North Shields theatre venue hopes to attract big artists after tech refurb

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The Exchange 1856 is in the process of a seven figure makeover.

A North Shields theatre is on the hunt for national shows after a major sound and lighting upgrade.

The Exchange 1856, which is located on North Shields’ Howard Street, is looking to attract national shows and big name artists to perform in their 450 capacity event space, after their tech refurbishment.

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The brand-new “state of the art” sound and lighting system which is now in place at The Exchange 1856 was designed and installed by James Moore and his company Nitelites.

James Moore’s Nitelites are one of the best known names in the industry, and have worked with world-leading events such as BBC Proms, Great North Run and Sunderland’s International Airshow.

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The system at The Exchange 1856 involves 21 moving light heads as well as a plug in and play digital sound system with the latest headset microphones, meaning local performers will not need to supply their own equipment.

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Youngsters who took part in the North Tyneside Rock School event were the first acts to test out the new systems at The Exchange 1856.

The revamp of the lighting and sound system is part of a major seven figure makeover of the entire building, after operator Paul Stonebanks OBE took on the premises, which also will include improvements to the bar, restaurant, courtyard, restrooms, office spaces and more.

Youngsters taking part in North Tyneside’s Rock School event enjoy the new lighting and sound system at The Exchange 1856.Youngsters taking part in North Tyneside’s Rock School event enjoy the new lighting and sound system at The Exchange 1856.
Youngsters taking part in North Tyneside’s Rock School event enjoy the new lighting and sound system at The Exchange 1856. | Michael Bailey

Stuart Egan, Managing Director at The Exchange 1856, said: “Coming from a technical background in theatre, I understand the importance of good acoustics and high-quality lighting for both the performers and the audience experience. Upgrading these systems means we can now target much larger shows and attract different events such as live music bands, theatre stage shows, comedy performers and business conferences. We want to bring a wide range of cultural events to North Shields and put the area on the national cultural stage in more ways than one!”

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