Birmingham Repertory Theatre – Audio Infrastructure Upgrades

The Birmingham Repertory Theatre, established in 1911, has a rich history of bringing quality theatre to British audiences. Now, the theatre is adding a new chapter to its story, working with Push The Button to install the latest audio infrastructure.

The previous system, made up of analogue 1-pair audio cabling, terminated in XLR connectors, was due for an upgrade to keep up with the latest in talkback communications systems. The new system required CAT6A data points throughout the venue, and fresh cables had to be pulled to each location. Push The Button won the contract and provided an augmentation to the existing facilities panel infrastructure, adding CAT6A to existing panel locations so that the theatre could plug in the new intercom equipment.

The installation wasn’t without its challenges, however with some cable runs spanning long distances, a fibreoptic backbone was required to link the sub-stage location to the communications room on the 2nd floor. Network switches were positioned at each end. This kept the outgoing CAT6A cable runs to below 100m with zero latency. CAT6A cabling now runs to 34 locations around the theatre, either through augmented existing routes, or where required, through freshly installed trunking.

The installation was carried out while a long running production was in the theatre, meaning the team had to work anti-social hours to ensure minimal disruption. But the hard work paid off and the new system was fitted without disruption to the show.

To maintain flexibility, the original analogue wiring was left in place for backwards compatibility if required by future visiting production teams. The legacy system had the original media matrix removed and is now terminated with GPO patch bays. The new panels were designed to fit natively with the old, giving the final installation a deliberate and well-functioning appearance.

Push The Button delivered the project on time and without disruption.