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St James Theatre equipped with EM Acoustics

St James Theatre, the first newly constructed theatre in central London for three decades, has been fitted with a sound solution courtesy of EM Acoustics.

The first new theatre to be constructed in central London for 30 years, St James Theatre, has been equipped with an EM Acoustics sound solution. Specifically designed as a smaller, off-Broadway-type south-west London venue, the facility encompasses 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. The theatre’s technical manager, Nick Butler (previously at the New Wimbledon theatre) was also on hand to oversee the project. Theatreplan specified a proscenium LCR system of EM Acoustics MSE-159 2-way medium format passive loudspeakers for the main theatre with three EMS-61s as delays. “The MSE-159s can be moved to different rigging points around the proscenium as the stage format changes from end stage to thrust,” described Smethurst-Evans. “Unfortunately the budget pressures meant that the subs had to be omitted from the design but they can easily be added to the installed infrastructure at a later date, and hired in for certain productions in the meantime.” The Studio Theatre has a pair of MSE-159s as a main PA with a single EMS-81X compact full range loudspeaker for balcony fill. Smethurst-Evans recalled that the size and shape of this venue made the job of loudspeaker selection a challenge. “To make things even more complicated, the stage doesn’t have a fixed position!” Smethurst-Evans. “We decided, therefore, to keep things as simple as possible; stands and rigging were provided for the MSE-159s to give a choice of mounting positions – either hung from the overhead grid or stand-mounted next to the stage depending on requirements. That way we keep everyone happy!”