Following a positive run in Manchester, the female-led, pop music theatre production of &Juliet is now running in the West End, rewriting the story of Juliet who, instead of dying for Romeo, lives and goes on a number of adventures, educating the audience about current topics of identity and female empowerment along the way.

&JulietWoven into this revamped plot are pop songs of anthem status from record producer Max Martin – Britney Spears’ ‘Baby One More Time’, ‘Everybody’ by The Backstreet Boys and ‘Roar’ by Katie Perry among them

Olivier Award-winning sound designer Gareth Owen took a leap of faith is opting for a d&b audiotechnik KSL-Series line array for the show’s sound reinforcement. 

‘I have worked with d&b loudspeakers for long enough and know the company well, so I decided to spec’ KSL without having listened to it first,’ he says. ‘To do justice to the works of super-prolific record producer Max Martin, KSL definitely delivered the tight, clean pop sound I was looking for.’

‘We wanted to create a really unique sound for &Juliet in the West End, something that brought the worlds of musical theatre and pop together,’ Martin agrees. ‘Gareth Owen and d&b loudspeakers helped us to deliver that.’

Owen notes that this KSL System, supported by SL-Subs, is the first time the relatively new SL-Series has been used on a musical theatre production: ‘Inside a closed theatre environment, KSL’s cardioid performance works extremely well,’ he explains. ‘Its design prevents reflections from the back of the array bouncing off the proscenium wall and muddying the sound – an issue very common in a theatre set-up because arrays are so often flown within touching distance of the proscenium walls.’

KSL has been designed to deliver a greater level of accuracy and impact with a directness that noticeably improves clarity, both for the audience and onstage. With a quieter environment for the actors, there’s room in the sound design process to actively steer and shape the sound onstage; time otherwise spent filtering out low-end reverberations.

‘We were able to customise the stage sound to the artists’ exact requirements,’ Owen says. ‘For the first time ever, we have been able to run the stage foldback for the cast without a cut filter – a d&b specific high-pass filter that minimises some of the low frequency reflection onstage. With KSL we actually had to add some low-end back into the foldback to give the performers a fuller sound onstage. Although this might sound like extra effort it’s creative time, not corrective.’

Owen’s decision to use the KSL confirms the system is at home in musical theatre. &Juliet may be a first for KSL and Shakespeare’s reimagined heroine, but both look set for long-term success.

‘We will certainly use KSL again,’ says Owen. ‘Indeed, we already are, it’s getting a second outing on Back to the Future in March! When it comes to rock-and-roll, and pop musicals, KSL is simply the best system out there. I’d use it on every show if I could.’

More:www.dbaudio.com

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