The recent production of Snow White White and the Seven Dwarfs at the UK's Richmond Theatre featured the first deployment of a Flare Audio X2/X0 Compact Vertical Point Source Array system in theatre.
Veteran sound designer Rick Clarke's loudspeaker setup for the pantomime consisted of X2 cabinets flown in groups of two per side, with X0s used as front fills and delays, together with SB21 Flat Panel Directional Touring Sub Bass units.
Out front was a Yamaha CL5 digital mixing console feeding the Flare system directly via a Dante network.
Panto has been a regular feature in Clarke’s calendar – dating back to when his children were younger – with the Richmond Theatre an extremely familiar venue. The extraordinarily tight production schedules make checking out a new system something of a challenge in itself, as Rick explained:
“From arriving on the Monday to opening before an invited audience on Thursday, there was very little time to experiment. I wanted to take a very open-minded approach to using the Flare Audio system for the first time, and in the event we actually needed much less time for set-up than usual, which was a bonus," he said. "We were able to get it sounding right very quickly, without any special treatment. Overall, I thought it performed excellently, with the sound propagating the room fully. It really is different from any other system I have used, particularly in terms of its clarity.
“One very common Christmas challenge is working with artists that are not wholly conversant with live performance – and as everyone probably knows who has experienced this, it takes a lot of care and attention to give these artists an on-stage sound they feel comfortable with. Staggeringly this year, there was not one single comment – they obviously liked what they were hearing right from the first chord. The way Flare works in the room is extraordinary, with a wide reach and very good projection. The clarity is better than anything else I have ever heard – it is as simple as that. Flare Audio has come up with a revolutionary design that really does work.”
Flare Audio systems also featured on two other pantomimes over the festive season – Cinderella at The New Wimbledon Theatre and Aladdin at the Liverpool Empire.
Orbital Sound is the UK distributor for Flare Audio.
Picture: Former model and actress Jerry Hall in her starring role as the Wicked Queen.