Alex Penn, SSE’s Sales Manager, an Aberystwyth Uni graduate himself, liaised with the university’s technical manager David Mitchell to specify and equip according to the particular needs of the different University venues.
“When I moved here just over a year ago, it was obvious that the equipment needed updating,” says the university’s technical manager David Mitchell. “Having never worked in education before, it surprised me that the technical theatre students were still using rather dated methods to run live shows. I knew that this was going to be a one-off opportunity to get the university to buy a system that would bring the learning experience of the students up to date. It was very important that we had something that will still be commonplace in the industry five years from now.”
University students stage productions in a variety of spaces, from the university’s Studio 1 – an ‘in the round’ studio theatre – to a range of venues throughout the town, some of which are geared up for regular live performance and some which are not.
“I found myself constantly setting up small PA systems in odd little venues around the town,” explains Mitchell. “So our new mobile system is ideal for running shows in venues that are not necessarily designed to handle the demands of a live show.
“It was also important to have a system which we can hire out. We are looking to hotels, conferencing and open mic nights as ways to generate more income for the university’s Theatre, Film and Television department. As part of that, being able to act professionally, to walk into a venue and be up and running quickly, with low impact on the client, is all a part of developing the department’s technical standards.”
Both systems have already seen considerable use, the mobile system being an integral part of this year’s Fresher’s party, while the Studio 1 system has featured on an MA student’s sound installation. All-in-all, the new systems have received the university’s universal thumbs up, from the students and staff through to that most critical of faculties – the finance department.
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