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Founded by Sir Peter Hall, and modelled on the original Elizabethan Rose Theatre on London’s Bankside, Rose Theatre Kingston is the largest producing theatre in South West London. Since opening in 2008, the Rose has collaborated with a range of directors, playwrights and producing partners to create vibrant, engaging and inspiring productions, now enjoying over 150,000 visitors per year.

With an auditorium that lends itself to both intimate and epic scale productions, the Rose, in its 10th anniversary year, recently embarked on a programme to update its lighting system.

Dave Starmer, Head of Lighting and Sound at the Rose “Due to the theatre’s intimate nature and configuration, our lighting was no longer effective as the units were becoming rather noisy and losing their brightness. We met with SLX to specify a new system and a new long-term hire deal to help us consistently upgrade and maintain it.”

SLX, a hire and events company with offices in Bristol, Exeter and London, worked closely with the Rose Theatre from conception to delivery to find the perfect lighting for the venue.

“After trialling various other lights, and taking into consideration the rich variety of performances hosted at the theatre, we found that the Encore Performance CLDs are perfect due to their versatility and performance.” confirmed Ruari Cormack, Business Development Manager at SLX.

SLX supplied the Rose with a total of 34 Martin by HARMAN MAC Encore Performance CLD fixtures on a five-year hire basis.

Photo above: Martin MAC Encore installed at the Rose Theatre, Kingston

Photo above: Martin MAC Encore installed at the Rose Theatre, Kingston

SLX’s Head of Lighting, Derek Lee continues, “The Encores are perfect for a space like this with hard reflecting walls, as they produce next to no noise and have great shutter ability. They also replicate tungsten very well and can be changed to warm tones with ease. The theatre stages a wide variety of productions so the new rig needed to be flexible, powerful and robust for use by both the in house and visiting technicians.”

Since installation, the fixtures have been in action on the world premiere of Nick Dear’s double bill Hogarth’s Progress, and a major revival of Friedrich Schiller’s Don Carlos starring Tom Burke.

“The Encores have been such a pleasure to work with!” says Jess Newton, Senior Production Technician, who programmed with them on Hogarth’s Progress, lit by James Whiteside, and the first in-house production of the Rose’s autumn season. “Having spent the last 6 years trying with increasingly less successful results to keep our previous rig alive, it was amazing to go into a tech week where we didn’t have to swap a couple of lights out every morning before we began.”

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Photo above: Production shot from Hogarth’s Progress at the Rose Theatre, Kingston Photo Credit: Manuel Harlan

“The change to LEDs has been great,” Jess continues. “You don’t lose intensity at all even when zoomed right out, or when shuttered or irised right in. All the features work really fast, which sped up programming time considerably and makes marking and transitions between cues much smoother. They’ve made such a difference and really brought our house rig up to date.”

Next on at the Rose is its Christmas Show, Hansel and Gretel, opening on 8th December and running until 6th January 2019.

To find out more about the Rose Theatre please visit


  • Rose Theatre, Kingston
  • Largest producing theatre in South West London

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