The teams that create the atmosphere
They’re the ones you don’t notice, at the back of the room, or waiting in the wings.
But without light, sound, and a watchful eye to make sure everything goes off without a hitch, there is no show.
Find out more about our invaluable lightning and sound engineers and technicians below.
Lighting & Electrics Department
The Chief Electrician and Deputy Chief Electrician work closely with the Lighting Designer, Designer and Director of shows and projects.
The lighting of the set and actors play a major part in creating the atmosphere and mood of a scene. The lighting design may incorporate additional special effects such as smoke, haze, pyrotechnics and flame effects.
If the set design includes an interior setting, the design/lighting design concept might incorporate practical elements such as ceiling lights, switches, visible wiring, plugs, sockets and practical lamps to create a more naturalistic mood.
The Chief Electrician is responsible for keeping the entire lighting stock for both theatres maintained, checked and tested. All electrical equipment is prepared and checked prior to rigging on stage at the start of the fit-up including any additional FX equipment and hires.
The lighting desk records the light levels used for every cue. A member of the Electrics Department is assigned to work with the Lighting Designer to plot and programme cues for the show or project. Members of the Team have opportunities to design the lighting for shows and projects. If the set design includes projection and or video elements, this falls within the remit of the Electrics Department with responsibility for the prep, rig and operation working with the Video Designer for the show or project.
This is an extremely skilled and busy department with the Chief Electrician having responsibility for many areas of the operation from maintenance and testing of all access equipment to PAT (Portable Appliance Testing) every electrical item in the production and technical departments with a plug!
The Head of Sound and Deputy Head of Sound work closely with Sound Designers, Composers and Musical Directors engaged for specific shows or projects.
Sound and music play an important part of any production in both creating the atmosphere for the scene and helping actors tell the story of the play. The sound staff liaise with Sound Designers/Composers to prepare music or sound effects for rehearsals. The Sound Designer will prepare the sound rig schematic detailing the speaker positions and cable runs on stage. The use of live music and radio mics on shows are more complex in respect of planning and preparation requiring time for microphone checks, balances and live mixing operation.
The Head of Sound is responsible for the operational management of the department, annual maintenance and testing of equipment. He is also responsible for all communications systems within the building including assisted listening systems for audience members.
Technical Stage Management
The Technical Stage Manager is a key role in the production operation. He is responsible for the stage fit-ups, rigging, flying, movement of scenery and recruiting casual staff.
He works closely with Designers, Directors and Production Managers and plays a key role assessing the technical staging requirements for each production.
He has specific areas of responsibility including: company vehicles, annual maintenance and testing of all stage machinery and equipment, and recruiting and training of stage crew for performance duties. He is the main contact for all visiting companies, tours and conferences and responsible for collating, assessing and distributing information to technical departments.
An extremely busy department which plays a pivotal role in workshop and performance based activities.