West London based lighting and sound rental company Entec Sound & Light specified and supplied a full lighting and sound rig for comedian Micky Flanagan's current sold out West End run at the Garrick Theatre.
It started with a phone call from Flanagan's tour manager - and also promoter Live Nation's representative - Barry Jepson on the Wednesday.
The kit was loaded in the following Monday, after an operation energising Entec's collective resources, experience and highly streamlined service, plus, naturally, their sense of challenge!
Jepson - who last worked with Entec in the 1990s when LD'ing chart topping dance band D:ream - discovered that although the Garrick was well endowed with house dimmer channels, their lighting fixture count was sparse, so the in-house production spec didn't meet their requirements and furthermore, there was no in-house sound. He immediately called Entec to see if they could help.
Entec's Dick Hayes (Head of Sound) and Adam Stevenson (Lighting) visited the theatre for a reccie, after which they specified and sourced the kit in conjunction with Flanagan's rider ... and made it all happen!
The lighting rig was relatively straightforward and hung on the theatre's house bars. For moving lights, Entec supplied Martin Professional MAC 300 Washes - which fit perfectly into the space and the spec. These were joined by 16 ETC Source Four profiles with 19 degree lenses, 27 x Source Four PARs and three 20-lamp MR16 Birdie Battens.
The vast majority of the lighting was static throughout the performance, and most of the fixtures were used for general stage coverage. For the delivery of Flanagan's gags, it was essential that his facial expressions could be seen clearly from all around the room, and therefore good, clean shadow-free lighting was absolutely crucial.
There was one 'special' moment where he poked his head through the back of the rear curtain - for this show a 40 x 20ft starcloth also supplied by Entec - his face picked up by two of the Source Fours.
Apart from that, the PARs provided a classic red, blue and green wash across stage and the profiles were also used for stage washing and key lighting on Flanagan's marks.
Some of the MAC 300s were used to highlight a 'Micky Flanagan' sign upstage, and the rest lit across the stage and grazed the star cloth.
Entec's Martin Brennan and Tom Crosbie took care of the installation, hooking into the house dimmers. Entec supplied an Avolites Pearl for control and distro for the moving lights, with show operation handed over to the Garrick's own house LX crew for the duration of the run.
Dick Hayes specified the d&b Audiotechnik audio system following the initial site visit. It is a combination of E & Q series, renowned for very clean quality and excellent spoken word reproduction. The show was engineered by Entec's Rob Maynard.
The main speakers comprised three flown Q7s per side, focused to hit the dress and upper circles and also threw down along the back of the stalls. The delays each side were one E12 in the stalls where the width of the venue opens out; one E8 in the dress circle and one E6 in the upper circle per side. There was also an E15X sub per side to add a bit of ‘oomph' for the walk-in music. Onstage, three E3s provided front fills, and for monitoring there was a pair of M4 wedges.
The system was powered by four d&b D6 proprietary amps per side, with all the processing - EQ, time alignment, etc - set up in these.
The console was a Crest XR 20 analogue board. The only inputs were vocals and a bit of playback from Tascam CD1s. Flanagan likes his voice to be completely unadulterated by effects - just as it comes. Maynard used two Klark Teknik DN370 dual channel EQs - for the left & right mix, monitors and the front filling E3s - and two dbx 160 compressors - extremely subtly - on the vocals for which Flanagan used a Shure SM58 wired mic.
"The d&b was a perfect system for this application. The E15 subs are excellent - small and compact and filled the auditorium really well," Maynard confirms, adding that while it was a seemingly straightforward show to mix, much precision was required to craft the exact sound that Flanagan likes - and ensure that the image was nicely audible in every seat in the house.
It was the first comedy show that Maynard had mixed although he has done a lot of open mic spoken word work and presentations, and he really enjoyed the experience and the West End vibe.
Barry Jepson was delighted with all the Entec elements, "It's been a great experience all round," he enthused. "Putting productions into the West End can be chaotic at the best of times, specially at short notice, and the whole Entec team immediately reacted and dealt with everything".
For more press info on Entec, please call Louise Stickland on +44 (0)1865 202679/+44 (0)7831 329888 or Email ‘[email protected]'. To contact Entec direct, call +44 (0)20 8842 4004 or check www.entec-soundandlight.com.