Technovations’ Graham Owens explains that they turned to James Thomas to help design a unique, multi-purpose, trussing solution to maximise the theatre’s rather unusual space. It was originally an open air theatre and is now enclosed by a tented roof. The trussing system had to accommodate - and be utilisable for - all production elements in the theatre, both stage and auditorium lighting, sound and scenery as well as providing plenty of scope for larger, more complex productions that will be staged in the future. Paul Young project managed for James Thomas - the first time they had worked with Technovations. Timescale was initially extremely tight, and was then brought forward a further week by the client, but all deadlines were met and the build plans went like clockwork.
Paul devised a six leg system built out of 30 cm tower truss for the legs. They used 45 x 30 cm trussing on the main beam runs, two of which are cantilevered from the towers to form a large U shape. Heavier duty 52 cm truss - needed in this instance to take loads of up to 1500kg - was used for the run across the front-of-stage edge of the structure. The entire trussing grid sits in the Imagination Theatre’s auditorium. Being highly visible, it was vital that it looked good, interfered minimally with sightlines and had an expedient footprint . . . as well as providing the necessary load-bearing facilities in all the right locations of the room. "Working with James Thomas was an excellent experience," says Graham Owens. "They were superb, highly professional and delivered on time, pulling out all the stops to ensure it happened smoothly and efficiently."
The entire system fitted together perfectly into the tight space the first time it was assembled in situ. Additionally, James Thomas were commissioned to make a Life On Mars signature sign, to specific LEGO dimensions and powder coated in the correct LEGO red pantone.