David Collison''s “Sound of Theatre”

Saturday, October 11, 2008

After mighty labour and unrelenting research, my friend Collison has produced a new and wonderful book. It tells the true and inside story of how sound in theatre developed and uniquely puts into context the emergence of the sound designer in the USA and UK

The Sound of Theatre traces the development of theatre sound in the western world from the Ancient Greeks through to the modern digital age.

A chronology of key inventions leads from the discovery of electricity to the development of the telephone and the first recording devices, and charts how Hollywood’s massive investment in the Talkies led to the burgeoning of amplified sound in the theatre.

With many personal anecdotes and contributions from pioneering British and American soundmen, David Collison gives an account of how theatre sound developed in the 20th century leading to the advent of the sound designer.

In so many ways this is more than a book about sound alone, for it tells the story of a quite revolutionary change in the way theatre is presented today. David’s book uniquely describes how sound has emerged from a minor backstage supporting role to being a major player on our modern stage.

David’s story covers a great period in Theatre Projects progress, where our lighting and sound designers were daily to be found working on the stages of every theatre in London’s West End and then around the world.

Some comments from his peers:

Just a few pages into David Collison’s The Sound of Theatre, it became clear that I’d found a kindred spirit—one who has been through variations on every kind of triumph and tribulation a sound designer can experience and live to tell the tale.
LIGHTING&SOUND AMERICA, OCTOBER 2008 (Read the complete review at, 

The book is highly recommended reading for anyone with the slightest interest in the history of theatre in general and theatre sound in particular, and should be an absolute requirement for the library of any self-respecting drama college.

Enlivened with anecdotes and profusely illustrated throughout, this book is more than a history. It contains a philosophy and a human story, and deserves to be read.
GRAEME CRUICKSHANK. CUELINE (Newsletter of the West End Stage Management Association)

An absolutely captivating read. I read it cover to cover in four days (it usually takes me far longer to read something of that length). What a tour de force!
DAVID E. SMITH - DIRECTOR OF SOUND. School of Design & Production, North Carolina School of the Arts

It is the most comprehensive book on this subject yet produced, and is likely to remain a standard reference for years to come.

plus shipping ($15.00 US only)
Normal Price: $49.99

plus shipping (£5.50 UK only)
Normal Price £29.99

Order online now!