Citizens Theatre Redevelopment: Our New Fly Tower

We recently celebrated a momentous milestone on our journey back home as our new fly tower was installed on site of the Building Redevelopment.

Photo by Amber Keating

A fly tower is used to hang pieces of scenery and cloths on stage that are flown in and out during a show, creating some of the most dramatic moments in a production. Flying scenery is so important in a theatre show that we even have a job specifically dedicated to it - a flyperson.

Our old flying system was in desperate need of modernisation. Lots of modern shows tend to have bigger, heavier scenery and visiting companies would have to compromise on what they could put on our stage due to the limitations of the old system.

Photo (C) Tommy Ga-Ken Wan

It was thrilling to watch as the new fly tower was placed on top of the historic wooden beams, drums and shafts of the old building, expanding what we can do while still maintaining the historic features of our iconic home.

Installing the enormous structure was one of the most technically complex pieces of work as part of the Redevelopment project. It involved a 500 tonne crane lifting a very large 70 tonne structure into place! 

The fly tower being lifted into place. Photo (C) Tommy Ga-Ken Wan

Urbancroft Films captured this significant day on site. Watch the short film to hear from Dominic Hill (Artistic Director) and Graham Sutherland (Head of Production and Client Representative):

The new, modern fly tower opens up exciting opportunities for what we can achieve with future productions -  including being able to:
  • Fly more scenery overhead and use the full depth of the stage
  • Increase the scale and weight of the biggest scenic pieces we can use on stage. This gives us even more artistic scope for our own productions and allows us to welcome the most ambitious touring theatre companies to host their productions on our stage.
  • Complete get-ins, fit-ups and get-outs quicker so we can produce and host more shows each year.
The new structure also considerably improves the conditions for our talented production staff who will no longer have to crawl on hands and knees to install pieces of scenery!

Fly tower lift

The fly tower is now the highest point of the building, with a 13.8m drop down to the stage, and is visible across the city. 

We can't wait to be back on our famous stage inspiring audiences but we still need your help to complete the project. Please sign up to a regular donation to ensure we reach our goal.