Sound Designer, Andrew Keister – representing original Broadway designer Steve Kennedy – flew in for West End’s latest stage rendition of Hairspray but had to quarantine prior to arrival in the theatre. The UK sound team – Josh Richardson, Callum Wills, Simon France, Robbie Barclay and Larry Golland – were hard at work along with the Orbital team led by Henry Pierce, ensuring that sound was set up in advance at London Coliseum.
Keister shared high praise for the whole team. “It would have been amazing to be back in any theatre again after so many months of the industry being shut down, but to be back in the Coliseum, in the heart of the West End, with this incredible team was almost too good to be true,” he said. “The original West End production of Hairspray in 2007 was the first time I had the pleasure of working with Orbital, and I’m happy to say that 14 years later they are still defying expectations! Our first performance was a very emotional experience for all of us after so much time away from the business that we love, and the roaring ovation from the audience at the curtain call was an experience I won’t soon forget.”
For Orbital Sound, Hairspray marked a gradual reopening of theatres and a return to something like normality. To this end, Keister wanted to try some updated elements for this latest production, utilising Meyer’s Leopard line array and Nemesis CCS-2 audio playback redundancy switchers.
Orbital Managing Director, Chris Headlam commented: “While we couldn’t prep the show in the usual way, we all focused on creating a harmonious result through online collaboration and making sure that everything was spot on when the curtain went up. After so many dark months, it truly is “on with the show!”