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Fitzpatrick Hall - Queens' College

The Fitzpatrick Hall is one of the largest and most versatile performance spaces in Cambridge. Used for purposes ranging from college Ents to a badminton court, in its configuration as a theatre it has played host to many outstanding productions over the past 30 years.

For student productions, please contact the venue techies at [fitzpat-techies@srcf.net] if you have questions about the Hall. Queens' Ents also hire out sound equipment, lights and staging to student groups around Cambridge; enquiries should be directed to [td@qents.org]. Enquiries relating to hosting events or conferences should be directed to [info@queensconferences.com]

Rehearsals

BATS shows can book the stage for rehearsals at any time - you will receive further information about this if your show is selected.

Technical information

The stage is a spacious proscenium arch type which can be raised or lowered by electric motors. Generally for performances the whole stage is raised 3' above floor level; however, it is possible to lower the front of the stage 4' below floor level for use as an orchestra pit. There is also a stock of Metrodeck (12 of 6'x4' and 5 of 4'x4') and a limited stock of legs; these legs are compatible with the ADC Theatre's stock. There is comfortable raked seating with a capacity of 211; there is step-free access to the first row of seats from street level.

There are two dressing rooms, both with bathrooms attached. Access to the stage is by a door upstage left; there is a passageway behind the back tabs to get to the stage right side. Access to the audience seating is via galleries located midway up the seating; actors may use these, as well as auditorium entrances on the ground floor at the front and back of the seating.

There is also a dedicated stage manager's desk, with zoned paging to dressing rooms, FoH, and the technical areas, inbuilt intercom and controls for stage working lights. An optional video monitor is available for the SM, providing a front view of the stage. The building is equipped with a Canford TecPro intercom system for communication between the Stage Manager and the lighting and sound boxes. TecPro units can also be placed around the stage, and in the auditorium as required (typically for a musical the sound operator's position is in the house left audience gallery).

There are 18 commonly used bars above stage: three electrically winched, internally wired lighting bars, an electrically winched house tabs bar, four spare electrically winched bars and ten hemp sets, which were refitted in November 2009 with easier to handle ropes and to increase the number of available bars. The electrically winched bars are single-speed and too loud for live scenery flying, and there is only about 2m of useful height for hiding flown scenery in the grid. For this reason, most productions at Queens' do not rely on flown set (unless scenery is suspended and not moved in performance).

The Hall has a modest scene dock/workshop space, accessible from stage down a short flight of steps, with vehicle access at the other end of the dock. Access to the hall from the dock is constrained by a set of double doors (approx 7'x7'), at the top of the steps. Small but heavier items can be wheeled in through alternative routes (approx 4'x7'), which are step-free from the street. The Hall has a large workbench for panel cutting and scenery construction, and a modest set of hand tools.

College regulations require a Queens' technician to be in the hall at all times when the stage power ring is turned on, and when flying is taking place. Please contact the venue techies at least a week in advance of your get-in to arrange this. It should be noted that incoming productions must appoint their own set and lighting designers, carpenters and stage management team, and should not rely on the venue technicians to fulfil these roles.

Lighting

We have about 70 lanterns, mainly Strand Cantatas and Parcans; we also have a stock of cyc light battens (Strand Coda and Selecon Hui) and smaller lanterns. Please contact the venue techies for more information. These are powered from three D54 Act 6 dimmer packs and five Zero88 Betapacks, for a total of 48 ways of dimming which can be moved to near where they are used. There are 63A single phase ceeform outlets and thirteen D54 control points throughout the stage area and auditorium, offering a great deal of flexibility and the possibility of adding additional dimming. They are controlled by a Strand 520 lighting desk. There is also intelligent lighting and a strobe available, owned by Queens' Ents. BATS shows may use these only by prior arrangement and subject to availability.

Lanterns are usually rigged on the three internally wired bars above stage (10 circuits on each), and on the lighting bridge which crosses the hall about half-way down the auditorium. There are also audience galleries (on the first floor) and technical galleries (on the second floor) running from the front to the back of the audience, which are occasionally used as lighting positions. 63A mains power and D54 control is easily available on the technical galleries, but 15A extensions must be trailed down from there to the audience galleries to rig lights on the first floor. The technical galleries extend over the stage area and can be used to rig additional lights. The standard rig is six Source Four profiles rigged on the bridge to provide a full stage front wash and six Strand Cantatas on the first electric bar focused as top light for the downstage half of the stage. It is possible to control the house lights either via a panel in the control box or over DMX.

Sound

The main mixing console is an Allen & Heath GLD-80, with 40 inputs and 16 configurable outputs. There are eight XLR microphone tie lines onstage stage which are also patched into the mixing desk, and several others around the theatre. The desk comes with two stageboxes (one 24in/12out and one 8in/4out) which are connected to the desk over the CAT 5E patch. A shotgun mic on the lighting bridge provides stage relay for the mixing booth (which is acoustically separate from the auditorium). The hall also has a 30m 24/8 channel multicore which is terminated by a stage box at one end, for wiring up microphones for large bands or to provide additional microphone lines from stage. There are two handheld and four bodypack Sennheiser ew300 G3 radio mic transmitters, CD players and various tie lines in the booth to connect external input devices.

Output is via two PA speakers in the auditorium. If required, extra speakers may be available, but the main FoH speakers provide more than enough capacity for most shows. Active cabinets (owned by Queens' Ents) are available as stage or band monitors for musicals, subject to availability. There is also the facility to send sound to the front-of-house areas and dressing rooms.

There is an infra-red hearing assist system for the hearing impaired, up to a maximum of 8 users.

Video

The venue is equipped with a Christie HD10-K projector capable of up to 1080p resolution, a Kramer video switcher to integrate sources and a full-stage-width projection screen. The system accepts inputs via HDMI, DVI, VGA, Component, S-Video and Composite, and has the capability to send VGA and DVI to and from stage over the Cat 5E patch.

The hall is equipped with a 1080p remote controlled camera and video recording facilities, including stereo audio recording.

Last edited Mon 10th Feb 2014 by Oliver Duff

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