A progressive independent church in South Wales has enlisted Marquee Audio to help upgrade its audio system. Darran Clements, head of sound at the Kings Church in Newport, Gwent, wanted to increase the audio front-end and called in freelance engineer, Matt Creed, who has an extensive background in live sound. "The old mixing desk was eight years old; it was no longer big enough and had reached the end of its life. I was asked to find the most appropriate replacement," said Matt, "and so I called Jimmy Potter at Marquee Audio and he recommended the Allen & Heath ML4000-48."
The church needed greater number of inputs to accommodate its expansion and to ensure some future-proofing. "We wanted a large number of channels on a small footprint, and there was nothing that could touch this for quality, price and features - it’s one of he most transparent desks I have used," stated Matt. "With theatrical productions and different band setups requiring a lot of channels - as well as six stage mixes - 50 inputs was the minimum requirement."
The church went on Marquee’s recommendation for the ML4000, which is configured 48 mono, 2 stereo, sending mixes to the pre-existing 15k Nexo PS15/PS10/LS2000 PA rig. New QSC amplification was also ordered from Marquee to drive the stage monitors.
Multiple DAS loudspeaker systems have been installed in a refit of 'Bar Ice' in Bexley Heath, south London. Recently acquired by new owners, the venue has received a considerable upgrade to its in-house sound system. Installed by experienced sound and lighting systems company Compa Lighting, the new system replaces the exiting speakers with four DAS Sub-18 sub-bass units and six DAS DS-12 two-way cabinets. Managing director of Compa Lighting, Andrew Matthews, commented: "The 18 inch bass bins deliver superb bottom end that perfectly complements the existing system and are able to cover the entire dance floor area."
The two-way, passive crossover DS-12 cabinets were used to balance the sound in areas beyond the main dance floor and as such they were required to be powerful but compact. The 12" bass and 1" compression drivers of the DS-12s proved perfect for Compa's requirements: "We had to add some reinforcement to one of the bar areas," explains Matthews. "The DS-12s are compact and unobtrusive, but still able to generate high quality sound at very loud listening levels."
Although the results of the combined system were impressive, the performance of the D.A.S. components was so good that it was later decided to go ahead and replace the four remaining cabs from the old system. Compa therefore ordered and installed four additional DS-12 cabs, bringing the entire system up to DAS quality.
When brewer Old Monk required a sound, light and video supplier for their latest Springbok site in Newquay - a former swimming pool which has been converted into a state-of-the-art late license venue - they turned to Nottingham based company TTL. With a design brief demanding a system capable of nightclub sound in the evenings yet with an unobtrusive presence for the daytime trade, TTL project manager Andy Hague specified Logic System loudspeakers throughout. Hague explained: "The main area has a 30ft ceiling height and full length windows along one side, therefore to achieve the necessary SPL, whilst minimising overspill, I needed a very accurate and directional cabinet. The Logic System CS1296 proved ideal. The cabinets are flown 25ft in the air, effectively out of sight, yet still control coverage to 150Hz whilst avoiding overspill in the bar areas. With the bass units being built into dance podiums, we’ve created a stunning dance floor system that is virtually invisible and does not detract from the interior design of the venue."
To complete the system, Logic System IS6 and IS8s are run full-range with the support of IS26 bass cabinets in the bar areas, and are again hidden within the fabric of the design. An Allen & Heath DR128 controls the system and offers the ultimate flexibility of changing the system configuration for daytime and evening use, while an Audace hub was specified to provide localised volume control and source selection behind each bar. TTL account manager Mark Harding summed up the project, commenting: "The whole concept works e
NXT has announced that Amina technologies, a licensee of NXT's award-winning SurfaceSound flat panel speaker technology, has supplied speaker systems to the UK’s Houses of Parliament. NXT speakers have been installed in the refurbished Grand Committee Room and as narrow panels along the edge of the windowsills in St Mary's Chapel. A further eight panels are situated in the Public Lobby where they have been painted to look like the supporting stonework. Amina Technologies' NXT flat panel speakers were installed by Sound & Visual Limited and chosen over conventional technology because of their superior sound characteristics when used in open spaces. Unlike conventional speakers, NXT's SurfaceSound flat panel speakers disperse sound evenly across all frequencies. Aside from the acoustic qualities of flat panel speakers, NXT has also been chosen because of the ability to blend flat panel speakers in with their surroundings. NXT speakers can, for example, be disguised as pictures, ceiling tiles or even as part of the fabric of the building. NXT flat panel speakers have achieved wide levels of acceptability in the commercial arena and are now found in buildings across Europe and the United States. Installations include several investment banks in the City of London including ABN AMRO, Goldman Sachs and Chase Fleming; Eton College Chapel; Edinburgh University; Gleneagles Hotel; The Cheesecake Café Bar, Brussels, Belgium; the Hotel Kuunpaikka, Finland; Disco Paradiso, Rimini, Italy; several lecture theatres within Barcelona University and, more recently, London's most high-t
PLASA has completed the first phase of its major industry research project, which will provide PLASA members with an invaluable insight into their industry. As well as being able to estimate the global market size for professional lighting, sound, staging and AV products and services, the research also gives a very detailed picture of the market in the UK. For the first time, PLASA has information about the value of the product sectors, how fast they are growing and the size and growth of the various vertical sectors into which its members sell. The findings enable the Association to say some very precise things about its members collectively and the nature of the industry as a whole.
