Royal Shakespeare Company’s Swan Theatre Assistive Listening Upgrade

Location: Stratford-Upon-Avon, United Kingdom

Swan Theatre Assistive Listening
The Royal Shakespeare Company’s Swan Theatre in Stratford-Upon-Avon recently underwent a refurbishment, providing the perfect opportunity to upgrade their assistive listening provision with a new induction loop system. The upgrade was necessary to comply with the Equality Act and ensure that every seat in the theatre is accessible to all patrons, including those with hearing impairments.

The RSC has a longstanding commitment to providing accessible audio services for its patrons. In fact, the company previously worked with Ampetronic to install a major induction loop system in a temporary theatre while the main one was being refurbished, demonstrating their dedication to inclusivity in the theatre.

Working with the in-house team at Ampetronic, the new induction loop system was designed to meet high standards for the hearing impaired in the theatre. The team used 2 x C7-2N MultiLoop drivers to provide comprehensive coverage to every single seat in the theatre.

The theatre’s seating levels are mainly constructed of timber with some steel supports, resulting in low metal loss construction. This feature of the theatre meant that the amplifiers required minimal metal loss correction during commissioning, as verified by Ampetronic’s Andrew Lennox-Jackson.

One interesting factor in this design was that the system was initially designed with a loop to be installed on Level 1, but due to the low levels of metal in the construction the signal from the loop on level 2 was actually able to provide coverage to both Level 1 and Level 2 simultaneously. As such one less channel of amplification was needed, however the venue decided to still install the two identical amplifiers with one channel turned off. This gave them a spare channel and greater redundancy in case of any failures or service requirements.

Swan Theatre Assistive Listening

Jeremy Dunn, Head of Sound at the venue, expressed his satisfaction with the new induction loop: “The new system meets our high standards and provides coverage to every seat in the theatre, ensuring that everyone can enjoy the performance.”

In addition to its high-quality sound, the new system is also more energy efficient than the previous one. The use of Class D amplifiers with automatic standby features will reduce running costs, making it a sustainable and cost-effective option for the theatre. Furthermore, there is the potential to benefit from network connectivity for status monitoring, making it easier to ensure that the system is running smoothly.

The upgrade to the Swan Theatre’s induction loop system is a significant improvement that ensures compliance with the Equality Act while providing accessibility for all patrons, including those with hearing impairments.

In conclusion, the Royal Shakespeare Company’s commitment to providing accessibility services is evident in this project and in previous installations. The new system offers comprehensive coverage and advanced functionality, ensuring that the Swan Theatre is fully accessible to all and meets the needs of its diverse audience.

Equipment used: 2 x C7-2N Multiloop Hearing Loop Drivers