The curtains reopened at the council owned Tamworth Assembly Rooms in January 2020 following a major £5 million project to extend, refurbish and modernise the 130-year-old theatre.
Adlib won the tender to provide design, project management, installation and commissioning of lighting, audio, seating, acoustic curtaining and mechanical engineering as part of this major theatre refurbishment project.
Tamworth Assembly Rooms is a listed building built in 1889. The council wanted the interior to retain the feel of a Victorian venue whist also providing the acoustic, lighting, and performance characteristics of a modern theatre.
To achieve this, Adlib had a pivotal role in the design and decoration of the acoustic curtains, blending legacy and new sound systems, and making the front of house lighting trusses blend into the framework of the building.
After appointment Adlib joined the design team and key Adlib technical staff were directly allocated to the project. Together with the venue’s technical team, they analysed each element of the work in detail.
These continuous meetings with the design team and other sub-contractors ensured a smooth transition from design to manufacture and installation.
Adlib supplied an Allen & Heath d:Live mixing system comprising a C2500 control surface with a CDM32 mix rack and DX168 portage expander and a 6 channel wireless microphone system including 4 bodypacks and 2 handheld transmitters was supplied as a complete kit including antennae and RF distribution.
The existing sound system was improved with the addition of 4 x L-Acoustics BUMP3, 4 x L-Acoustic ARCS II and 1 x L-Acoustics LA8 Amplifier
Racks and Facility Panels
Racks for audio and lighting equipment, and production facility panels were installed throughout the venue with Adlib manufacturing and installing custom mesh grills to disguise the existing floor level speaker system.
Although many of the original legacy lighting kits was re-used Adlib still provided 6 x Chauvet Ovation f-915fc, 1 x Chauvet Pro Net-X II, 2 x Chauvet HDMX Splitter, 9 x Chauvet EVE Par 140 VW and 9 x Chauvet EVE Par 140 VW.
Mechanical engineering was a major part of Adlib’s involvement in this refurbishment project.
As the Victorian timber roof structure was being retained, all of the on stage equipment had to be suspended from a wall to wall fixed matt black boxed aluminium mother grid as well as up/down stage steel suspension barrels located underneath to support.
6 x SWL, 250kg electrically operated Unibar systems designed to raise and lower heavy stage equipment and the three on stage lighting bars.
8 x SWL 60k clew operated hemp sets each designed to raise and lower light curtain maskings and back drops
Stage curtains were supplied and installed by Adlib alongside the necessary rigging to support them. This included a continuous 2-way walkalong stage perimeter track with black wool serge perimeter curtains, border curtains, and stage legs. Curtains are also installed on a mid-stage track.
Front of House
A major challenge was to ensure the 3 x front of house lighting trusses did not spoil the aesthetics of the auditorium. Each of these are supported by 4 x electric chain hoists, aluminium box truss and cable flip flop trays. So that the lighting bars did not look `clunky` these were designed and inserted on the inside of the truss units.
A pair of chain hoist Loudspeaker units positions were supplied and installed alongside auditorium side rigging bars that were powder coated in white to blend in with the wall colour.
Adlib in-house curtain team supplied a custom decorative house pelmet border with a decorative gold satin Fleur De Lis applique in the centre, and proscenium curtains installed on a variable speed motorised track.
To assist in the auditorium acoustics and to provide blackout, 14 x motorised tracks, curtains, and rigid pelmets are installed at each of the shaped windows.
A pair of chandelier winches including support steelwork allows the client to easily maintain and clean the decorative central chandeliers.
The final part of Adlib’s contribution to mechanical engineering was the design and installation of the control room ladder including hoops, handrails, link chain, and security gates. This was possibly the hardest thing to get correct as often these can look overpowering in a space. However, a blend of Adlib artistic design and effective power-coating of the steel work ensured this element looked correct.
In addition to technical elements, Adlib worked closely with major seating manufacturer, Hussey Seatway, to provide the auditorium seating. Adlib project managed the supply and install of retractable, flat floor and fixed seating for this versatile venue.
Commissioning & Training
Following supply and installation of equipment, Adlib’s team provided on-site training to the venue staff on correct and safe use of the equipment. Moving forward the venues technical team also have access to Adlib’s after care support ensuring continued best use of all new equipment, its welfare and maintenance.