PLASA plans to repeat the exercise every 12 months, enabling it to build up ever-more accurate trend information. A quick flick through the 119-page report reveals that it estimates the respective size by revenue of PLASA’s four main product sectors: light, sound, AV and staging; gives growth figures for this year and next across the four product sectors; breaks the sectors down into sales and rental; includes information on revenue from the provision of services such as installation, design and servicing; sizes the target market sectors and indicates which are the healthiest and the fastest growing; includes information on average company size by staff, investment in training, R&D and marketing.
Members who took part in the survey will shortly receive a free 22-page copy of the overview, together with the opportunity to buy the detailed sections. Members who didn’t take part w
ESS Superstructure has secured a major contract to build a vast 2,500sq.m superstructure building for a high profile, blue chip corporate event. The contract is the first for ESS Superstructure following the recent formation of a joint venture between ESS Ltd and The Pure Group. An ESS Superstructure building will be used initially by HP:ICM, one of Europe's leading live communication companies, for a client event involving a global brand. Two thousand delegates are expected to attend a one-day management conference, which will be followed by an elaborate gala dinner to be hosted in the superstructure building. The huge aluminium transparent structure, which is 100m long by 25m wide and 11m high, is based in the grounds of Syon Park in west London. Managed by The Pure Group, the Superstructure will be available for hire as a conference and corporate hospitality venue, in conjunction with a second structure, also commissioned for the site. ESS Superstructure and The Pure Group are in discussion with other sites in London to provide fully-serviced building structures ranging from 900 to 3,000sq.m for conference and corporate hospitality events. Both businesses have been approached about numerous event activities during 2001, particularly between September and December. Tim Norman, director of ESS Superstructure Ltd, said: "This contract win underlines our capability to handle major events. London is suffering from a dearth of large-scale venues. ESS Superstructure is well placed to meet this current demand by providing high quality, fully serviced, custom built venues. T
The Covenant Life Church in Glasgow is about to embark on phase two of a significant Crown-driven Nexo installation. The 800-capacity venue, which has sister churches across Scotland and as far afield as southern Germany, has been in residence at this site for over a year and is delighted with the new audio installation, which has so far has been completed by Sound Control in Glasgow with equipment supplied by Fuzion plc. Currently it comprises a pair of Nexo PS-15s and an LS-1200 at the front of the church with a pair of PS-10 delays driven by a Crown MA-2402 and an MA3600VZ. Phase two, which is due to start shortly plans for up to four PS-15s to be sunk into the stage behind grilles so that they do not disturb sight-lines for TV cameras or indeed the congregation, a PS-15 to act as a monitor for the drummer and keyboard player, and up to four PS-8s to be flown either side of the stage area as infills for the singers. A further four PS-8s are destined for the balcony area which is under construction at the back of the church.
