The Liverpool Everyman Theatre was originally built in 1837 and closed in 1963 before reopening in 1964 to become a significant part of Liverpool’s cultural scene and community. In 2011, Everyman Theatre required updating and TAIT Stage Technologies was selected to design, supply and install a complex stage engineering system for the newly rebuilt Everyman Theatre. The new theatre, which opened in March 2014, is a welcoming, world-class 450 seat performance space in the heart of the city.
For the new theatre, Charcoal Blue worked with the Everyman Trust to produce a Stage Engineering Specification focused on flexibility and future expansion. This combined both automated and non-powered engineering applications spread throughout the fly tower and thrust grids, and at stage level with a completely re-configurable and removable staging and seating rostra.
Main Contractor, Gilbert Ash selected TAIT Stage Technologies to design, supply and install a complex Stage Engineering System for the newly rebuilt Everyman Theatre. Lovingly recreated to capture the spirit of the legendary original Everyman, the venue also boasts bars and bistros, a ‘theatre and community’ Studio, writers’ study, meeting and function rooms, as well as rehearsal space and a recording studio. TAIT Stage Technologies worked closely with Gilbert Ash. Mike McLaughlin, Contracts Manager at Gilbert Ash, said “This is the first time the Gilbert Ash theatre team has worked with TAIT Stage Technologies and hopefully it will not be the last. From the beginning Gilbert Ash and TAIT Stage Technologies struck up a good working relationship based on good communication, sharing problems and finding acceptable solutions.”
The automation system utilized TAIT Stage Technologies’ Nomad Control Desk and Wireless Solo to control a flying system comprising BigTow fly bar winches and sidebar winches, TipTow Point Hoists (TTPH) with swiveling gimbal pulleys, and Variable Speed Chain hoists (CH:i). Hardware was installed to enable the TTPH and CH:Is to be moved between Thrust and Flytower Grids to offer the venue ultimate flexibility within the available space. The Fly bar and TTPH winches are rated for Performer Flying. In addition to the Flying System, TAIT Stage Technologies installed travelling
lighting bridges that traverse the width of the thrust grid; travelling beams which run up and down stage above the thrust grid; a variable and demountable sliding proscenium; rostra sub-structure and scissor lift; and a fixed pipe grid at height level within the rehearsal space.
The venue employs a dedicated crew, focused on managing the equipment and utilizing it to its full potential. A summary of the equipment installed is as follows:
10 x Big Tow BT2-300 Flybar Winches
2 x Big Tow BT2-200 Sidebar Winches
8 x Tip-Tow Point Hoists
4 x 1000kg Variable Speed Chainhoist Intelligence (CH:i)
1 x 500kg fixed Speed Chainhoist
1 x Nomad Control Desk
1 x Wireless Solo control Desk
1 x Mobile Maintenance Panel
2 x Travelling Lighting Bridges
9 x Travelling Beams
1 x variable Sliding Proscenium
1 x Fixed Pipe Grid (Rehearsal Space)