The theatre company who are bringing back crowd noise for QPR

07 July 2020 10:46
Autograph have worked in iconic theatres for 40 years. Now they are restoring the atmosphere at Loftus RoadBy Richard Foster for the Guardian Sport NetworkTV companies have been trying to overcome the issue of crowd noise since football returned in England. Sky teamed up with EA Sports, who provide the sonic backdrop to the Fifa video games, to give viewers the option of hearing simulated crowd noise during games. That approach provides a familiar atmosphere to viewers at home, but it does nothing for the most important people in the stadium: the players. Autograph, the largest theatrical sound company in the UK, have tried to solve this problem. During lockdown they joined forces with QPR and experimented with the idea of simulating crowd noise inside Loftus Road, pumping out club-specific songs from particular sections of the ground.For the last 40 years, Autograph have made their name working in theatres such as the Royal Opera House, National Theatre and Royal Court. With so many of their usual venues closed during lockdown, they had an opportunity to try something new. “We had a lot of equipment come back to us that would otherwise have been out on shows,” says Will McGonagle, the company’s hire manager. “Our chairman, who is a huge Manchester United fan as well as a huge cricket fan, came up with the idea of giving it a go.” As a QPR supporter, McGonagle was keen. “It started as a passion project but it quickly evolved into something that might offer some help to the teams as it was going to be so weird playing in a silent stadium,” he says. Related: The pools panel: three former players who never stopped in lockdown Related: 'It was non-stop': the club staff who looked after footballers in lockdown Continue full article

Source: TheGuardian