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Royal welsh College of Music & Drama



The contracts consisted of two major elements: production lighting, house lighting control and technical infrastructure in the 451-seat Dora Stoutzker Concert Hall and the 160-seat Richard Burton Theatre, and a building-wide paging system.

RWCMDA major part of the new Stage Electrics installation was production and house lighting control. Both new venues run on ETC Sensor dimmers; the intimate Richard Burton Theatre boasts a Grand MA2 in one of its two control rooms (sound and lighting reside one above the other because of the room's relatively narrow shape) while the beautifully finished Dora Stoutzker Concert Hall is equipped with an ETC ION, both of which run on a fully integrated ArtNet system. House lighting is controlled by an ETC Unison Paradigm system.
The theatre has fly floors, a Slingco wire grid for safe, hands-on lighting focusing and a full counterweight flying system, over a large stage with generously sized scene dock doors, while the small but beautifully formed auditorium reflects the fact this is a teaching environment rather than a commercial venue.

Production lighting fixtures in the new Stage Electrics installation include 12 Zoom profiles, six Cyclorama luminaires, followspots, Stage Electrics custom internally wired bars.RWCMD

"Another aspect that's great about both the venues," says Simon Denman-Ellis, "is that you're not just limited to the 15 amp standard that you would find in a theatre; there's also Powercon, 16 amp, 32 amp, three phase and non dims, and these are all on the upper end of the technology scale where we can take students in and explain the differences between dimmer and non-dimmer modules."

Future-proof infrastructure
The college's technical infrastructure was designed to facilitate expansion as technology changes. This approach includes facilities panels equipped with fibre optic, audio, DMX and data tie lines between the two main venues, while the rehearsal spaces have simpler facility panels for audio and video relays, allowing them optionally to be used as dressing rooms.
Theatre Projects had designated facilities panels in almost every conceivable location including the spacious foyer / café area where small performances and presentations are regularly held.
Distribution of data lines and tie lines proved a complex undertaking, given the requirement for maximum versatility in an indoor environment that contains buildings within buildings, many with curved walls and little space for straight trunking.

"From day one, Stage Electrics kept me informed all the way along, made sure that I was aware of what developments were happening and if there were any potential snags. And following the handover the team has always responded very quickly and sorted out any problems that I've had as quickly as they possibly can, and I've always been kept informed at every stage. You can't ask any more than that." - Simon Denman-Ellis - Technical Operations Manager


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