I'm in Melbourne for the ISES REC and we have just enjoyed the welcome party at the legendary Princess Theatre. Even for someone who has the theatre background that I have it was quite a thrill to be taken into the circle to have a look at the set-up for Phantom of the Opera.
Our host tonight was Jason Marriner who's father was responsible for saving the Princess along with the theatre history of Melbourne.
Marriner Theatres technical manager, Mark Allan talked about the history of the theatre and Ken Roach who is head of production for the touring production of Phantom enlightened us on the current production that was in the bump-in process. The delegates were very interested in the process and the questions kept coming.
Some items of interest - the original production at the Princess used over 800 lights, since moving lights were introduced into the rig a couple of years ago the size of the rig has halved (including 96 movers) and the so has the focussing and plotting time. In fact there are now more speakers FOH than lights. And the main FOH speakers are hidden behind the false pro so looking at the stage no speakers are visible.