Designing structures for the theatre, the Good Canary

CampbellReith was recently appointed by Clockwork Scenery and The Rose Theatre, Kingston, to design an innovative structural frame as part of a production stage set. The frame forms part of the production of ‘Good Canary’, which is currently running at the theatre and is directed by Hollywood actor & director John Malkovich.

In place of conventional scenery backdrops which are raised and lowered, the production utilises a number of large digital screens which can be used to display any backdrop required. The digital screens are hung on a series of rails, allowing them to be moved up and down stage into a number of configurations, which allows the actors to walk in and around them.

In total the digital screens weigh almost 2 tonnes and CampbellReith was responsible for the design of a supportingframe arrangement for these to be hung from. A solution using narrow gauge steel tubing was developed, with truss elements carrying the screens which were designed for loads which could be applied in a number of configurations and which could be dynamic in nature. These trussed frames were in turn supported using a mixture of hangers from the theatre roof ‎in conjunction with free standing trussed towers. The towers transmitted not only the vertical load down to the Stage, but also resisted the horizontal forces the frame was subjected to.

Though the critics have not mentioned the supporting structure directly, the production, which runs until the 8th of October, has received great reviews.