Parliament Square

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Parliament Square
Parliament Square Pic.jpg
Summary
Dates
2nd to 4th October 2021
Performance Course
Third Year BA Acting
Location
RS2
Creative Team
Director
Becky Hope Palmer
Designer
Sound Designer
Lighting Designer
Assistant Lighting Designer
Production Team
Stage Manager
Deputy Stage Manager
Assistant Stage Manager
Head of Stage
LX Programmer
DLPX
Production Sound Engineer



Overview

Kat gets up one morning, leaves her family behind and travels to London to carry out an act that will change her life and, she hopes, everyone else’s. For those it touches, their lives will never be the same. But what, in the end, are the real consequences of her actions?

Stage Management

TSD

Design

The design was Fairly simple for Parliament Square. it consisted of a 600mm high platform made up of steal deck a couple of flown pieces and a CYC and Legs. Along with a lot of smaller set pieces and set dressing


Ground Plan

Flown Set

Kit

Lighting

Sound

File:Parliament Square - Sound cable plan 2.pdf

Equipement

Allen and Heathe SQ5, Sound Design Mac (used for recording), QLab with a Pro License, Wireless Work Bench, Shure UHFR Rack, 9 Cast on packs, 2 handheld mics.

Speakers

This show was a fairly standard setup of RS2 as a venue. This meant using the KV2 EX6 Active speakers, one in each corner of the truss. In addition to this, I had an EV passive speaker (from the sound cages) under the centre platform as a spot speaker. Later on in this process, as we were going into the last few days of tech, I added subs to my design. One on either side, under the platform.

KV2 EX6s For a while, I had a big debate in my head over I was using the back two speakers as foldback or as part of the PA. In my head, this was something I very much had to decide early on as a strict one or the other. In reality, they were a bit of both, and i understand now this wasn't really a valid debate as I was sending the same thing to them so it didn't really matter either way. What I ended up doing though, was delaying the front set of speakers to the back ones. For me, this pushed all of the sound back a bit to behind the platform, and therefore behind the actors. As none of the actors were miced for the live performances, I felt this put them "in front" of the sound a bit more.

EV Platform Speaker Looking back on this setup, that platform speaker was the backbone of my design in my eyes. I'm so glad I put it in as it gave me so much more to play with storytelling wise, and also when shaping my stereo image. Anything that had to be on stage specifically, I sent it through the platform. I ended up putting all of my ambience (or music) through the main PA, and all of my other effects and sound through the platform speaker. To my ears, this made a nice disconnect and allowed the sounds to cut through more, and the ambience to be left alone, which I found to be a very nice effect.

EV Subs I added these on the second last day of tech I believe. These subs are rehearsal room subs found at wallace. They were not particularly good, had a lot of high end and from under the platform sounded very muddy. This wasn't ideal, but in the end it didn't matter too much. I added those subs to create a very physical effect on the audience, as opposed to a purely sonic effect. The rumble of the fire, the very lowest notes of my compositions, these are the things that the subs really added to (even with the incredible low end of the EX6s).

Technical Challenges

DS1 Distortion and Phone Calls

At several key moments during this show, there were phone calls between the main character and her family. These are some of the most heartbreaking and emotional points of the show, as well as being some of the funniest, due to this I wanted wehatever the effect to be, to be very visceral and as realistic though stylised as I could. To create this effect, I used two of the UHFR Handheld mics on stands at the SL and SR sides of the stage, and actors walked up to these and spoke when they were on the phone. The sound came though only my platform speaker (again, it really was the backbone of this design), as this is where the actor listeneing on the phone was. It was a very harsh high cut and low cut on it, with a boost on some of the more "phonelike' frequencies. This effect was good, but I felt as though it needed something else.

This is when I brought in my DS1 Guitar Distortion Pedal. I set it up like you would a rack effect, and had it returning into my desk. This added just enough grit for the phone to sound exactly how I wnated. Sadly, on the day of the first performance, I started getting some horrible noises coming from it and I had to scrap the idea and run with only the EQ. I believe this was to do with the different adapters I was using, however more likely it was the internals of the pedal itself sadly. Dissapointing in the end, but a very nice effect that I would love to try to emulate again.