Following the success of the works on the house lighting system in the Fleming Theatre, the next stage of works was to upgrade the rigging, stage lighting and audiovisual system. Concept design ideas and budget proposals were prepared, discussed and regularly amended. A budget for this was set meaning the works would have to be staggered over the next few years with the initial works for the rigging, stage lighting and audio visual infrastructure being provided. We were again awarded the supply and installation contract.
Given the difficult nature of the building, the rigging proved to be the most challenging aspect of this contract. With the multitude of different roof angles and the need to get the rigging as high as possible in the venue, it meant that the trussing solution had to be both fed through the tubular roof trusses and suspended in other locations. We brought in BJ Designs Ltd to assist in this part of the contract. Following many hours of site measurements and drawings, a solution was formed and custom trussing and brackets were ordered. We opted for Litec trussing using both the QX and FX 30SA versions. With crossed fingers, much head scratching and the odd mallet, the trussing was assembled at high level and fitted with millimetres to spare. Then during a long hot summers day, the main truss was weight tested to over 2 tonnes.
The stage lighting system was a lot easier to install comprising of a new distribution board supplying three ETC Colosource Thru Power distribution cabinets. These were fairly new to the market offering advantages over the Zero88 Chilli Pro Bypass range. These units provide selectable dimming, non-dim or direct through the power to the socket outlets either via the front panel or remotely via RDM. Distribution around the venue was installed with custom socket boxes with 16amp Ceeform sockets on the truss, side booms and stage floor area. A comprehensive DMX distribution network was provided around the venue from a 10 way RDM DMX splitter provided by XTBA. The system was future proofed with the installation of CAT 6 data ties for digital lighting control. The challenge to this installation was the difficult cable routes. After a successful installation, the entire system tested correctly and was then commissioned.
In order to facilitate the future audio and video installation, the backbone infrastructure was installed. This included a full height amplifier, radio mic & processing rack on the ground floor, an AV control rack in the control booth for source equipment and patching along with high level and low-level custom socket boxes. A selection of analogue audio tie lines, digital data network ties, speaker ties and digital video cables were installed around the venue on the newly installed accessible cable management system. The schools existing two speakers, amplifier and audio desk were easily connected to the system to meet their current needs and the system is ready for future equipment additions when budget allows.
The school were using a temporary cloth for a projection screen which had to be erected every time so we installed a 5m wide electric projection screen mid-stage and suspended their existing projector from the new trussing. Their existing equipment was temporarily connected to the new infrastructure to allow for immediate use.
Due to the summer school and other building works, we seemed to spend most of the summer going back and forward to TASIS school. However, we finished just in time at the start of term. Already numerous shows have been through the theatre and the feedback from the staff and technician was that the system is very flexible and easy to use and the school is very happy.