EM Acoustics raises the roof with Fiddler
Tuesday, 9 July 2019
fiddler2019jp00150Fiddler on the Roof has taken up residence at London’s Playhouse Theatre
UK - Following a sold-old run at the Menier Chocolate Factory, Trevor Nunn’s revival of the classic Broadway Musical, Fiddler on the Roof, has taken up residence in the West End at London’s Playhouse Theatre.
Sound designer Gregory Clarke was approached by Nunn to design both productions. Clarke chose to use EM Acoustics equipment throughout, based on a main Halo-C line array system supplemented by EM Acoustics’ EMS Series for the wider vocal and orchestra systems.
Clarke explains that the design brief for this version of Fiddler was to create an immersive experience for the audience. “A great deal of work was done to modify the auditorium in order to transform it from a familiar West End venue into a plausible Russian village. It looks and feels wonderful but inevitably loudspeaker positions were severely limited. Halo-C was instrumental in mitigating this and the sheer headroom in the smaller EMS Series boxes meant that even where space was almost impossibly tight, audio delivery was not compromised.”
The main proscenium arrays comprise L/R hangs of five cabinets each and a centre array of 10 for a total of 20 Halo-C elements. “I specified HALO-C because I simply adore the way it sounds,” declares Clarke. “In fact it is fair to say I fell in love the first time I heard it, not least because finally I knew I would be able to use a line array with full confidence that the audio performance had not been compromised. The AMT high frequency drivers were a revelation and a genuine game changer. I had already used the system on UK and Broadway shows and so was familiar with its capabilities in a wide variety of contexts.”
Clarke has supplemented the main arrays with a panoply of EMS Series cabinets to ensure smooth and even coverage across every seat in the theatre. The wider vocal and orchestral system consists of EMS-81s, 129s, 61s, 51s, and 41s and 112 subs.
Tom Aspley, head of sound at the Playhouse Theatre, comments: “This is the first time I’ve used EM Acoustics speakers on a show and it’s always a welcome opportunity to try out different equipment. I like the small speakers such as the EMS-51s and 61s which we use for delays and fills; they perform just as well as a similar speaker from some of the bigger manufacturers.”
(Jim Evans)

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