The Church's head of sound Barry Nicholson, explained: "We've been hankering after a Nexo system ever since we first heard one with friends down in a church in Wales, so as soon as we moved into our new building, we set the wheels in motion. Despite hearing demos from other manufacturers, we found that nothing came close to the Nexo. The power and clarity produced from such compact boxes, especially the PS-8, is truly amazing. And I must say the team at Sound Control and Mick Butler from Fuzion have both been marvellous throughout, always ready
Hayden Laboratories, exclusive UK distributors for Rane Corporation products, has supplied a Rane ECS-Engineered Conferencing System, with automatic mic mixers, to the Co-operative Wholesale Society (CWS) HQ boardroom in Manchester. The installation was undertaken by locally-based Akwil Projects. The site is on the 13th floor of a 1960s tower block in Corporation Street, downtown Manchester, overlooking the MEN Arena, Granada TV Studios and Boddingtons Brewery. The boardroom is an interesting space consisting of a square boardroom with listed internal décor and ceiling. The room’s major acoustic challenge was presented by the listed ceiling which has multiple early reflections. Eddie Akka of Akwil Projects, who also installed the original SR system in the same boardroom 20 years ago, was called in to specify a 21st century system. Eddie consulted various suppliers and asked them to assist in producing the definitive design for a new SR System, which had to be simple and automatic in use. Ian Downs of Hayden Laboratories produced a practical system design and specification that not only fulfilled all CWS’s requirements but also left plenty of headroom for the development of future technologies, as CWS were keen to harness the potential of Video Conferencing – as well as high quality audio - via the new SR system.
To improve the system’s intelligibility and gain, ceiling-mounted speaker coverage was divided into six zones using a Rane SRM66 matrix mixer, Rane GE215 Graphic equalisers and a Rane MA6s six-channel amplifier. The heart of the system is
Worcester-based PA Company Intasound blasted open the new multi-million-pound Oxtalls Indoor Tennis Centre in Gloucester, with a new Crown powered Martin W8 system, purchased from the Birmingham branch of LMC Audio Systems. Sponsored by Audi and part of the ‘Sport For All’ initiative, this new 20-court complex is designed to bring tennis training and coaching within the reach of everybody. As well as the indoor system for the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Intasound provided a fully integrated son et lumiere system for the inaugural firework display. A specially commissioned synchronised soundtrack, featuring sampled match-commentary and struck balls, was played back through the Martin W8C/WSX combination. Pictured left to right are Francis Dale (Intasound), Paul Collis (Intasound) and Sean Hames (LMC).
Harrogate-based sales and installation specialists Funtime Music has recently installed a number of Camco's Vortex amplifiers supplied by Camco's UK distributor Fuzion plc, into two new Po Na Na venues in Lincoln and Salisbury. Funtime Music, nominated as Installer of the Year at the upcoming BEDA Awards later this year, has the contract for all new Po Na Na venues and plans to install Vortex amplifiers throughout. Funtime's Jonathan Reece explained his choice: "It really wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that Vortex has revolutionised what we do in amplifier terms. We weren't particularly happy with the amps we were using, especially on the bottom end, but Vortex is just leagues apart. They sound superb right across all frequencies, but particularly on the bass. They run extremely cool so operation is trouble-free, and they also look very stylish, which for installations can actually be quite important. The lightweight aspect, although ostensibly more attractive for touring applications, is an added bonus as far as I'm concerned. But what is even more amazing is the price. It's hard to believe that you can get such a reliable, high quality product for the price I'm definitely sold!"
Funtime has installed six Vortex amplifiers in Po Na Na in Salisbury using Vortex 4s to drive the top boxes and Vortex 6s on the bass bins. A further three Vortexes have been installed in Lincoln.
The Golders Green Hippodrome has been the official home of the BBC Concert Orchestra since the early 1970s. The most recent, and probably the most extensive technical refit in recent years was completed at the end of April 2001 and included significant building works as well as a complete studio overhaul. The Oxford Sound Company was chosen to install a new 72-input SSL console, the SL9000J Series, and to integrate it into the existing infrastructure, as well as adding new cabling for the additional inputs. Much of the studio equipment was also replaced, including talkback system and effects units. Main monitoring is via an impressive PMC BB5/XPD system, with Excel-201s for near-field and surround monitoring. The existing 24-track Studer A800 is used as the standard recording machine and additional cabling was installed for ‘guest’ recording equipment to provide 48-track facilities when required. "Working in old buildings not designed for this level of technical equipment always brings problems," said Stuart Edmiston, Oxford Sound's project manager. "This is quite a unique venue with sophisticated levels of recording and live performance equipment working side by side."
