The highly acclaimed World Christmas Circus returned to Amsterdam’s Royal
Theatre Carre for their 2016-17 season … for the first time with a new Robe moving
light, which was chosen by the hugely popular and successful event’s long term
lighting designer, Wim Dresens.
There are several challenges working in the charismatic neo-Renaissance styled
Carre Theatre which include its high banking bleacher seating on all four sides.
Founded in 1887 by Oscar Carre of the famous German travelling circus, it has had
a colourful history. Originally built as a circus venue, it now hosts an eclectic
variety of entertainment.
Being staged in the round, most of the lighting positions have to be from above, and
as in past years, a 15 metre diameter circular truss was installed approximately 15
metres above the ring, and a 5 metre diameter one at 17 metres, the roof’s highest
Dresens selected 19 x Robe BMFL WashBeams, seven DL4S LED Profiles and 32 x
Pointes to be the main moving lights this year … and he is delighted with the
The 58 Robe moving lights were the primary fixtures on a rig of over 400 units
including lots of generics and LED sources as well as four follow-spots. They did a
massive amount of the visual work and were constantly contributing throughout the
show. Apart from colouring and washing the performance space, there was intricate
gobo work onto the floor and pros arch to complement the acts, while the BMFL
WashBeams and DL4S Profiles were used for numerous specials, key lighting and
On the higher (and smaller) circle were six of the BMFL WashBeams and five
Pointes and on the lower (larger) circle were 20 x Pointes and 10 x BMFL
Rigged onto the pros arch were the other three BLFM WashBeams just above the
raised orchestra box, which was at approximately the same height as the second
tier of seating.
The DL4S Profiles were deployed around the upper circle balcony together with
seven Pointes in similar positions.
Lighting equipment was supplied by rental company Hilversum based Smits Light &
Sound who won the contract as technical supplier for the World Christmas Circus for
the next three years.
The load-in commenced a week ahead of the premiere and the lights were
programmed on the venue’s house desk which was operated for the three week
performance run by Mike Evers. The programming process was intense and took
place over five days, starting with the horse acts.
This, the 32nd World Christmas Circus in fact featured over 120 highly talented
performers most of whom have received awards at the international circus festivals
including clown Rob Torres … so the pressure was on for the lighting department to
come up with something every bit as spectacular and thrilling as the entertainment!