Little Hallingbury Panto Group
In the early days, the sound was provided by Billy Rolph using his domestic music centre. The effects were on cassette. I can remember him sitting next to Iris Wilkins who was the pianist. Iris’s husband, Ray was the scriptwriter for our productions. By 1990, the sound had moved into the loft, along with the lighting and it was David Lindy, our Madame producer’s husband, who was running it.. With Chris Meyer and Richard Hood having goes at doing it during the 90’s. By the end of the ‘90’s it was firmly under the control of Chris Rohrer, who had massed a collection of over 120 Sound effects CDs for the group. Cabling had been installed along the roof for the recording of the shows, and these days that is used for the keyboard, microphone and amplifier feeds. The sounds are now computer stored and can easily be called up using DJ style software. This is fed through a mixer to an amplifier and speakers under the stage. For 2020, Chris is being aided by Campbell Fricker, who, hopefully, will run the Sound in future.
While normally only 1 or 2 microphones are used for the performance, to enable the cast to hear what is going on through the CCTV system, there are 4 other microphones which feed the stage sound through the mixer which has separate outputs and don’t get fed through to the stage.
The effects library for Jack And the Beanstalk
The rehearsal setup for the pantomime (with operator) For January. This is directly below where Chris sits, as he can then spot if there are any problems with his visual cues.The cables are dropped down from the box to the mixer. Even Ralph Thompson’s keyboard is connected as it can be fed to the under stage speakers. Two laptops are used as one can be a backup for the other, and if effects follow on, it is easier to use the mixer to fade between the two.
Iris Wilkins was the first that I remember. And she retired from performances in the early 90’s and was replaced by Keith Hall. He continued doing it until 2004, when he had to pull out of Aladdin because of illness. Sadly he passed away later that year. He was replaced by Philip Hays, who has tickled the ivories Until 2018. Since then Ralph Thompson has taken over.
Philip Hays, our Musical Director from 2004 to 2018