Flying system will be a soaring success at Queen’s Theatre

At the launch of the new £600,000 Queen's Theatre 'flying system' are North Devon Theatres Trust cha

At the launch of the new £600,000 Queen's Theatre 'flying system' are North Devon Theatres Trust chairman Richard Prowse, chief executive Alan Giddings, plus North Devon Council Leader Brian Greenslade. - Credit: Archant

New motorised scenery shifting set up unveiled after £600,000 renovation project at Barnstaple theatre.

THE Queen’s Theatre in Barnstaple is sailing from the 19th century straight into the 21st with the installation of a new £600,000 ‘flying system’.

The new computer controlled motorised system replaces the traditional ropes and pulleys that until recently were used to shift heavy scenery sets about the stage.

The project, funded by Arts Council England and North Devon Council plus contributions from Fullabrook CIC and the Foyle Foundation, also includes a new fully-mechanised stage extension system.

The work was carried out during eight weeks in the summer and the finished product was unveiled at a launch today (Monday).


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Chief executive Alan Giddings said the renovations would make a huge difference and stand the theatre in good stead for many years to come: “We have moved from the 19th to the 21st century and skipped the bit in between,” he said.

“It means we can put on bigger shows, we can take them in quickly, fit them up efficiently and run them very well.

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“The orchestra pit is now fully automated, the flying system is now motorised winches driven by computers, so you don’t have people hauling on ropes, you have people pressing buttons instead.”

The projects also saw improvements to the building, including enlarging the stage entries, plus the sound and lighting equipment.

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