Russell Howard ‘in-the-round’ Arena Tour

In-the-round UK Arena Tour

Case Study: Russell Howard - UK

The Requirement

One man, one mic and one big mission-critical challenge to get it perfect every night – and that’s exactly what Adlib delivered daily for Russell Howard's ‘in-the-round’ arena tour.

Adlib supplied audio and lighting for the UK arena leg of the tour – the biggest to date for the highly-acclaimed award winning stand-up comedian who delights audiences worldwide with his intelligence, wit and hilarity.

The Solution


Adlib’s audio team was led by George Puttock who worked closely with Russell’s FOH engineer Simon Lawson.

George specified a Coda Audio AiRAY system for a number of different reasons; its unrivalled light weight, its excellent sound quality and projection, as well as the precise horizontal control. The fact it is quick and easy to rig was an added bonus for the crew.

All the processing and control was managed in the flown amplifiers; the signal being sent there from the DiGiCo SD9 FOH console. An SD11 was provided as a backup console, with a tried and tested Spirit Folio providing the ultimate backup for the completely discreet analogue backup system!

Russell Howard doesn’t use IEMs, so six Coda TiRAY were flown on the ‘East’ and ‘West’ sides of the stage for monitoring. Twelve more TiRAY positioned around the lip of stage provided front-fill, their tiny form factor being ideal for sight-lines and the cameras.

George worked alongside a solid Adlib team of Tony Szabo, Simon Lawson, Billy Bryson, Steph Fleming and Antonio Calvi. He engaged in a serious amount of advance work beforehand, knowing that all the venues were very different and the PA would have to change to suit day-to-day.


A production lighting design was created by Adlib’s Ian Tomlinson which brought a clean, stylish, elegant look to the stage, and most importantly, was focussed on lighting Russell Howard for the cameras and IMAG relay. This was crucial as it allowed all of the audience to see the detail and nuances of his facial expressions as he delivered his gags.

Fixtures included Martin MAC Viper Profiles, Mac Auras, Chauvet Strike 4 LED Blinders, Chauvet Colorado Batten 72 Tours, and Robert Juliat Merlin follow spots.

Lighting operator Tom Webber used a pair of Hog 4 Full Boars spec’d by Ian for control.

The Result

Adlib’s Client Manager Phil Kielty commented, “We’ve had a really busy 2017 so far with lots of comedy projects on tour. It’s always good to push boundaries and we’ve also been thrilled with the results of the Coda PA in-the-round on this one.”

“We’re fortunate enough to have been involved with Russell for nearly 10 years now! I first saw him performing at the Unity Theatre in Liverpool around 2007 and I am still a massive fan. Adlib thrives in a comedy environment and Russell and the team at Avalon all strive to be the best at what they do – so it’s a great match! Our thanks to James Taylor and Bjorn Wentlandt at Avalon and Tour Manager Kumar Kamalagharan for another excellent arena tour.”