Parade Into Donmar

Parade the Jason Robert Brown musical just opened at The Donmar Warehouse in London and is set for a nine week run, with sound design by Autograph’s Terry Jardine and Nick Lidster, a partnership that has recently been heard on Sinatra at the London Palladium and A Model Girl a new musical at the Greenwich Theatre.

The Donmar poses many problems when it comes to sound design for a musical, mostly due to its studio size and the fact that the audience is seated on three sides of the thrust stage. Also the nine-piece band has to be shoehorned into a small three-story space on the right side of the auditorium, creating the challenge of preventing the orchestra from becoming the overpowering element of the production.

Both Lidster (Pacific Overtures) and Jardine (Grand Hotel) have designed musicals at the Donmar before so they were fully aware of the problems ahead. On this occasion they chose to build on their previous designs and to mostly use loudspeakers made by LDS in Sweden. The ribbon-based technology has served them well in the past so they used a combination of LDS 800, LDS C100, LDS SP88, and SP18 loudspeakers complimented by EM Acoustics I-8 and I –12 subwoofers.

This combination of products has proved to be very successful, prompting the reviewer in “Variety” to comment “Applause breaks are limited to the curtain at the end of each act, making transitions between dialogue and song utterly seamless. This is aided by a first-rate sound design”.

Parade is at the Donmar until November 24, 2007.

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