White Light On Stage at The Hammond Theatre

Photo courtesy of Daniel Dar-Nell

The Hammond Theatre is a contemporary theatre situated in West London. Seating 380 people, the venue features a range of performances and attracts professional companies from all across the UK. It is also an accredited venue for National Theatre Live, Royal Opera House and the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company screenings. The venue recently decided to upgrade a range of its existing fixtures and approached WL to supply them with the latest equipment.

The Technical Theatre Manager at The Hammond Theatre is Daniel Dar-Nell. He commented: “I manage all aspects of the Theatre on a day-to-day basis with my assistant, which includes managing the box office and the bars all the way through to the technical side. Our programme is mainly a 50-50 mix of school shows and external hires. We also offer live cinema screenings, conferences and concerts; meaning we need a technical set-up that can facilitate all of these.”

Due to the venue housing an increase in theatre touring shows, it decided that its main space required a new desk. Daniel explained: “We use an ETC Ion Classic in our studio and while this works perfectly well for our smaller space, due to the number of universes and outputs required in our main space, we needed something slightly different. I saw the ETC Ion Xe 20 at PLASA and was won over by the features and decided this would be the ideal product.”

The ETC Ion Xe brings professional programming power to any venue. It can integrate into a system with all other Eos family products, allowing users to transition between desks with ease. The Ion Xe 20 features an onboard fader bank that includes 20 pageable faders and a built-in display. The master playback faders can be supplemented with virtual faders or a variety of other options.

Daniel added: “With the Ion Xe, there are some powerful, yet easy-to-use features for a great price point. Its footprint and weight is perfect for moving in and out of the auditorium for programming. As we are also involved in the education sector, it is really important to us to have a desk with an easy-to-use interface and something that is easy for our students to learn on. Given the ETC Ion is becoming an industry standard for small-scale theatres it’s important to be educating the next generation on current products; especially if they continue their careers within the entertainment sector.”

Alongside the Ion Xe, the Theatre also invested in a range of CORE Lighting ColourPoint Minis. With the ability to light up to two storeys, the units feature RGBW LED technology for excellent colour-mixing, can receive instructions from an external DMX lighting desk and is extremely user-friendly.

Daniel stated: “The market is flooded with Battery powered units but the CORE ColourPoint Minis came out on top as they are very lightweight and extremely bright. The IP65 rating was important to use as these units are also used for architectural lighting in the outside spaces surrounding the theatre. The 12 way flightcase is an excellent method of both transportation but also easy charging.”

All of the equipment was used from the moment it arrived and will be utilised on a variety of productions across 2018.

Daniel commented: “I really enjoy working with WL whose service I have drawn on for many years now. They understand that, although we are based within a school, we are a professional theatre with expert staff. They offer the same level of service as the biggest venues in the West End would receive and we are thankful for their help and guidance with this latest purchase.”

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