Vertigo does The Full Monty
Friday, 12 April 2002
Vertigo Rigging has installed the Broadway hit musical version of The Full Monty into the Prince of Wales Theatre for its West End run. Vertigo are past masters in the art of rigging large West End musicals. Others having included Beauty & The Beast, The Lion King, Notre Dame de Paris, Mamma Mia and many more.

Vertigo’s Full Monty team was led by the unflappable Ken Mehmed. The team worked closely with master carpenter Micky Murray and production managers Stuart Crosbie and Simon Marlow for producers Sacha Brookes. Vertigo used 40 Lodestar motors to rig the flown elements of the set, designed by John Arnone. These were dead hung in the theatre’s roof once positioned correctly in a very precise operation. A substantial proportion of the stage scenery is flown, so the PoW grid is very tightly packed with flats and set pieces, and the rigging had to be spot on. One of the more unusual pieces is a rotating silver slash curtain, which comes in and turns before flying back out again.

Vertigo also installed an industrial-style false proscenium arch, resembling a steelworks and setting the atmosphere for the story. The film on which the musical is based was set in Sheffield in the 1980s, with the steel industry spiralling into spectacular decline. The stage action, however, is set in Buffalo, New York, where another group of unemployed steel workers decide to beat the welfare by forming a male strip troupe and going for ‘The Full Monty’.

The stage-based sections of set - also tough, heavy and stressed - slide back and forth. Vertigo rigged four special trusses to house the sliding mechanism. The sliding set pieces are made from a variety of materials including glass and corrugated metal, and were supplied to the production by Gerrietts UK. In conjunction with Micky Murray and the carpentry department, Vertigo helped set up and tune the motors that drive the sliders.

(Ruth Rossington)

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