The auditorium sound system was also upgraded during the shutdown period with the existing Meyer UPA-1 speakers being refurbished by Autograph Sound. A new 32-channel Soundcraft K3 mixer for controlling the audience sound balance was supplied and installed by the Oxford Sound Company, with microphone feeds shared between the SSL and the Soundcraft via a microphone splitter s
On the 25th April, Golden Princess left the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone and sailed to Southampton, the home of P&O, from where she later set sail on her maiden voyage to Barcelona. She will be based in Europe throughout the summer, before sailing the Eastern Caribbean in the autumn. The main lounge stage on board the Grand class vessel features a four deck high flytower, orchestra pit, large side stage areas and substage area with stage elevators. Many land-based theatres would be lucky to have the facilities provided. A major feature of the new ship is much improved personnel access in the flytower for maintenance of the rigging systems and the large amount of lighting equipment installed in the space. As part of the design process, Stage Technologies developed TanJent (patent pending), an innovative solution to guiding the flybars throughout the full travel of the bar. The flying system uses a variation of Stage Technologies’ proven BigTow winches with patented zero-fleet technology.
In addition to the flying system the main lounge on board Golden Princess includes two stage elevators, with infill covers, a series of cross stage tracks with rigid chain drive for moving stage wagons, a safety curtain, lighting trusses, curtain tracks, rain curtain and Austrian curtain. The automation system uses the latest version of Stage Technologies’ Acrobat console, together with Maxis processing power. The recently introduced Solo is also provided to provide portable handheld control of any axis. The aft lounge features a Juggler console controlling an assortment
Royal Caribbean International has recently introduced the first of its Radiance class of ships - Radiance of the Seas. This stunning vessel is the largest ship ever to have been built at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, and the first joint venture between a German shipyard and an American cruise line.
RCI has a tradition of delivering high quality onboard entertainment and Radiance is no exception. The Viking Crown is the trademark destination on-board Royal Caribbean ships, a spectacular space surrounded by a sweep of glazing, that wraps itself around the funnel at the highest point, providing panoramic views for the passengers. In the evening, the Viking Crown takes on a completely new persona and turns into a major entertainment complex and, in the case of the Radiance of the Seas, this includes a disco, a black-box theatre and bars of various hues.
The disco is called Starquest, and Wynne Willson Gottelier (WWG) has designed a spectacular lighting, sound and video system in the area to get the holidaymakers on their toes. One of the main features is a WWG-conceived Beamlight which has been used to create a cage of 78 sequencing, vertical beams around the dance area. Other effects contained in the feature dome above the dancefloor are Martin MAC 250+s, Roboscan Pro 918s and Acrobats, Clay Paky Miniscan HPEs, Diversitronics strobes and a bunch of neon controlled via Mode Digitrans inverters. All the automated lights listed are fitted with custom gobos. The overall lighting control is provided by a ShowCAD system linked to a Lynx button panel. Two Le Mai
It is rare that a state-of-the-art digital lighting desk should find itself on a school's shopping list, but when Design Technology teacher, Kevin Dutton, from Ninestiles School (a leading technology college in Birmingham), attended last year's PLASA Show there was only one thing on his mind.
By the time he left Earls Court he had placed an order for a 48-channel Strand Lighting 300 Series desk through AC Lighting. With a background in theatre, Dutton has been a regular visitor to PLASA over the past five years. He operates as part of a team that includes Jo Falk and Eddie Halliday from the English faculty, that seeks to promote and educate students about lighting and sound. Ninestiles, which offers its 1400+ students a broad spectrum of GCSE, GNVQ and A Level subjects, has already earned a top accolade from Ofsted, as the school with the highest teaching standards in the country. Dutton says: "Our ambition over the next three to four years is to ensure that every student is assigned their own laptop, as we are working towards ‘anytime anywhere’ learning."
The school has two auditoriums - a drama studio and the school hall, the latter generally configured in the round for school productions. "In the last five years there has been a positive attitude towards developing the school’s technical facilities for performing arts and drama, and this has culminated in the purchase of the 300 desk," Dutton continued. Funding was provided by the PTA, ‘Friends of Ninestiles School’ and Birmingham City Council’s local initiative
Audience members attending Hugh Whitemore’s new play God Only Knows at The Vaudeville Theatre in London may not realise that they are witnessing a small revolution in theatre sound design: Aura associate Robert Tory and Aura director John Leonard have decided to make it the West-End’s first ‘mixing-desk free’ show . . .
