Lighting for the edgy Royal Court Theatre (RCT) production of Tim Crouch’s Adler & Gibb was designed by award winning theatre lighting designer Natasha Chivers, who included two of Robe’s MMX Blade fixtures in her lighting scheme which were used extensively throughout the drama.

The fixtures were rigged on an upstage bar, either side of the centre and used for two distinct and different effects. Firstly as back-light specials, and secondly, with the addition of gobos and crossing to downstage centre, they formed part of a forest break-up look that focussed on a grave.

The MMX Blade units were recommended to Chivers and Jack Williams, chief LX at the Royal Court by Matt Prentice, head of lighting at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) – after they have been very successfully used on productions there.
The MMX Blades were the perfect fit because they are small, lightweight, very punchy and have great optics and shutters, it is also a quiet fixture, which is essential for any drama performance.

The RCT is one of London’s most cutting edge production houses, bringing a constant stream of new, experimental and challenging works to the capital. They don’t have any in-house moving lights, but will hire units as and when needed and according to a designer’s specific wishes.

Adler & Gibb is about the tense headspace occupied by Janet Adler and Margaret Gibb, two major 20th century conceptual artists who hated the commodification of art and retreated to a remote location where one of them died, and the drama is a complex narrative that questions the authenticity and realism.

It was the first time that Chivers had used the MMX Blades and she was impressed by the remote hot spot control. “I like the way it allows the beam to soften and fade away at the edges but retain a rich, dynamic centre which is more exciting and easier to blend with the rest of the lighting state than the normal flat, even beam of most moving lights.’

The MMX Blades – based on Robe’s new technology MMX discharge fixture, which is comparable output to 1 200W luminaires and with a framing shutter system into the optical path – were used in most scenes on the drama, integrated with some moving spot lights and TV lighting.