Stage UK has recently completed their largest installation to date. Turning Heswall Hall, a community centre run by the Heswall Hall Community Trust, in to a multipurpose entertainment venue able to cater for everything from live music, to theatre, and even conferencing.
Stage UK has been supplying the Hall’s budding music program for many years before being brought on to look in to the possibility of upgrading the Hall’s dated and failing Sound and Lighting systems. Along side the consultants, Theatre Plan, we designed a new installation to bring the venue in to the 21st century. This involved the full removal of the existing rig, including the condemned over head fly bars, PA and projection. All to be replaced with like for like, or in most cases better equipment.
From day one, the Trust knew they wanted to go down the route of a fully LED lighting system after hiring various LED units from us in the past. This would vastly improve Heswall Hall’s capabilities, moving away from their existing PATT 123s and PATT 60s, while also helping to reduce the buildings power consumption. We decided to go down the route of Chauvet for profiles, fresnels and Cyc units. We also utilised the cost effective Martin Rush Par2 Zoom for colour overhead. For control, we opted for an Avolites Quartz.
A large part of our brief was to make the systems as user friendly as possible, while still keeping the level of flexibility needed from professional users. With this in mind we installed 4 IWBs on stage overhead, each featuring 12x 16amp Circuits and 4 DMX lines. In the auditorium we installed 4 new IWBs around the edge with plenty more 16amp and DMX lines to each, as well as a new IWB in the centre of the auditorium to cater for local amateur productions who regularly put on shows on a thrust stage.
At stage level we installed 4 facility panels, one in each corner of the stage, with DMX In and Out as well as more 16amp circuits. These joined 3 new panels in the auditorium allowing patching of data all across the venue.
Heswall Hall consists of 3 spaces; the Main Hall itself and two smaller breakout rooms, one of which joins to the rear of the Main Hall allowing it to be extended further back when required. As Stage UK had been asked to spec new audio infrastructure for the entire building. We decided the best way to ensure flexibility of audio routing between all areas would be to use a central DSP based system that would be capable of routing and processing all inputs and outputs for the building, and providing an easy to control interface for staff. The system also allows multi-zone paging to all rooms and backstage areas.
Having used Symetrix Open Architecture DSP systems before, Stage UK designers decided to go with a Prism 16×16 Dante DSP. We extended its extended with the addition of an xIN12 Dante input expander unit and xControl External Control Expander. For user control we decided on 3 Arc3 wall panels, which are installed in the 2 smaller breakout rooms and 1 for the bar audio control. The Main Hall has a T5 touch screen interface to allow control of PA system levels and different configuration presets, depending on the layout and use of the Hall.
For a speaker system for the Main Hall, we decided on an RCF passive system from their Compact Series Installation range. The RCF kit provided a great performance to price ratio and a really flexible range of speaker sizes and dispersion angles to suit our needs. A pair of C5215-96 have been chosen as the main left and right for the stage, with a pair of C3110-96’s installed above the stage as a centre fill and another pair as permanently installed foldback speakers. Built into the stage is a pair of S8018ii subwoofers for low-end reinforcement.
In addition to the main PA, there are an additional three C5212-96 speakers installed as a centre cluster. These are mid-way down the room for when the Hall is used in a thrust stage configuration. Additional RCF speakers are also used for surround sound and delays when the Hall is extended further back. Users of the system can easily switch between PA configurations using the T5 panel, which adjusts delay times and matrix routing of inputs in the DSP. In the smaller breakout rooms and bar areas, we installed Apart Mask Series speakers due to their small form factor and flexibility of both low impedance and 100v line options.
As part of the renovations we were also asked to replace and upgrade the main Hall projection system. The Hall regularly uses projection for a range of applications, offering a successful film club. We decided on a Panasonic MZ670 6,500 lumen Full HD laser projector, which fills a large 16:9 motorised screen which Stage-UK custom mounted into the ceiling in front of the stage. This is fed from a Kramer auto-detecting HDMI switcher. This takes an input from any of the facility panels in the auditorium or stage and routes it to the projector. Audio for the projector inputs is either connected via analogue inputs on the facility panels, or embedded in the HDMI signal. Control for the system is integrated into the Symetrix DSP, allowing the screen to be dropped and projector to be powered up, via the touch of a button on the T5 touch panel.
Stage UK were also tasked with transforming the stage itself in to an area suited to the productions they intended to attract. To do this we looked at a number of areas; rigging, cable management, stage management and storage. For rigging we went with 8 new flybys capable of flying cloths and curtain tracks. Due to Heswall Hall’s limited height a we opted for a winch system from Hoist UK.
New cable traps have been installed in each wing to reduce risk of trips from cable coming from facility panels. New working light and show blues, controllable from switches and their new custom prompt desk which has also been designed by Stage UK. The shell is from 5Star Cases and housed all the key features you’d expect from a prompt desk such as screens for the patchable show feed cameras. It also houses the Comms base station, projector and audio inputs, control for the main house tabs and a calls system which can choose from any of the zones backstage or front of house.
Finally, Stage UK installed new emergency lighting and DMX controlled RGB house lighting in the auditorium.
Heswall Hall now offer a wide ranging program of events. From their entertaining comedy evenings to their ever popular Three Bands Live as well a huge host of tribute and original acts, all possible thanks to their Technical Redevelopment and thanks to the hardworking staff at Stage UK.
If you’re in need of an installation, don’t hesitate to Get in Touch, we’d be more than happy to help!