The theatre lighting is controlled by an ETC Gio @5, capable of running any show that comes into the venue, and can handle static and intelligent (moving) luminaries and LED fixtures with ease.

Our backup desk – an ETC Ion (upgraded) – is also available for external hires (e-mail us for pricing).

Experienced lighting designers can download the ETC software that runs on both of our main desks and set up channel patching and use the inbuilt Augment3D pre-visualiser to prepare show files in advance of getting to the theatre. Should you require a copy of the standard rig show file contact the theatre stage director for details.

For small scale events in the upstairs room, we have a Strand 200 12/24 desk, which is also available for use by schools and other outside events.

All lanterns are rigged on fixed overhead lighting bars (stage plan available on request) along with two motorised trusses – one upstage and one in the FoH advance position. details of safe working loads (UDL) can be obtained from the stage director and limits must be adhered to.

The desk powers a mixture of dimmers, comprising one 24-channel Zero 88 Chilli rack, eleven 12-channel ETC Smart Racks and four Zero 88 Betapacks (portable 6-way units). A number of small 4-way portable dimmer packs are available for feeding specials and other channels as needed.

There is a DMX network fed via the control room which allows any of the four discrete DMX universe feeds from the desk to be fed around the theatre. Additional universes are available with a hired-in network node should more channels be required.


An all-round lighting designer/rigger/operator should:

  • Be able to work safely at heights, from extension ladders, A-frame ladders and scaffold tower.
  • Be conversant with the correct hanging methods permissible for lanterns.
  • Be able to quickly and accurately calculate proper loading of the dimmer circuits used in the theatre.
  • Have competency in the use and respect for single and three-phase electrical supplies.
  • Know how to use the various types of theatrical lantern in the house stock with respect to colour, position and focus.
  • Have a working knowledge of the basic operation of the lighting control desk (ETC Ion)
  • Where appropriate be able to specify and arrange the hire from external sources of additional lighting instruments.
  • Should lanterns blow a lamp, be able to safely and properly change the lamp from theatre stores (available on request to theatre staff).

There will be occasions where lighting design CAN be carried out using the house standard rig, in which case much of the above may not be relevant. However, it is recommended that anyone wishing to work regularly on the lighting side of the theatre learns to carry out many if not all of the above responsibilities.

What the Lighting Designer will need from you, the hirer

To have a fair chance of preparing an appropriate lighting plot, the LD will need the following:

  • A full list of the musical numbers/sketches for a variety/dance type show.
  • A full script for any scripted play/show.
  • An idea of the type and colour of costumes being worn at each given stage of the performance.
  • A full set of stage plans if appropriate. (These may come via the SM).
  • Any areas that you will likely wish to have highlighted.
  • Any specific preferences for lighting styles or colour schemes.
  • Whether you will be wanting to use follow spots.
  • Do you wish to use any of the theatre moving lights and/or bring in moving lighting/specials from an outside supplier?
  • For musical/variety/dance shows, a copy of the music being used is often very helpful, including any modifications to said music.

Standard Rig

The Abbey Theatre rig comprises a mix of traditional tungsten and new LED technology.

  • ETC Source 4 halogen profiles
  • ETC ColorSource LED zoom profiles
  • ETC ParNEL
  • ETC Paletta 1 Lustre floods
  • Strand Prelude profiles
  • Strand Prelude fresnels
  • Strand SL profiles
  • Strand Quartet fresnels
  • Strand Patt 223 fresnels
  • Chauvet Colorado Tri-Tour LED
  • Chauvet SlimPAR VW LED
  • Chauvet SlimPAR Quad LED
  • Chauvet EVE-PAR 130 LED
  • LEDJ Omni Tri 9 LED
  • Stagg KingPAR LED
  • Chauvet ColorRail 8-cell LED batten lights
  • Prolight Concepts Equinox Swing Batten LED
  • Robert Juliat Marius MSR Follow spots


We have three internally wired bars (IWBs) over stage and 3 main IWBs front of house (FoH). In addition, on stage there are 6 dimmer circuits at grid height either side of the rear of the prosc arch, 12 at grid height in the upstage right corner, floor dips under stage and behind the prosc as well as at the base of the fly tower. Front of house extras include 2 off 6-circuit drop bars either side of the house, plus hard-patchable circuits to the rear of the auditorium.


Universe 1 controls all dimmer circuits and most of the standard rig LED kit.

Universe 2 has feeds out to a variety of points about the stage and FoH areas to allow for connection of remote controlled equipment with ease.

Universe 3 was added in 2016 and can be set up to address additional hired-in lighting equipment if necessary

Hard Power:

Switched hard power (non-dimmed) is available throughout the theatre for use with any equipment that cannot be connected to dimmer outlets.

Stage – overheads – Bar 1 & 2:

10 lanterns, mix of Strand Patt 223 and ETC Parnel with the following colour washes as standard:
Steel – Lee #
Straw – Lee #
Amber – Gel #
Pink – Gel #
Blue – Gel #
Also 3 x Strand Quartet fresnel giving open white wash to mid-stage area.

Stage – overheads – Intermediate Bars:

Two bars over stage – one upstage of Bar 1, the second upstage of Bar 2. Each with 5 x Stagg KingPar LED lanterns giving variable colour wash as top-light.

Stage – side lights:

4 x vertical drop bars, 2 each side, each with 3 x Chauvet Colorado Tri Tour LED spot.

FoH – overheads – Bar 1:

5 x Strand SL 15/32 zoom profiles for front stage specials
Also 3 x Strand Prelude F fresnel giving open white wash to down-stage area.

FoH – overheads – Bar 2:
15 x ETC Source 4 26 degree profile spot with the following colour washes as standard:
Steel – Lee #
Straw – Lee #
Amber – Gel #
Pink – Gel #
Blue – Gel #

FoH – overheads – Bar 3:

4 x Strand Prelude 16/30 profile spot for specials
Also 1 x ETC Source 4 19 degree profile with house gobo.

FoH – side lights:

4 x vertical drop bars wall mounted at ends of bars 1 & 2.
Drop bars 1 each equipped with 2 x Chauvet Colorado Tri Tour LED spot
Drop bars 2 each equipped with 2 x Strand Quartet fresnel with steel/straw face light.
Drop bars 1 also equipped with 1 x LED UV floods (DMX)

Downloads & Supporting Files

Document TitleDownload Link ETC Support links
Standard rig – WYG versionpdfDownload Eos software page
Dimmer & Hard Power LayoutEos Video Tutorials
Current Lighting Circuit Sheet
Standard Patch ETC Show File