The original touring equipment list, supplied to the production by Autograph Sound, included a Yamaha 02R digital desk, along with an Akai S6000 sampler, playing out through Richmond Sound Design’s AudioBox and controlled by RSD’s Showman show-control program to replay the atmospheric sound effects mix, and to ‘fly’ a sinister helicopter effect around the auditorium for the play’s denouement. Both Tory and Leonard, along with Aura’s show-control expert Scott George, were keen to investigate the latest option for AudioBox users, CM Automation’s MotorMix, which adds a motorised fader-pack to Richmond’s audio-playback matrix. The unit facilitates hands-on programming and provides a fader mimic for the AudioBox, as well as providing full remote control for show-running. Following Aura’s comprehensive use of the AudioBox and associated ABEdit software for Madame Tussaud’s New York exhibition (see L&SI, Dec 2000), Leonard and George were confident that the entire show could be handled just by the AudioBox and MotorMix combination and that any other front-end equipment could safely be made redundant.
Aura specified a complete double system, with a standby AudioBox tracking the m
Technical theatre consultant Graham Walne has launched a new website this month. Designed by Lisa Stannard it contains a newsletter, experience-at-a-glance page, full projects list and photographs. Since migrating to Perth, Western Australia (WA) in 1998, Walne has enjoyed some notable achievements in his new home - lead consultant to the state government’s venues strategy; consultant to several local authority venues; lead consultant on the implementation in WA of vocational qualifications for the backstage occupations; co-founder and chairman of the Institute of Independent Arts Consultants (WA); author of a regular column in the Australasian publication Connections and lighting designer of several notable productions for Perth Theatre Company.
The Adam Hall group has announced its agreement with California-based RPM Optoelectronics to distribute RPM’s innovative new Racklight throughout Europe. Racklight represents a new dimension in glare-free directional focused lighting for rack cabinets. Technical advances incorporated in the ‘Racklight’ provide visually uniform, brilliant illumination unavailable in other products. The unique design of the UV-resistant acrylic light guide provides heat-free, concentrated light with no hot bulbs to handle or change, and is guaranteed for five years. Racklight illuminates one metre of rack space with cool, even light. Built with high quality materials around dependable solid state lighting, ‘Racklight’ is a safe and durable addition to any rack equipment, and is available in a variety of light source colours.
Federal Signal, the leading supplier of public address and voice alarm (PA/VA) systems, is hosting a new summer roadshow to highlight the significance of British Standards for PA/VA systems. The initiative is aimed at consultants and specifiers from across the PA/VA and fire protection industry who need to know more about the issue of operating standards and why it is important to use systems with BS5839 compliance.
The guest speaker will be Doug Edworthy, formerly of Millbank Electronics and a leading expert in systems engineering, marketing and quality management. He has been running his own consultancy since 1994. Jason Hatswell, commerial sales manager at Federal Signal, said: "The road show will explain why British Standards are so important to those responsible for product specification, design and installation. We will also show Federal Signal’s equipment and explain how it complies with the standards."
The dates for the road show are as follows: 14 June, Federal Signal House, Macclesfield; 21 June, Birmingham Metropole Hotel; 26 June, London Swallow Hotel; 5 July, Newcastle Malmaison Hotel. For more information, telephone +44 (0)1625 666600.
The established relationship with British Airways, enjoyed by both the TOA Corporation and Unitek Displays, reached a pinnacle last month when the new Concorde Lounge opened at Heathrow’s Terminal 4.
Designed by Sir Terence Conran, in preparation for a resumption of supersonic services later this spring, the airline’s ambition is clear to see. In addition to employing top designers - including FutureBrand for the simultaneous development of their new First Class Lounge - they also invited spa specialists Molton Brown to create a shower room, steam room and massage area.
In the Molton Brown spa, a discrete TOA PC-5WL speaker can be found in each shower cubicle as well as the massage room, with local volume control independent of the overall level setting. The area is also serviced by a single TOA HB1 sub-bass unit.
However, the scheme in the new Executive Lounges has not been realised without some acoustic compromises. Since the architect requirement was for a completely flat ceiling, the 25 soft-dome, process-controlled TOA PC-121Cs have been utilised without their suspended spheres, designed to allow wide-dispersion soundwaves to be distributed coherently, and panned via TOA’s bespoke Sound Space Design spatializer. Although the sphere has been removed to facilitate total recess-mounting, using TOA’s AC-120 to provide dedicated system control, there is little evidence of cancellation or dead spots. This circular ceiling speaker is run in combination with TOA F-101 full-range speakers, which, like the 121s, house a 4" driver.
