DWR revamps Seabrooke’s Theatre
DWR revamps Seabrooke’s Theatre
Durban High School’s (DHS) newly refurbished Seabrooke’s Theatre is staging a new production of Sylvia, presented by KickstArt Theatre Company, after a seven-month entertainment famine. Seabrooke’s Theatre is a 100-seater auditorium used by the school’s Dramatic Arts Department as well as by amateur and professional companies and groups. Thanks to a contribution by DHS theatre lover, Chris Seabrooke, a much-needed renovation and equipment upgrade was made possible and commenced at the start of the South African lockdown. The theatre has been repainted, seats reupholstered, and a green room/dressing room is being built. On the technical side, a new lighting and audio system has been supplied and installed by DWR Distribution’s Michael Taylor-Broderick and Nick Barnes.
The new lighting equipment includes 13 Robe ParFect 150s, six Robe LEDBeam 150s, four ETC Source Four 25°–50° Profiles and a Le Maitre MVS Hazer with control via a grandMA dot2 onPC. A Quest Sound system comprises of two HPI25 front loaded 600w rms low profile and high-power speakers, two HPI 12S compact passive sub-bass speakers, two Quest 2004 stereo power amplifiers, an Allen & Heath 16-channel digital console, two Audix OM2 vocal microphones and an Audix AP42 OM2A wireless mic. In addition, the DWR pair have rehung some of the lighting bars and added a patch panel to allow for simple patching between the existing 12 dimmers circuits and the hot power needed for the LED fixtures.
“The Seabrooke’s Theatre has been a very popular venue for independent producers such as ourselves and we are thrilled to see the much-needed upgrade,” commented Greg King from KickstArt Theatre Company, who played three different characters in Sylvia besides his role of set designer and co-director. “DHS prides itself on its Art and Culture Departments with both drama and music offered as subjects at the school.”
King admits that while he is not technically minded, the new lighting and audio equipment has been well received. “Our various lighting and sound designers over the years have often complained about the severe limitations of the theatre, many of which had been created by poor decisions and lack of professional consultation during the original technical installation in the theatre. Michael Taylor-Broderick has been well aware of these problems having worked at Seabrooke’s many times, and his technical and creative vision has allowed him to overcome these problems with his expert ingenuity. Mike has always been regarded as a creative genius in our Durban Theatre Community and brings his vast knowledge, dazzling creativity and calming presence to every project. He is also fearless of any physical challenge and loves to solve technical problems with his quiet, dare-devil agility. He coined the phrase: ‘Theatre is an extreme sport’, and we quote him on this often.”
Seabrooke’s Theatre has been opened with stringent Covid-19 safety protocols in place. The audience is kept to 50 patrons, and a seating plan has been devised for each performance. Sylvia was KickstArt’s first production post lockdown, and the first production in the renovated Seabrooke’s Theatre.