useful Group (RUG)’s Operations and Technical Manager, Julian Rees. “When we looked around for alternatives, ETC’s dimmers were the clear winner. They’ve been proven to be reliable, with a lot of installations in the London area. We also felt that we were going to get good support and backup when we needed it. I have no doubt we made the right decision.”
As the theatre was in use at the time, Julian and his colleague, Palladium Chief Electrician David Draude, needed to find a space for a new dimmer room and install all the equipment while the existing dimmers remained in use. And because of the length of time the stage was in use for rehearsals each day, the electrical installers, Raytell Electrical Co Ltd, only had a few hours each morning to fix all the necessary cabling.
“We finally got to commission the new dimmers during a chance dark period between shows,” says Draude. “ETC’s Luke Delwiche came from their technical services department to help check the system – and two days later, we were up and running. Everything went really smoothly. All the cabling was installed in conduits, nooks and crannies so that the audience would never have known any work went on, and we also installed a new, second, gallery above the first in both wings to accommodate the additional power outlets.”
Over at the Adelphi Theatre, which is part owned by the Nederlander Organization, ETC’s relationship with the Really Useful Group is continuing with the installation of Sensor dimming there. “The eventual aim,” continues Rees, “is to have all our theatres using the same dimming equipment – but that’s a very long term goal.”
The installation at the Palladium was held up by The Sound of Music, which included a large cast including young children who needed lots of additional time to rehearse. Meanwhile, the Adelphi has recently finished a run of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
Mark White, ETC’s Regional Manager for the UK & Ireland, says: “I was very pleased to be asked to help design the dimming and control system at the Palladium Theatre. The installation, with help from Ray Dolby of Control Lighting, went well and does what it says on the tin. Every night.”