A Brief Encounter for Novatech
Posted on Friday, January 24th, 2014
Late 2013 saw Kneehigh Theatre’s production of Noel Cowards ‘Brief Encounter’ grace stages throughout the country. Fresh from Broadway and the West End the theatrical tour began its 3 month journey around Australia in Adelaide’s Dunstan Playhouse before heading through Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney, Wollongong and Perth.
Production for the tour was provided by the Adelaide Based Novatech Creative Event Technology. The team at Novatech worked closely with Arts Projects Australia and Kneehigh in developing a turnkey touring audio and lighting solution to cater for the shows in depth technical requirements.
“We were very pleased with the level of technical support Novatech provided to the Australian tour of Brief Encounter. Novatech were professional, knowledgeable and efficient with friendly staff who were always willing and on hand to help. We found the Novatech equipment to be of a very good quality and the tour was prepped by the Novatech team with a high level of care. The excellent on road support allowed the touring show staff to focus on the specifics of each venue. We would not hesitate in recommending Novatech following our experience with them on Brief Encounter.”
– Steph Curtis, Company Stage Manager, Kneehigh UK.
After lengthy discussions, Novatech began building a series of custom equipment racks and looms designed to cater for the shows needs. After the extensive equipment prep was completed Novatech assisted with the first show build at the Dunston Playhouse before the touring crew took the system to other venues around the country. Continual on-road support was offered when required including flying some Novatech crew to Melbourne when it came to setting up the Athanaeum show with a tight bump in time.
Along with a series of specifically designed patch systems and cabling, the audio component of the tour consisted of a vast selection of Meyer Sound “UltraSeries” speaker systems for both FOH and on stage sound – all being driven via Yamaha control equipment including a Yamaha M7CL and DME64N. 16 channels of Shure UHF-R wireless microphone belt packs connected to DPA 4061 microphones were used on the cast members. The tour utilised both Shure Wireless Work Bench and Winradio and software/hardware for RF Spectrum scanning and management to ensure no RF issues were encountered. As well as the wireless microphones a selection of unique wired microphones from leading brands DPA, Earthworks and Audix were used for various applications throughout the production. All signal distribution was via custom made input/output patch panels and multi pin stage looms.
On the lighting side, in-house fly lines were utilized to rig the 60+ flown fixtures, being a mix of ETC Source 4 Revolutions with custom strings and gobos, ETC Source 4s and the ever faithful PAR 64s also complete with custom gel strings and scrollers.
The remainder of the rig consisted of 10 x custom built pre-rig booms, home to over 30 ETC Source 4s of varying sizes once again complete with custom strings and Wybron scrollers. Continuing with the ETC theme, control was via an ETC EOS Ti console complete with ETC gateways and an ETC RFR to ease the focusing process. Custom looms for the rig made patching into each venue a breeze.
“The ‘Brief Encounter Tour’ utilised Audio, Lighting and Staffing resources from Novatech Creative Event Technology to achieve its touring requirements. Working with Novatech provided a great deal of flexibility and support to accommodate the very specific audio and lighting challenges associated with presenting an internationally touring show. As the Australian Production Manager, I found having Novatech as the provider of all technical production equipment sourced in Australia, provided a cost-effective and very efficient solution for the production’s technical logistics – additional to this, Leko and his staff provided a very professional, yet personal service to the Australian Tour making even the difficult moments just that little bit easier.”
– Nicholas Filsell, Production Manager, Arts Projects Australia.