ARC Sound has produced corporate functions in the Underglobe, the events space situated beneath London’s famous Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre on many occasions but since the reconstruction in wood of the original Elizabethan playhouse on the Thames South Bank, a full production set up has never been allowed, or indeed attempted, in the main theatre space itself.
To celebrate the Bard’s birthday this month, a concert audio production set-up was allowed into the 1500-capacity space for the first time. As ARC has a long standing contractor relationship with the venue, they were asked to plan and produce a working solution which would meet both the technical requirements of the performances, whilst also being sympathetic to the unique nature of the building.
Billed as ‘an evening of music and magic’ ARC Sound used a JBL VerTec line source array loudspeaker system and Soundcraft Vi series digital mixing consoles as the key sound reinforcement components.
The main loudspeaker system had to comply with the maximum weight load of no more than a ¼-tonne to the oak beams in the theatre’s ceiling.
Headlining were The Magic Numbers, supported by singer songwriter Johnny Flynn, along with magicians Barry and Stuart, Piff The Magic Dragon and Chris Cox. With the exception of the Magic Numbers all other performances took place on an oval thrust, which was in front of the main loudspeaker array hangs.
For the main PA, ARC Sound suspended two symmetrical hangs of six JBL Vertec VT4887A compact line array elements, with two pairs of JBL VT4880A subs recessed under the stage apron. Each driver was individually addressed to provide alignment delay in a mini-cardioid configuration. Added to this were two fill clusters, each comprising three JBL VRX928LA Constant Curvature loudspeakers.
At front of house ARC Sound fielded their Soundcraft Vi4, with 64-channel software upgrade, while down at the stage Raghav Narula was responsible for all of the onstage monitor mixes (also operating at near 64-channel capacity on one of the company’s Soundcraft Vi1 consoles).
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