Manufacturing Music for the National Theatre

Shakespeare said “all the world’s a stage and all the men and women merely players” and for the Cornwall factory of European Springs & Pressings, this couldn’t be more true.

The National Theatre, world-renowned for creating award winning theatre productions, is staging Shakespeare’s Macbeth and approached the Redruth factory to develop springs that enhanced the sound production of the performance.

National Theatre - European Springs

Simon Allen, Instrument Maker and Sonic Bricolage for Macbeth at the National Theatre says: “We were looking to procure some large tension and compression springs to use as musical instruments, played on stage by two professional musicians. I approached European Springs & Pressings with the need to develop a bespoke solution.

Built into the infrastructure of the stage set, the springs are struck, bowed and scraped with amplification. Although there are instances of car springs and extension springs being used for sound effects, bowing springs is a rarity; and with the right specifications we’d achieve a unique sound quality.”

Macbeth National Theatre - European Springs

Michael Gibbs, Managing Director of the Cornish factory says: “Our springs and wire forms are used across multiple industries for multiple purposes from automotive to shipping, oil rigs to the medical industry but this really is a first. We’ve had springs featured in the windows of Liberty of London, we’ve been part of art installations and we’ve formed part of the architecture across key landmarks but being used for sound is a whole new world of productivity. The spring really is the most versatile of products and its engineering is at the heart of so many sectors.”

Macbeth, played by Rory Kinnear, and Lady Macbeth played by Anne-Marie Duff, is directed by the Director of the National Theatre, Rufus Norris. It opens on 26 February running until 23 June, playing live in cinemas across the UK on 10 May.www.nationaltheatre.org.ukwww.europeansprings.com

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