As we emerge, blinking, from the dark and head into the new season, a quick look at what we achieved.

Going Dark, an age old phrase describing a period when the Theatre’s closed to shows and the public, an opportunity to get the maintenance and other works carried out that can’t be done if there are audiences and cast around. This year, we got lucky as the programme meant that we effectively got a month to play with.

The list was huge, the Technical Team were looking at load testing the flying systems, re-rigging masking bars and re-routing cables & ropes in the grid, repairing acres of drape & starcloth, carpeting the pit, cleaning & servicing the entire stage lighting stock and much more. Front of House we had a plan to complete the re-upholstery of the auditorium seats (30 in all), to fit new handrails to external steps, to finally cure the leaks in the Greene Room Bar roof glazing (no more yellow thugs to fall over), to repair some damaged plasterwork high up in the Gallery… and much more.

There was also a schedule of works to certify all the electrics in the building and carry out preventative maintenance to plumbing and fixtures & fittings throughout. We closed the doors on the evening of the 9th July and at seven-thirty on the morning of the 10th we started.

My, trades like an early start! Some of us turned our theatre clocks back to allow for the 7:30am arrivals. The next three weeks were a round of scaffolders, plumbers, carpenters, plasterers, riggers, stitchers, electricians, glaziers and engineers.

At six o’clock on the evening of Wednesday 7th August, we opened the doors to our first audience in a month and hopefully, everybody enjoyed the first night of SYPT’s Legally Blonde in a theatre somewhat refreshed, somewhat cleaner and decidedly up to snuff maintenance wise!

We’re on the other side now, some of the work will be very noticeable, some not so much, but none of it would have been possible without the hard work and dedication of the house crew and casual technicians who have pooled their considerable skills and supported each other through a fairly intense period of work.

Oh, and we chose to do all this during a record-breaking heatwave!

Let the photos speak for themselves?

Fear not, for we shall catch you should you fall…

 

Dan, a recalcitrant screw & a Yankee

 

Tech’s service line

 

A sight not often seen, both the stage & pit open

 

The fibre optics that make the star cloth err… starry

 

It got hot, we ate ice cream

 

Up in the grid – 40 degrees – short bursts & litres of water!

 

The mechanics of a theatre seat

 

 

Matthew Abercrombie

Theatre Manager