Mercury Theatre’s Cinderella

We are looking back on project from 2019 where one of our favourite clients The Mercury Theatre, Colchester, produced a festive treat for their panto season.  Cinderella was produced and staged in a big tent on a field, Abbey Fields, while their main building is being redeveloped.  They created a magical space where Cinderella delivered all the sparkle of a classic panto elevated to new heights within such a unique setting. The show consisted of 25,620 lighting cues and went through 20 litres of snow.  31,864 people saw this spectacular show, who ate through 13,176 ice-creams! The highlight of the show had to be seeing Cinders quite literally flying across the stage on a giant swan.


All images are beautifully captured by Pamela Raith.

dBS Solutions were successful  in winning a competitive tender to deliver Audio for the whole season. We provided the main in house audio system for the venue as well as front of house PA systems, back stage relay systems comms and stage management cue light systems. We also provided CCTV for the stage and band areas so the cast can see the Musical director and stage team can see the stage etc.

From the beginning of the project it was clear that the venues location in the heart of Colchester’s residential area would require a sound system that was able to provide total control of the off site noise levels. The venue ran for three months so the local residents was of prime concern. dBS Solutions director and project manager Chris Bogg designed a sound system utilising Martin Audio WPM Wavefront precision system. The system was chosen for its incredible control of both the audience and off site areas meaning that Chris and the team could optimise the system for even coverage in the pavilion and actively avoid off site noise as much as possible. The WPM system was complimented by DD6 & XD12 fills and delays and a custom designed Gradient sub array to ensure that the sub frequencies that carry so well to local residents where kept in check.

Out front Chris made use of a Digico SD9 console and our dedicated Qlab 4 dual mac racks for sound effects.

Across other areas of the site dBS Solutions installed our custom designed show relay speakers with volume control and announcement defeat system so that all of the stage management teams calls come right through regardless of the systems volume in each room. Through some clever routing the show relay could be driven by a feed from the sound desk or the mics installed ensuring that the space was flexible for both one night visiting companies and larger production shows.

A big thanks goes to Mandy, Ben and all the team at The Mercury Theatre for getting us involved in this their largest project to date. Thanks also to our team of production engineers and technicians who installed and removed the system.