Historic Water Hydraulic Platforms at The Royal Drury Lane Theatre

12th December 2019

During the winter of 2018/2019, Dorothea, Gardiner & Theobold and Unusual Rigging were tasked with the demonstration and removal of the historic water-hydraulic machinery at the famous, Drury Lane Theatre in London. Dorothea started with testing and mobilization of the original machinery which has not been used for almost a decade to ensure that it was complete and factual prior to storage. The London high-pressure water mains were no longer available but we were able to pressurize the system to operate the lifts although at a lower pressure resulting in a slight delay before the lifts would react. 

Once demonstrated, as can be seen on YouTube, the system was finally emptied and the major dismantling and transportation process started. Unusual Rigging installed a large gantry that was used to lift and transport the large components to the back of the stage for packaging or further dismantling. All small components were placed within secure storage crates ready for loading into large containers. This required an enormous amount of planning, and co-coordination which was carried out by Gardiner Theobold to perfection.

Once removed the components will be in temporary storage until a suitable home has been identified.