EM Acoustics equips new St James Theatre

Thursday, 11 October 2012
EM Acoustics equips new St James TheatreThe complex features a main 312-seat theatre and a smaller 100-seat studio theatre (photo: Theatreplan)
UK - The St James Theatre in London SW1 is the first newly built theatre complex in central London for 30 years. Specifically designed as a smaller, off-Broadway type venue in which to develop shows prior to moving to the West End, the new complex, designed by Foster Wilson Architects, features a main 312-seat theatre and a smaller 100-seat studio theatre as well as a brasserie and lobby bar.

The sound design for both theatres was entrusted to Mathew Smethust-Evans of London-based consultancy firm, Theatreplan, who specified EM Acoustics products throughout.

Smethust-Evans worked closely with the theatre's technical manager, Nick Butler (previously at the New Wimbledon theatre) to ensure that the general philosophies behind the equipment matched his approach. Butler was more than happy with Theatreplan's recommendation of EM Acoustics, having already used the equipment elsewhere to good effect.

"We opted for EM Acoustics systems for a number of reasons," explained Smethust-Evans, "not the least of which is the impeccable reputation of both the company and its products in the theatre world. More and more venues are buying EM, and more and more hire companies are stocking it. The second big reason is ease of use. The philosophy of well-designed passive loudspeakers suits adaptable venues like the St James Theatre who require quick turnarounds between shows and formats. The "plug-and-play" approach is extremely efficient."

Smethurst-Evans also cited the fact that the EM Acoustics product range is now extremely comprehensive, which makes it very easy to tailor solutions to venues. "The range is ever-expanding," he remarked. "Mike [Wheeler] and Ed [Kinsella] seem to be able to identify a need for a new loudspeaker and then produce something that not only fits the bill but also sits perfectly within the existing product range.

"Finally, of course, there is the sound quality. All EM Acoustics products deliver great sound quality and they are still improving, which is wonderful. They also represent excellent value for money, enabling us to deliver a great-sounding and cost-effective solution."

(Jim Evans)

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