Audio specialists, Tube UK, supplied the sound system for A Blessing, an engaging public performance produced by outdoor arts experts Walk the Plank, as part of Manchester’s Dashehra Diwali Mela 2017 celebrations.
Staged in and around Albert Square in the Manchester’s city centre, the dynamic array of classical and contemporary Indian music, dance and arts performances celebrated the Hindu festivals of Dashehra and Diwali.
The story was structured and directed by Walk the Plank’s Nick Clarke with words and scripting by Louise Wallwein, with tube’s Adam Taylor designing the sound. Positioned on a small stage in Albert square the Mahishasura played by actor Sagar Arya took to the stage in Albert Square as the crowds gathered for the early evening show which followed a lantern parade.
A 10ft high mechanical tiger puppet, complete with spectacular smoke-steaming nostrils, dramatically entered the space, taking up its position, opposite Mahishasura. On arrival Goddess Durga played by Actress Bharti Patel appeared on top of the tiger. A verbal and visual battle back and forth ensued with the public occupying the space in between becoming fully immersed in the action, enjoying the energy and bouncing their attention between the 2 protagonists as the piece began to play out.
Tube UK positioned 2 ground stacks of d&b Technologies V-Series PA speakers either side of the Buffalo stage on the Town Hall side of the site, which served as the main show PA for all the crescendos and big moments. Either side of the Tiger stage was a stack of d&b Y-Series speakers that ensured the Tiger’s microphone and sounds. The mics chosen were Sennheiser 5212s fitted with DPA 4066 capsules, chosen for their good vocal characteristics.
A QLab system was utilised for all the playback audio, sound effects and music tracks plus the narration, running via Dante into a Yamaha QL5 console on which Adam Taylor mixed the show. He was joined by Jamie Taylor-Sharman as Systems Engineer, who fine-tuned the system to ensure delivery essential for the show to work as a theatrical experience.