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The Britannia Theatre at Dickens World is to become a test venue for a new product developed by sound technology giant Bose, whose UK headquarters is in Gillingham Business Park.
Known as RoomMatch, the system is designed to deliver live acoustics which compete with the UK’s best music venues.
The deal has come about as a result of Bose’s plans to move its HQ to new offices in Chatham, opposite the theatre, in April.
The partnership will mean Bose can test the equipment on clients without having to develop an expensive life-size testing facility.
The equipment, worth about £85,000, is being loaned to Dickens World free of charge, in exchange for Bose having access to the theatre when there are no performances.
Staff at Dickens World are busy erecting two steel girders, weighing one-and-a-half tons, to support the new system, which will serve concert-goers and stage-lovers at the 800-capacity Chatham theatre.
Dickens World entertainment consultant Aadil Rasheed said: “If you don’t ask, you don’t get and when I approached Bose, they said they would like to use us to test their product.
“They like the fact Dickens World will get families through the door and will be putting on a mix of children’s shows and concerts, enabling them to fully test the product.
“It was good timing. We went to them with a proposition when they were looking to get their RoomMatch system out there.”
The system – the first in Kent – will be installed by Saturday, March 8 and used for the first time during a concert with soul band Drizabone on March 15.
It is the first major renovation brought in by Dickens World’s new owners, who took over the debt-hit venue in September, which had suffered years of financial losses.
Director Lenny Andreou said: “The underlying goal is to make the Britannia Theatre the best venue in the South East.
“Once this sound system is in place, the only rival to us on sound quality will be the O2, although it has a massively bigger capacity.
“People think the Britannia Theatre is olde worlde but this is 21st century sound.
“We want the people of Kent to feel proud that within their county is a venue which is out on its own.”
Bose’s UK sales manager Simon Holley said: “We are excited to be working with the Britannia Theatre.
“The RoomMatch product is a full-performance system that can be used in a venue holding as little as 100 people or for several thousand.”
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