Settling into my seat at Studio 54, I let the sound design begin to transport me like a musical overture — the chittering of creatures and the bubbling of water, echoing from tall grasses and low haze on the edge of a Southern swamp.At each performance of “Caroline, or Change,” I look forward to this calming bit of preshow acclimation, even as a Confederate statue stands imposingly at center stage. And I keep my eyes peeled for the theater’s Covid safety enforcer patrolling the orchestra, arms crossed, scanning the audience for any unmasked faces. Spotting him calms me, too.When the lights dim, the statue is wheeled off, and in its place when they come up again is Caroline Thibodeaux, in the person of the astonishing British actor Sharon D Clarke, doing laundry in a Louisiana basement in 1963.I didn’t set out to see this musical masterpiece by Tony Kushner and Jeanine Tesori seven times this season, but I have. For the record, I’d been scared to see it even once — scared the way you get when you cherish a work of art so fiercely that you don’t want to risk finding it diminished.
Laura Collins-Hughes https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/07/theater/caroline-or-change-multiple-views.html
Paul Arditti’s sound design is oft understated but peaks in the right moments, with helicopters swooping overhead and motorbikes screaming across the stage - without the audience ever seeing either items. It’s brilliantly done. Arditti’s work also ensures we hear the excellent 7-piece live band under the direction of Phil Bateman. The band deliver Knopfler’s score with precision and it’s clear they enjoy every moment of being seen on stage, especially during the wonderful ceilidh scene.
Brett Herriot Scots Gay Arts
The entire creative team has done a stellar job. Fly Davis's design utilises the intimacy of the Hampstead to the maximum, whilst there is superb sound and lighting from Paul Arditti and Jack Knowles respectively.
It's thrilling to see a show such as Caroline, Or Change evoking a huge response in London in 2018. This is a must see for theatregoers - you don't want to miss Sharon D Clarke giving the masterclass of all masterclasses in this stellar revival.
In the cavernous Olivier auditorium, it takes a special talent – in my experience – to get all the sound – dialogue, music and effects – just right. Here we have speech over live music with the economical use of radio mikes, we have
crescendo-enhanced punctuation marks at important moments in the narrative and we have the pure diamond-encrusted resonance of Mozart’s music permeating the space and enthralling the audience. In Sound Designer Paul Arditti therefore, Longhurst is fortunate enough to have been able to unleash his own jewel on the proceedings.
Arditti gets the acoustics, feels the rhythm and identifies the vibe. The show depends on natural, balanced sound and Arditti delivers: Amadeus is a beautiful play, Longhurst’s is a consummate production and Arditti’s input elevates it to greatness.
Peter Yates LondonTheatre1.com
This is perhaps the key question in Icke’s ferociously good update, a genuinely moving meditation of the burden of power written in seamless blank verse. It’s performed on a simple, round wooden set with the cast in chic modern dress, adorned only by constant, kinetic movement and a beautiful, ever-present ambient sound design from Paul Arditti (with an original song from Laura Marling at the end).
Andrzej Lukowski Time Out
I don’t want to spoil it by disclosing the unforgettable way Icke’s production develops this sense of ironic reversal, except to say that the sequence is played out to an original song by Laura Marling. Throughout, the choreography of the women’s symbolic proximity to each other has an unforced rightness and the excellent sound design by Paul Arditti unobtrusively ministers to the tense atmosphere. A remarkably satisfying achievement.
Paul Taylor The Independent
Rufus Norris has appointed Paul Arditti as an associate director of London’s National Theatre. The small team of associates have key influence over the artistic policy of the National Theatre, from the commissioning of work to the operation of the building, and have predominantly been actors and directors. This is the first time a sound designer has been appointed.
Artitti’s appointment is a reflection of the increasing significance of sound and sound design as having an integral artistic contribution to productions. As Norris has noted: “Paul Arditti is a theatremaker first and a sound designer second. Sound design is increasingly a hugely complex and integrated part of our theatre language. To have that voice at the table will be invaluable.”
When announcing the appointment, Norris said: “His massive wealth of experience of theatre generally, and exacting pursuit of excellence in his chosen field, make Paul a terrific addition to our team. As with all our associates, he will contribute to the philosophical and artistic steering of the organisation as a whole, but he will also have sound design as a particular area of focus.”
Arditti is a world-renowned sound designer, whose recent work includes Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, King Charles III, One Man, Two Guvnors, London Road and Billy Elliot the Musical (for which he won an Olivier award and a Tony award). He is a founder member of the Association of Sound Designers.
In response to his appointment, Arditti said: “It is excellent that Rufus is choosing a wide pool of associates, representing not just theatre directors, but everyone who deserves a say in the creative output of the NT.”
AK Bennett-Hunter The Stage