Sunday in the Park with George

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Sunday in the Park with George
Performance Dates
16th - 22nd March 2019
New Athenaeum Theatre
Creative Team
Dougie Irvine
Movement Director
Rachel Drazek
Musical Director
David Higham
Set Designer
Ruth Darling
Costume Designer
Jack Sheehan
Lighting Designer
Sound Designer
Production Team
Production Manager
Lynfryn Mackenzie
Assistant Production Manager
Stage Manager
Deputy Stage Manager
Assistant Stage Managers
Production Electrician
Lighting and Video Programmer
Assistant Production Electricians
Sound No. 1
Production Sound Engineer
Sound No. 3
Stage Supervisor
Head of Automation and Flys
Assistant Stage Supervisors


Stage Management

Technical Stage Department

Automation and Flys

The design of “Sunday in the Park” presented the Stage Department with a variety of challenges, the majority of which affected the overhead rig. The size, quantity, and required action of the suspended pieces, coupled with the restrictions of the Ath grid and flys, required that the traditional rigging methods of certain flown effects be re-engineered or adjusted, in order that the full overhead rig could be realised without clashing or overlap.

Flown Masking

It was Ruth’s intention that Act 1 and Act 2 have very different visual styles. The main result of this from a technical viewpoint would be that Act 1 would feature no side or top masking, leaving all lighting bars, ladders, and wings visible to the audience. As part of the transition into the interval over the last song of Act 1, three full masking sets would fly in along with a ‘fully rendered’ version of the Act 1 set, a back cloth, and then the finished ‘Sunday Afternoon’ framed canvas. This was one of the biggest technical challenges to achieve for the Deaprtment, as due to the length of the Ath’s counterweight bars and the height of the grid, the immediate solution of flying borders and legs on counterweight wasn’t an option. Through research and mock-ups we developed an automated solution that allowed all masking to fly at the same time, controlled by one operator.

Rigging and Operation

Three 16m H30V truss spans were assembled and each suspended from two points of automation. Four were Kinesys motors positioned at the counterweight drop points, and two were Stage Technology winches. Next, spot block pulleys were hung on the truss, bridled centre by two 500mm slings and a delta maillon. Double sheave blocks were positioned at both ends, and single sheave blocks 2500mm onstage from each end, resulting in the equivalent to a two point hemp set rig. A 16x5m border was tied to the front of the truss, and two hemp lines fed through the pulley systems on each side.

After floating the truss to conduit the border we took it to its ‘Show IN’ height. As the legs we were using were 6000mm tall, we decided on a border trim of 5800mm. (For automation purposes all measurements were taken from the underside of the truss, meaning this was recorded as 10800mm). In turn, each 2400 x 6000mm leg was walked into place underneath its suspension points. The offstage hemp line was fed through the grummets on the flat and terminated directly onto the bottom turnbuckle. As the onstage edge was more likely to be seen, the hemp line was terminated onto a 6000mm steel which was then fed through the flat onto the turnbuckle at the bottom. These buckles would allow us to re-level the legs before each show to compensate for any stretch in the system.

The offstage end of each hemp line was then taken to the respective fly floor and - taking tension on the leg - cleated off to the flyrail. After minor adjustments in the stropping of the truss and the spot block positions the system was good to go.

The result of this system was a double-purchased set of legs affected by a single-purchase border. As the truss flew out the spot blocks allowed for the hemp lines to be pulled through and the legs to fly. In its OUT position, the top of the legs sat just under the pulleys, with the majority of the flat hiding behind the border, high out of sight of the audience. Flown traditionally, the furthest out the legs could have gone was 500mm - well below the lighting bars. With this system, it was closer to 8000mm.

Programming and Maintenance

Due to the number of axes available to us, both Kinesys and Stage Tech motors were utilised for the masking effect. As such, both desks had to share elements of programming so as the different systems could operate in unison. Due to the different mechanisms within the motors, we discovered that there existed a slight delay for the BigTows brakes to disengage that was not present with the LiftKets. As such, and through trial and error, this 0.8s delay was added to each cue on Vector to compensate. The full automation plot and cue sheet is shown below.

To compensate for the stretching of the hemp throughout the action, the legs were re-levelled before the first show of each day. A ‘Maintenance’ dead was set 20mm below the ‘Show IN’, allowing the legs to be levelled perfectly to the floor whilst giving leeway for any stretch over the following performance. This also ensured that the legs were always slightly floating, meaning that the truss wouldn’t swing when they started to fly OUT, which could have resulted in it hitting the fly floors on either side.

LX Trapeze Bars

Due to the position, size, and required action of the ‘Chromulume’ piece, the overhead rig had to be altered to create a gap centre stage. This channel needed to be wide and tall enough for the piece to move freely from floor to grid, without clashing with anything else in the - already tightly packed - air. One method used to achieve this gap was the trapezing of LX 3 and 4, each split over two 4500mm bars, suspended on 8000mm drifts. This allowed the actual counterweight bar to sit at the grid, whilst letting the lights remain at a workable show height.

The loading and unloading procedure for these bars differed from a usual counterweight set. Bars were part-loaded at flys and the intermediate fly floor (dependant on the master bar being either a single or double purchase set, and the position of the cradle when the trapeze was at working height). As electrics hung every two lamps, one weight (two for D.P.) was added to the cradle to compensate. Once all lamps were hung, the remainder of the calculated weight was added for cable and rigging. Though a slow process, this ensured the system was always balanced, minimising the risk of either bar or cradle running away.

Bar 11

The only other piece that would have clashed with the ‘Chromulume’ was the furthest downstage flown tree. As this had to be live-flown it could not be hung from a trapeze as it’s OUT dead would still be well in-view of the audience. Instead, the devised solution was to remove the pipe of Bar 11 from the wire ropes of the counterweight set and replace it with a 4500mm scaff bar over the the short and short-mid lines. The long-mid and long then had stage weights attached to compensate for the removed weight. During the removal - and then replacement - of the bar the cradle was ratchet strapped to a grid beam, ensuring it wouldn’t slip and let the system run through.

For storage, and due to its length, the Bar 11 pipe was fitted with four double barrel clamps and hung on Bar 28. This was then gridded for the duration of the run.

Production Paperwork





The SITPWG lighting rig consisted of a mixture of lighting units. There was a lot of generic fixtures as well as the RCS's MAC Encores, 16x ROBE Spiikies hired from Black-Light and 2x MAC Encore WRMs, kindly donated to us for the production from BlueParrot.

There were no practicals on this production, so the electrics team focused mainly on the preparation of the large lighting rig in the run up to the get-in.

The PLX created a loom sheet so that the get-in was quick and smooth. File:SITPWGLXLooms.docx

The show had a pyrotechnic effect in act 2. This was to simulate an electrical fault with a piece of the set. We used a large robotic on this, and ran a 50m cable to prompt-side flys and then down to the prompt desk. It was controlled by the in-house Le Maitre 2-way firing device and operated only by the PLX. As the set landed within proximity of the performers after detonation, a safe system of work was implemented in the event of a non-fire or mis-fire. File:PyroProcedure.docx File:RA Large Robotic.docx

S5.jpg S4.jpg S2.jpg



Show Quotes

Input & Output List

Cast Information