Les Miserables - Revolving Stage

We were approached by our Customer Centrestage Music Theatre in 2010 to help them develop a revolving stage which would allow them to accurately re create the original West End scenic concept of  the set for Les Miserables.

One of the challenges we faced was that the revolving stage had to be modular in order to pass through standard double doors.  This involved detailed CAD drawings and consultation with a Structural Engineer to make sure the finished job was fit for purpose.  The stage needed to be able to take the weight of up to 43 performers and considerable pieces of scenery with loads in excess of 1000kg – and still have the ability to rotate.

As the stage that this would be prodominantly used on had a significant rake, we were restricted with the height of our finished product as this could affect audience sight lines.

Most revolving stages are powered by drive chains or wire rope around a central pivot but due to reliability problems we had to redesign the drive system.

We overcame this problem by attaching duplex chain around the outer circumference of the stage which is then driven by twin duplex sprockets through a geared motor and small inventor to give high torque at low speeds allowing start/stop, variable speed and emergency stop throughout the performance. 

This work was all carried out on a very tight budget and within very strict timelines.  The revolving stage successfully operated over 14 peformances and 60 rehearsals and remained in place for several weeks where it was utilised to great effect on other concert performances. 

The revolve was extremely reliable and is currently available for hire to other theatre production companies and will be re installed at Centrestage for future re runs of Les Miserables.