Kit Microphones

Shure Captures Sound for Virtual Christmas Pantomime

Shure is supporting Sugarwell Studios, Imagine Theatre, and The Belgrade Theatre in Coventry on a mission to save the Christmas season. Thanks to the efforts of a determined team across the board, viewers can look forward to a new take on the classic Panto, Jack and the Beanstalk.


Traditional panto performances have been postponed until 2021, but Christmas is far from cancelled in Coventry, as the Belgrade Theatre prepares to host its first online pantomime. Specially created in response to ongoing restrictions on indoor performances, Jack and the Beanstalk Online will be available to stream at home throughout December, or to watch via a series of socially distanced screenings at the Belgrade Theatre.

The show is written and directed by the Belgrade’s regular panto Dame Iain Lauchlan, who will also play a number of characters in the show, alongside his regular comedy co-star Craig Hollingsworth. Jack and the Beanstalk Online is produced by Belgrade Film and Digital Ltd, an independent film production arm set up by the Belgrade Theatre Trust. The show is created and written by Iain Lauchlan. Production services are provided by Sugarswell Studios Ltd.

In order to enhance the experience of a virtual performance, Iain Lauchlan was keen to upgrade the sound system and chose Shure’s TwinPlex TL47 Subminiature lavalier microphones, PSM 300 in-ear monitoring systems and the new SLX-D Digital Wireless System. Iain comments: “We knew that to make this virtual pantomime a spectacular experience we had to upgrade our audio system to something special. We wanted to make sure the sound was relayed to listeners exactly as we would have intended them to hear it had they been sat in the theatre. The Shure system worked really well and sounded amazing. Acting on the show myself, I found the new ergonomic micro bodypacks completely unintrusive, they worked so well with costumes and wigs, I was very happy with it.”

Steve Boden of Imagine Theatre adds: “The response to the virtual pantomime has highlighted the importance of getting back to doing shows, generating money for venues and getting casts and crew back to doing the jobs that they love. People have been so desperate to see the theatre industry return to normal and streaming shows is something that has been discussed in theatre for a very long time. I believe we have created an accidental legacy and opened up an opportunity to reach an audience who can’t normally get into theatre.”

Heather Kincaid, Digital Content & PR Officer, Belgrade Theatre agrees: “The number of bookings we have had to date has been amazing. We’ve had over 100 school bookings since we announced the show, with people booking from across the UK and even internationally. The real challenge was adapting our website and booking infrastructure to meet the needs of streaming a production over a longer period of time, as opposed to live shows on set dates.”

Christopher Mock, Sound Engineer, further comments: “We had to think carefully about capturing the audio for a show which was going to be streamed virtually. We needed a discrete solution for our mics for the purposes of filming and chose to use TwinPlex lavalier mics. The discretion and sound quality of the microphone is unbelievably good. The SLXD system is very easy to set up, I know RF well, but for those that may be experiencing it for the first time, there is a huge improvement in the ease of set up on this product. The option of rechargeable batteries is a welcomed feature.”

Jack and the Beanstalk Online will be available to stream at home from 1-31 December.