DPA’s d:facto 4018V Vocal Microphone is being used extensively in the staging of SIX the Musical.
The look and handheld nature of the microphone conveys the concert-like atmosphere that this hugely popular West End theatre show aims to replicate.
“The d:facto 4018V is a vital part of SIX’s visual imagery because the Queens (the main characters) convey their message using a handheld device,” sound designer Paul Gatehouse explained. “The show’s creators, Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss, wanted to present a unique experience, something that referenced Beyoncé at Roseland. Working with handheld microphones allows us to do that in a very powerful way.”
Written by Marlow and Moss while they were studying for their final year exams at Cambridge University, SIX the Musical is a modern re-telling of the lives of the six wives of Henry VIII. The story is presented as a pop concert in which the wives take turns singing in a bid to persuade the other wives – and the audience – that their time with King Henry was far worse than anyone else’s. Since opening at the Edinburgh Festival in 2017 it has been a huge success and now has an indefinite run at the Arts Theatre in London’s West End.
With the exception of one DPA d:vote 4099 Instrument Microphone, which is used to amplify an acoustic guitar on stage, the only microphones used on this production are the d:facto 4081V Vocal Microphones, supplied by DPA’s UK subsidiary Sound Network.
“I wanted to use working microphones, not just props, so I was looking for something that was super clean and pop-y sounding and didn’t colour the actor’s voices,” Gatehouse said. “That meant using a condenser microphone and that, in turn, led to the d:facto capsule. The fact that DPA makes the 4018V capsule adaptable with third party transmitters is great. We use a Sony DWX digital wireless system and the combination of this and the d:facto capsule gives us a really pure, clean sound.
“At the Arts Theatre, we are lucky enough to have a very high end sound system, so even though it is a small space we can really pack a punch,” he added. “However, sound in a smaller space has to be controlled and gain before feedback is the main challenge we are dealing with. What I find with the d:facto 4018V is that, even off axis, it behaves like a dynamic capsule because it is really safe at high levels.”
DPA’s d:facto 4018V capsule has also been a hit with the actors playing the Queens because they can clearly hear their own voices in their in-ear monitors.