Autograph Sound Designer Nick Lidster added a MLA Mini center hang to a Martin Audio MLA Compact PA for the production of Jesus Christ Superstar at Regent’s Park Open Theatre.
Under the direction of Timothy Sheader, the show played to capacity audiences of 1,250 nightly in the fan-shaped, raked auditorium. Lidster sensed the award-winning MLA concept would be best fit for purpose, and was subsequently nominated for an Olivier Award.
“After last season finished I looked at what I needed to do by way of streamlining, and after hearing Martin Audio MLA Mini I knew it would be perfect for the center cluster,” he confirmed. In addition to being discreet, it was also a third of the weight of the previous hang, which made it a much safer solution.
Supported by Martin Audio’s Nigel Meddemmen, 6 elements of the Martin Audio MLA Mini were centrally deployed and at the same time Lidster chose to fly the main line array higher than previously. “I wanted to focus the sound down to ensure we got all the energy into the bowl shaped auditorium, and at the same time minimise the spill over the back and into the Park. That’s what I felt was needed, and the lower bowl area sounded so much better as a result.”
Lidster stated that with the center cluster he had used previously there was too much energy spilling into the park. “I needed to be able to steer it towards the front of the auditorium to around half way back where the main PA takes over.” He could also see from the Leo Sayer experience the wisdom of having all components from within one family, particularly with Martin Audio MLA’s unique controllability.
“In fact some of the story-telling became clearer,” he said. “It was dynamic without being loud, and in Gethsemane, for instance, [with the sound imaging] Jesus is brought right into the lap of the audience.”
“[Martin Audio] MLA Mini provided a major improvement not least because I could use it without needing to EQ it,” Lidster explained. “The vocal image felt right above you and as a result I could run the front fills so much hotter this year.”
William Village, Executive Director of Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, concluded: “In creating the gig-like vibe for Jesus Christ Superstar, it was important to us to use a sound system which would support that production vision. Martin Audio delivered a sound system of excellence, showcasing our performers and rock musicians.”