Rosencrantz And Guildenstern Are Dead by Tom Stoppard and Flare Path by the recently reappraised Terrence Rattigan were among the highlights of the latest season at London’s Theatre Royal, Haymarket.
Shakespeare’s The Tempest and James Goldman’s The Lion in Winter also featured in artistic director Sir Trevor Nunn’s debut season at the venue.
Sound design for all four productions was by Paul Groothuis, who used a specification based around Yamaha digital consoles and DME series digital mixing engines.
Supplied by Autograph Sound, the versatile system comprised a Yamaha DME64N for loudspeaker management, routing audio to a house system of Meyer, JBL and d&b loudspeakers. Console-wise, Groothuis selected a Yamaha DM1000VCM for Flare Path and The Lion In Winter, and a PM5D to suit the more elaborate set-ups for Rosencrantz and Guildenstern and The Tempest.
“Two of the most important things are the reliability of the system and taking up as few seats as possible,” explained Groothuis. “Flare Path and The Lion In Winter didn’t need radio mics on the actors; there was a fair amount of music but no live singing. [As a result] we could do the show with the console on stage. The set-up for the other two productions was necessarily more complex and needed an FOH mix position, so the PM5D was the ideal choice for taking out as few seats as possible, yet delivering everything that was needed from the sound design.”
A long-term Yamaha user, Groothuis praised the console’s flexibility and ease of use. “They are very straightforward, don’t require much training and are so versatile that I can whatever I want with them,” he remarked.