St Paul’s School Drama Centre and Samuel Pepys Theatre, London

St Paul’s School is one of the country’s leading independent schools located in Barnes on the banks of the River Thames. As part of a major development programme, it commissioned a dedicated home for its drama department housing a 250 seat auditorium, four multi-purpose teaching/dressing/rehearsal rooms and Drama Department office. The space can cater for both school and touring companies as well as being the perfect learning environment for their drama and technical theatre courses. The impressive building has a glazed double height foyer overlooking the river.

PG Stage was appointed by the Elliott Thomas Group to deliver a specification designed by Charcoal Blue Theatre Consultants comparable to professional theatres. The opening of St Paul’s Drama Centre and the Samuel Pepys Theatre was marked with a Gala Performance on November 4th, 2014 celebrating St Paul’s rich theatrical history.

Head of Drama, Edward Williams, stated, ‘It is a new beginning, offering the possibility of hosting touring companies in properly equipped facilities, of opening our outstanding productions to a wider audience and of involving our local community in the life of Pauline drama. As we look out of our elegant glass-fronted foyer, the sky is the limit.’

For this project PG Stage installed, tested and commissioned:

  • Internally wired bars and stage lighting above the tension wired grid allowing easy access for students rigging and focussing.
  • Front of house internally wired bars circle mounted to the balcony.
  • A motor controlled stage hoist control system capable of controlling up to six flying bars with a remote handset.
  • Multiple bespoke facility panels to support a range of performance types.
  • Relocated legacy Zero 88 dimmer system and supplemented with new dimmers.
  • A touch screen ETC Paradigm System controlling house lights, show blues and show workers lighting.
  • The school retained their existing lighting and sound control desks and lantern stock. PG Stage upgraded plug tops from 15amp to 16amp and PAT tested all lantern stock.
  • Crown CDI amplification and DBX processing to power the Em Acoustics sound reinforcement system.
  • Independent HD projection system allowing the space to be used in lecture mode by teachers without technicians needed to be present.
  • Full compliment stage tracks and associated drapes along with stage fixed masking flats and modular staging system.
  • RTS technical communication system integrated with existing Altaire wireless system controlling show relay and paging system to all areas associated with theatrical performance and integrating with school-wide classroom change and information system.

Project Manager: Paul Holt
Client: Elliott Thomas Group
Theatre Consultant: Charcoal Blue
Overall Schedule: 16 weeks
Completion Date: November 2014
Approx Value: £178,000