The Books




ISBN-10: 1978211031

ISBN-13: 978-1978211032

Available in print and

as an E-Book from


its worldwide sites


First published in Great Britain in 2008 by PLASA Limited

ISBN 978-0-9557035-1-5

Available in the UK from:

PLASA Limited

Redoubt House

1 Edward Road

Eastbourne BN23 8AS


Also available from


its worldwide sites

Available in the USA from:

PLASA Media Inc.

630 Ninth Avenue

Suite 609

New York, NY  10036




Available from


its worldwide sites


Available from


its worldwide sites



ISBN 093683918-X

Out of print but sometimes

available from AMAZON.CO.UK and iIts worldwide sites



With little money and only a basic grasp of the language, how do you set about restoring a ruined cottage in Spain?

The true story of a British couple on holiday in Spain, who discover a ruined farmhouse for sale in Andalucia.  The romantic notion of owning their own little place in the sun - for not very much money - and being able to live a Spanish lifestyle, is too good to resist.

Unfortunately, as so often happens in Spain, the deal is not quite what it seems when they discover that the man selling the property does not actually own it.  This is only the start of a long journey.  Renovating the finca becomes a much bigger task than anticipated.  Along the way there are many comic episodes and they encounter a host of extraordinary characters, including six different builders and a hostile neighbour.  Comedy and confusion ensure.

Nothing daunted, a few years later they decide to have a house built to their own design.  Once again, there are unforeseen problems.  A rogue lawyer absconds with their money, and a series of totally bizarre events conspire to make a simple project into a  complex puzzle; it takes many years before the reasons for all these frustrations finally fall into place. 

Vital reading for anyone wishing to restore a ruin, renovate a finca, or battle with Spanish bureaucracy in a bid to enjoy a little place in the sun.


From the Ancient Greeks to

the Modern Digital Age


It was not until the 1970s that the production of electronically produced sound for the theatre was generally accepted as a technical art. Today sound is an accepted part of theatrical performance and the sound designer has at his disposal equipment rivaling that of broadcasting and recording studios in sophistication.

David Collison was one of the first leading authorities on theatre sound.

Beginning with a basic introduction to both natural and electronically produced sound for the non-technical reader. Collison then goes on to discuss the component parts of a sound system and how to connect them together. Techniques of recording and editing are discussed with particular reference to the creation of sound effects, including a fascinating section on live and mechanical noise-machines. Microphone techniques and sound systems for musicals are considered in relation to the author's own wide experience in this field. The final chapter describes some permanent theatre sound installations including the one for the National theatre of Great Britain, for which the author acted as sound consultant.

Throughout the book, there is useful advice on the most suitable equipment for particular applications with hints on how to achieve the best results. 120 line drawings and 50 black-and-white photographs clarify technical points.

Using 186 photographs and illustrations, The Sound of Theatre traces the development of theatre sound in the Western world from the Ancient Greeks creating thunder with stones in large copper jars to the modern age of digital technology.

The great theatrical spectacles of the 18th and 19th centuries relied heavily upon the creation of realistic storms and battles and many of the early sound effects machines are described and depicted in this book including wind and rain machines, thunder sheets, thunder drums and thunder runs. The creation of animal noises are described and there are details of how the sound was created for the famous 1925 play "The Ghost Train".

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

There is a detailed account of how theatre sound effects in the 20th century progressed from 78 r.p.m. discs, tape machines, CDs and minidiscs to digital samplers and computers. The book also traces the history of voice amplification for the actor leading to the creation of the theatre sound designer.

Sound design for Broadway and West End musicals is extensively covered with contributions from some of the pioneers of stage sound.

With anecdotes and recollections from British and American theatre sound practitioners, David Collison provides a vivid picture of what it was like to be involved in such a rapidly changing world.

The book has been widely recommended as a resource for students studying theatre sound, stage schools, university drama courses, stage management courses and for anyone with an interest in theatre technology or the history of theatre in general.