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The award-winning Leeds Playhouse is one of the UK’s the largest regional repertory theatres and has an enviable reputation as one of Britain’s most exciting producing theatres. In recent years it has undergone a multi-million pound transformation which includes improved access to and around the theatre, a striking new city-facing entrance and the creation of an additional theatre space, the Bramall Rock Void.
Autograph have a long relationship with the theatre, having supplied and specified numerous items over the years. Their most recent purchase was 24 channels of Shure’s Axient Digital wireless systems – Tom Cuthbertson, Deputy Head of Sound, takes up the story:
“Our old RF systems were in need of replacement after years of use and unfortunately we also lost the use of around half of them in the most recent Ofcom frequency changes, so it was time to update.
We’d seen all the main brands coming through on touring shows and there were several things about Axient Digital that really appealed to us – the build quality was obviously there and then adding in the really useful things like remote control and network access made it even more attractive.”
The new wireless systems in situ at the Leeds Playhouse
The redundant frequency spectrum management facility is also great for us, as a city-centre location there is a lot of RF flying about locally so Axient Digital’s ability to scan the local spectrum, create a bank of free frequencies then auto-reassign if necessary really takes all the stress out of day-to-day frequency management for us. It’s great in a fixed location, for touring it must be even better!
We also really like the chargers, the charge monitoring is very useful and with two battery modules per pack we just flip-flop through the day as needed. The transmitters are also very compact and in fact the whole system is just so well thought out and usable in a busy theatre environment.
The whole system was easy to rack up and configure as everything you need is included. Adam (Broom, Autograph’s Project And Installations Manager) helped us with a system walkthrough and setup and as always dealing with Adam and Autograph was very easy.
“The new wireless gear went straight into action on our summer show ‘A Little Night Music’, designed by Seb Frost. Straight away the difference between new and old systems was so obvious, with the Axient Digital somehow it sounds a lot less amplified, very clean, much more believable and natural – it’s really clever stuff!”