by Jez Bond
An exciting meeting on site today with our sound engineers, Orbital. We spent considerable time talking through the various sound requirements of the building – a task far more complex than it might first appear…
For those among you thinking ‘what happened to a couple of speakers and a bit of cable’ (or perhaps a tin can and a piece of string) read on.
For a start there are two theatres that need seperate communication within each space (a mixture of wired and wireless headsets) with three dressing rooms that need to recieve show relays (an audio feed so the actors offstage know what scene is happening onstage) from either one space or the other (switchable) with paging overrides from the stage manager to the appropriate dressing room (for the stage manager to call an actor to the stage).
Once the front of house paging is accounted for (stage managers need to also put out calls to the audience before the performance and in the interval) one begins see the complexity.
Furthermore the bar areas will need speakers for seperate audio (music from an iPod) but this also needs to be linked in to the paging system for the stage manager’s calls. In case of a fire the entire system (and we are waiting in confirmation on this) may need to be linked to the fire alarm with voice evacuation control. Oh and we haven’t even specified the PA systems inside the theatres yet – excitingly we are looking at a surround sound option for the main house.
Beyond this, in order to futureproof there is infrastructure that we need to install to deal with kit which may either be used rarely or not for a while.
More on this soon – but suffice to say we will be a well equipped theatre, I imagine the best in London for our size.
Tomorrow hear about our exciting new plans unveiled by our new – first ever – writer in residence, Sarah Rutherford.