Our lives are surrounded by sound. Have a listen now. Can you hear something? A washing machine whirring? People chatting? Birds singing? Even when we are talking, that isn’t the only sound around us. Think about an everyday conversation. Are there noises in the background? Probably. In the same way, in a play, we need to hear more than the spoken words.

The Sound Department adds these other sounds. This can help an audience know where the scene is set, what time it is, what the weather is and what the mood is like. Imagine an empty stage. You hear a subway train rattling past and a distant wailing police siren. With the aid of these simple sounds you’ve been transported to New York. A clock ticks and the refrigerator hums, we have established that we’re inside.

The Sound Department is responsible for all aspects of sound and communications for every production, and for the Company on tour. Every member of the department will be involved with the creating of a play whether as the Sound Designer, Sound Operator or as part of the crew rigging the many speakers, microphones and other equipment required. Sound is three dimensional, spatial, and it moves. By placing speakers in front, behind above and below our audiences and also inside and outside the Theatre module, the department plays an important part in enriching the audience's theatrical experience. The Sound Department also supports all Visiting Theatre Companies and Special Events that are organised in the Theatre.

Fascinating Facts: 

  • All the music and sound effects for the shows are stored on one disk no larger than a pack of playing cards!
  • We have a library of over 8,000 sound effects and our music library extends to around 500 CDs. Despite this, for every production, the Sound Department will often need to visit specific locations to record more.
  • To make the sound of birds flying away we recorded leather gloves slapping together
  • The average show uses over 70 speakers.