Royal Grammar School, Worcester

Type: Theatre Design Consultancy – Entertainment System Integrator


We were approach by the Royal Grammar School in Worcester following recommendation from Lett and Sweetland Architects, whom we worked with at Nunnery Wood School, to undertake an initial feasibility study of the entertainment system requirements for the proposed re-development of the Godfrey Brown Theatre. This involved undertaking a site survey to assess the schools existing equipment and its suitability for reuse, meeting with the staff to discuss their current and future needs and imparting knowledge of new products and future innovation and even attending a full performance to see the existing venue in use.

Following on from this initial package we were contracted to act as the entertainment system design consultant for the Godfrey Brown Theatre refurbishment project to prepare a full design and specification package including CAD drawings to go out to tender.

The new arts building included a 246-seat studio theatre, large drama studio, green room, dressing rooms, upstairs dance & drama space and an interactive foyer space. The systems included theatre lighting, performance audio systems, rehearsal and daytime audio, video projection, show relay, intercom, control system, curtain tracks and curtains along with an RGBW house lighting system with a touch panel controller.

Design meetings with the architect, structural engineers, mechanical & electrical engineers went well with everyone embracing the entertainment technology, which is often an area that is misunderstood. We had many meetings with the client, staff and IT department tweaking the design to suit their many requests but trying to keep in budget, which was not always easy. We were mindful of trying to reuse as much of the existing equipment as possible but balancing analogue audio over digital audio technology ensured heated debates. Our view is that students need to be learning on the technology they are likely to use in regional theatre and music events as they may become the future engineers in this industry.

The detailed tender documents were completed on schedule and included over thirty five CAD drawings from equipment layouts and sections, system and cable schematics, equipment rack layouts, fabrication drawings for internally wired lighting bars and socket boxes and installation drawings for the rigging.

The main building contract went out to tender along with the entertainment system package. We were asked by the client to also tender for the installation package to the main building contractors. After the competitive tendering process the main contract was given to Arthur M Griffiths & Son Ltd and we were independently awarded the supply and installation contract offering the best value.