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Everything for Everyman - GDS

ArcSystem, BluesSystem and SM Console the choices of RIBA award-winning Liverpool Everyman, as first GDS full-system theatre goes live.

It would be practically impossible to overstate the importance of the Everyman Theatre to the city of Liverpool. To list the names of those whose careers are synonymous with it, would be to compile a who's who of artistic giants, their ground-breaking work deeply embedded in the national psyche, their place at the top table of British cultural history assured.

In the early 1960's a group of artists, poets, writers and musicians who met at the then Hope Hall Cinema, decided that the building would make a good theatre and in 1964, the Everyman was born. Closed in 1975 for rebuilding, it then reopened in 1977 and there followed 34 years that shaped the careers of Willy Russell, Alan Bleasdale, Julie Walters, Bernard Hill and Pete Postlethwaite to name a just a few.

In 2011, the Everyman closed its doors again for a £28 million redevelopment, funded for the most part by Arts Council England and The European Development fund. Architects Haworth Tompkins were responsible for the design of the new Everyman. Shortly after its  reopening in March 2014 the project won a highly-prized RIBA award, for North-West Region Building of the Year and was subsequently placed on a shortlist of six for the national award.

By combining thermally massive construction with a series of natural ventilation systems and low-energy technical infrastructures, the building has achieved a BREEAM excellent Rating.

The 400-seater Everyman will act as a 'creative hub' for the city. It boasts a dedicated youth and community space to house the theatre's extensive and growing work with schools and community groups, as well as rehearsal space and production workshops. Housed in an award-winning, exciting, state-of-the-art building, the future of the Everyman looks well set to match its rich heritage.

Central to the redevelopment of the theatre was the appointment of leading theatre consultants Charcoalblue whose reputation for exciting innovation perfectly complemented the vision of the architects and the wishes of the Everyman's own creative team. It can easily be seen that the origins of the project pointed towards something exceptional, where the bar would remain high from start to finish. The ‘low energy technical infrastructures' were key to the overall environmental picture, none more so than the provision for lighting and it was here that GDS entered the frame.

With a portfolio of award-winning and industry-leading products, GDS was a natural fit in such illustrious company. The brief of the entire project demanded the most stringently efficient use of energy in what was to become, to coin the architect’s phrase, a 'densely inhabited urban building.' A back-catalogue of installations at similarly prestigious sites such as The Bristol Old Vic, The Savoy Theatre and The Eventim Hammersmith Apollo to mention but a few in the UK, served to emphasise the strength of the GDS brand and each of the creative teams involved specified its use.

House lights, emergency lights and BluesSystem back stage working lights were all to be supplied by GDS and when the Everyman team further specified the employment of a GDS Stage Manager's Console and CueLight System, the first GDS full system theatre was created. GDS ArcSystem was used for the house lightsand emergency lighting throughout.Wirelessly controlled using GDS' ArcMesh protocol, these highly efficient LEDs produce outstanding light quality whilst being fully dimmable from 100% - zero. Surface or recess mounted, single or multicellular and with optics offering a range of beam angles, they are convection cooled and run silently.

In the Everyman Theatre more than 170 ArcSystem fixtures were installed. GDSBluesSystem was used in all working areas. This system, mounted directly onto electrical conduit has become the worldwide industry standard for reliable dimmable working lights and in excess of 100 Blue Beam and Blue Dome fixtures were put in place.

In specifying the GDS Stage Manager's console, the Everyman joined a rapidly growing list of venues whose eyes have been opened to the adaptability and flexibility afforded by this carefully developed product. During development, GDS focused its energies on finding out exactly what the professionalsrequired and then set about delivering precisely that.

As a consequence of its research, GDS produced a console that can be tailored to meet the specific needs of the stage manager in a given environment. The requirements of different performance spaces and the varying nature of productions they stage, means that a 'one-sizefits- all' approach is rarely ideal - the bespoke nature of the GDS Stage Manager's console enables the stage manager to choose from a range of options that exactly suit his or her particular needs.

In the case of the Everyman Theatre, a change of plan meant that the original specifications for the console were re-thought but the bespoke nature of the product meant that the necessary changes could be made during its production to ensure it still offered an optimum facility.





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