Ambersphere Solutions supports Nottingham students

A major challenge for anyone offering further education in technical theatre or entertainment arts is being able to offer students access to the very latest, state-of-the-art equipment. In today’s rapidly evolving industry, new technology can become almost obsolete within a few years. Administrators at Nottingham New College decided to take a pro-active approach to overcome this.

Technical course leader, Lucy Greaves, explains, “Our FdA Theatre Arts (Acting) students were preparing a performance of Terrorism by the Presnyakov Brothers and the FdA Theatre Arts (Technical) students were providing the technical support required for the play. The director of the performance, Phil Green who is the course leader of the FdA Theatre Arts (Acting) course requested a lighting effect that could focus on an actor’s face. The technical tutor, Andy Atkin suggested that ideally we would require something like a Clay Paky Sharpy for its narrow beam – however, this would be way too bright for our needs and and too rich for our budget.

“After doing a bit of research for possible solutions, I decided to contact Glyn O’Donoghue at Ambersphere Solutions. Although the website appeared very approachable it was with some trepidation that I made what was literally a ‘cold call’! However, Glyn was very accommodating and interested in helping us; from there the collaboration began.”

O’Donoghue put Thor Andre’ from the Technical Sales team in charge of the project and he liaised directly with technical tutor, Andy Atkin. “Thor suggested that the Ayrton MagicDot-RTM and the Ayrton NandoBeam-S3TM would be most suited to the needs of our production and that he would drive up and demo the equipment. He also offered to bring a MA dot2 Core console to give the students the chance to ‘get hands’ on with a board that opens a whole range of programming techniques and technical advantages not available on our current control desk.

Rosie Whitehead, the lighting designer and a FdA Technical student in Yr2 comments, “The workshop with Thor enabled me to be able to use the technology in a correct way for theatre and has given our production an extra professional edge. It was a great opportunity.”

Lighting operator, Georgia Boichi-Giovarni is in full agreement, “The dot2 was a wonderfully simple desk to learn and use. The inclusion of the touch screen colour mixer made choosing the perfect colour for each scene so easy and quick.”

Andre’ himself clearly relished the experience, “I was delighted when Glyn asked me to look after this project. Working with the next generation of up and coming lighting designers and programmers is incredibly rewarding.

The play’s director, Course Leader Phil Green fully appreciates the extra dimensions that the inclusion of the MagicDot-Rs and the NandoBeam-S3s afforded. “The provision of the technology from Ambersphere was an invaluable addition to the creative process. For student designers it opened so many options that would otherwise have not been available to them. As a director it was a joy to have those possibilities presented that helped define the presentation of the piece. As a consequence of this it was also a fantastic learning tool for the actors – and it looked amazing.”

Info: www.ambersphere.co.uk

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