Emma has worked as a Theatre Consultant for over 20 years and specialises in auditorium design and planning. Previously she worked for Carr & Angier & Artec. Emma has been a musician, choir singer and instrumental teacher.
Her ethos is that the intimacy and atmosphere of a vibrant auditorium however large or small can only be achieved with consistent and constant attention to many details both technical and the seemingly intangible.
The many technical aspects include fixed/retractable/flexible seating arrangements, sightlines, means of escape, disabled provision within auditoria and back-of-house, control rooms, lighting, suspension, relationship between platform/stage & auditorium, possible forestage lifts/orchestra pit. Even more critical is the sense of the size and language of the room, the expectations the space generates and the many aspects of communication between the performers and audiences.
Emma’s other experience includes general planning, access planning, concert platforms, the detail of stage and flytower layouts and orchestra pits.
If you were to establish your own venue, what would you call it?
The Fughetta because it is a short, beautiful piece of music which nevertheless is structured and full of rules – just like an auditorium.
… and what would that venue specialize in? Dance, live music, theatre…?
It would be a small community mixed venue.
What qualities should a 'great performance space' have?
Great performance spaces have a sense of room, create a buzz of anticipation, and have something intangible in the air.
What first sparked your love of theatre or performing arts?
One of my earliest memories is a family trip to a small amphitheatre in Rhodes (Greece). Even now, I can remember how much I was in awe of the atmosphere, and I believe this kindled my subsequent fascination with performance spaces.