Case Studies

Shakespeare’s Globe


SHAKESPEARE’S GLOBE

The project to rebuild Shakespeare’s Globe was initiated by the American actor, director and producer Sam Wanamaker after his first visit to London in 1949. Twenty-one years later he founded what was to become the Shakespeare Globe Trust, dedicated to the reconstruction of the theatre and the creation of an education centre and permanent exhibition. After 23 years spent tirelessly fundraising, advancing research into the appearance of the original Globe and planning the reconstruction with the Trust’s architect Theo Crosby, Sam Wanamaker died in 1993, the site having been secured, the exhibition undercroft structurally complete and a few timber bays of the theatre in place. Three and a half years later the theatre was completed.

When the theatre was constructed in the early nineties, a perimeter induction loop working at two levels provided coverage for hearing aid users. More recently, some theatre productions have included a mix of both traditional and contemporary musical instruments. With the original loop passing directly under the musicians platform, the interaction with guitar pickups etc created an unworkable situation. Sound Analysts were contracted by Shakespeare’s Globe to design a loop that optimised field strength in the auditorium and minimised spill onto the musician’s gallery.

In conjunction with Ampetronic, a new loop arrangement was designed and installed in the ceilings of the first and second floor stalls to provide the required signal strength in all three public seating levels. Cancellation loops in the seating closest to the stage produced a steep attenuation in the field strength of the loop both on the stage and the musicians gallery.