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The Arena Club in Exeter has recently undergone a major refurbishment, which included the installation of completely new audio and lighting systems. Installation company PSD specified and installed two Mach M128 and eight M126 top box units, along with sub bass units from Martin Audio. Two BSS Omnidrives provide processing while amplification is provided by Ecler PAM 2600, PAM 2000 and PAM 560 with mixing from an Ecler Mac 901. On the lighting side, PSD specified a large amount of Martin Professional gear including MAC 500s and 600s, Pro 518 and 918 scanners, MX-4 scanners RoboColor IIIs and Destroyers. Two Martin Pro 2000 foggers provide atmospheric smoke effects. Control is from a Martin Windows-based LightJockey DMX controller.
Point Promotions have announced a 72% increase in attendance at last week’s ABTT Theatre Show. The show this year expanded into both of the Royal Horticultural Halls, and had widened its remit to attract 30 new exhibitors. The initial un-audited visitor attendance figures show an increase of 72% over last year’s registered numbers. Point Promotions was appointed by the Association of British Theatre Technicians (ABTT) to administer the change from the ABTT Trade Show to the bigger and improved ABTT Theatre Show. The expanded show featured on-stage technology such as lighting, rigging, drapes and sound and also many exhibitors with front-of-house technology including seating and staging.
The Medusa multi-screen theatre in Bologna, a 31,000sq.ft theatre complex featuring nine separate theatres, has been outfitted with a Mach speaker system and Martin intelligent lighting equipment. Audio is provided by eight Mach Installation series M68 in-fill speakers, four Mach M208 subwoofers and four Mach M62 two-way, nearfield speakers. In the large foyer, eight MAC 600 washlights provide colour wash with eight MAC 250 profile spots adding pattern and logo projections. A Martin ProScenium, a versatile DMX lighting control package for multi-media and architectural applications, is used to syncronize lights, audio and video-trailers for the foyer. Outside the complex two Exterior 600 washlights bathe the building in a colorful mix of yellows and blues while 2 PAL 1200 scanners add gobo and logo projection. Lighting Designer and Systems Integrator for the Medusa project was Roberto Ferrari from Creative Communication Milan.
MAVCO has been involved in the recent $21 million renovations onboard United States Lines’ Patriot - now the largest US-flagged cruise ship. MAVCO’s involvement included the design and installation of audio-visual equipment in a number of areas, plus refits of existing facilities. The renovated areas included the Broadway Lounge, Eagle’s Watch, Founders Lounge and Stars and Stripes Show Lounge; which were all fitted with audio systems. The two-tier Stars & Stripes Show Lounge features revues, cultural shows and nostalgia nights from the 70s: here MAVCO has installed an audio system with equipment sourced from Shure, Apogee, Mackie, Sony and EAW. New areas include the Waikiki Lounge and Outrigger Deck - both fitted with audio systems. The flexible lighting systems for the two areas were primarily sourced from Altman, Leprecon, High End/Powerline and Jem Smoke. The Conference Centre, meanwhile, offers everything from Denon CD and cassette players to 3M overhead projectors, Kodak slide and video projectors and a complete portable audio system sourced from JBL, C-Audio, Lexicon and Mackie.
MAVCO’s expertise and long history with cruise ships enabled them to complete the design/build job on schedule and in their usual style. In addition to their work on the above areas Pete Canzonetta was responsible for putting MAVCO’s stamp on the refit of the Broadcast Room, increasing the TV system from 5 to 22 channels, including 10 satellite channels. MAVCO will continue its association with United States Lines with a contract to design, supply and project m
We have heard much, over the last few years, of theatres being given large sums of lottery cash to undertake major improvements. But what of the poor souls left behind without major injections of cash?
The Hazlitt Theatre in Maidstone is owned by Maidstone Borough Council and, like all other departments of the council, has to take its place in a long queue for what small amount of money is available. A general re-fit was accomplished 20 years ago, but since then there has been no major injection of cash available to it.
Theatre manager, Mandy Hare, took the reins just over three years ago and set about raising the profile of the venue, putting in more events, a wider artistic base, a thriving youth theatre, a regular programme of workshops and a selection of outside events. Production and operations manager, Eric Lund, joined the team just over two years ago and soon realised that the existing resources just didn’t shape up. "I realised that the technical resources available to the two theatres at the Hazlitt were simply not going to be able to cope. With a combined technical budget of just £5,000 to last a year, we were barely standing still. Not only that, all the new equipment which had been put in 20 years ago, needed either major servicing or replacing."
Hare and Lund devised a cunning plan. Knowing that a single major cash injection was not going to be possible, they decided to split their requirements into several separate projects, each requiring only a (relatively) small amount of funding. They took their plan to councillors who, impressed wi