Consoling Macbeth: Australian Shakespeare Company’s new ETC ION

Posted on Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

The Australian Shakespeare Company were about to put on a technically difficult version of ‘That Scottish Play’ (M.A.C.B.E.T.H.) when their old lighting desk finally past on. Having a show about to debut and having your desk die when you’re about to plot is not fun for anyone, least of all the production manager, who needed to quickly find a replacement.

“Needing a console that would do the job not only for Macbeth but also for all of the other shows that we put on through the year is a must,” mentioned Production Manager Ashley Groenen. “We did five shows this past summer alone.”

What they decided they needed was an ETC ION 2k with a 2 x 20 fader wing.

“We had a look at the ION last month when it was in the Ath (Athenaeum Theatre) with Melbourne Opera and straight away thought it was a desk that we would love to have” commented Tom Webster, Athenaeum Theatre’s Operations Manager and Australian Shakespeare Company’s Technical Co-ordinator “So when our desk died we called Clearlight Shows to get a replacement, they sent out their hire Ion to get us up and running until our new desk came in the following week. Gordon Boyd from Clearlight Shows assisted with technical support to get us up and programming which helped us greatly in the transition to the ETC Ion.”

Macbeth, being performed promenade-style, has a demanding technical fit-out down in Shed 4 at Melbourne’s Docklands; 3 stages, 2 areas, actors moving in and out of the audience, 14 movers, 28 LEDs, 30 conventionals, 2 UVs and a few smoke machines. These all required a reliable and capable desk and operator, Ben Coe (pictured at the top of the BioScaff) stepped up to the plate to fill the role. “It’s a great desk. It’s powerful, simple to operate, easy to get my head around and thinks like I do.”

The Australian Shakespeare Company was founded in 1987 by Glenn Elston, Artistic Director and Producer, and operates from above the Athenaeum Theatre in Collins Street Melbourne. It has played to over a million people throughout the country with, amongst others, the successful and critically acclaimed annual seasons of Shakespeare Under the Stars and The Wind in the Willows featuring some of Australia’s finest professional performers and creative artists.

Australian Shakespeare Company produce several entertaining shows throughout the year for all ages. Check their website for more details