This is the second time in as many years that Total Structures have supplied equipment to Kanai Scene Shop for major theatrical tours in the land of the rising sun.
The 2003/04 Cats tour, promoted by Shiki, will visit Shizouka, Miyagi and Hiroshima and Total Structures have supplied a large trapezoidal ground support grid, motors and control for the show. The grid will be placed in the audience area where the load bearing capacity of the existing roof structures was found to be inadequate to hold the weight of the lighting equipment.
The grid measures approximately 100 feet by 40 feet and is supported on six 20.5” square towers which comprise various length sections to cater for the stepped floor of the theatres. The tower sections are connected with the award winning OMNI connector to produce high axial and bending capacity towers. The main trusses are all supplied with runs of catwalk to facilitate access throughout the large grid.
The grid has a trim height of 45 feet and includes an integral follow spot platform hung beneath the grid. A large amount of bracing has been included to resist the lateral loads which may be imposed in the event of an earthquake as determined by Japanese seismic standards. However, the steel wire rope bracing is not allowed to extend to ground level as this would interfere with access for the considerable amounts of scenery that are required to be moved on and off stage during the shows. The plan dimensions change for each venue and hence flexibility in the design was important.
The deflection of the main grid was a concern. The two longest trusses which span across the grid are provided with pre-stretched steel wire rope “bow strings” which pass underneath the trusses and over two intermediate frames which cantilever down below the truss. The tension in the wire rope is monitored by load cells and is such that sufficient uplift is provided to reduce the overall deflection of the truss.
The 70 x 50 ft grid in the main stage area will be the ground support structure previously supplied by Total Structures for the Phantom of the Opera tour of 2001. This massive structure and has a trim height of 55 ft and is designed carry a payload in excess of 25 tons – just another example of the large variety of custom built grids that feature in the Total Structures portfolio.
A 12 foot high dodecahedron made up of 30 pieces of new wave truss will be used outside each venue. The filament wound c-wave truss was the choice of the designers who were wowed by clean, modern look of new wave and the ease of assembly with the multi-directional unisex OMNI connectors, without the need of corner blocks. The designers opted for gold anodized webs and connectors. The structure is placed on a custom made pentagon shaped aluminum base which is provided with an integral platform for ballast. Fabric panels will be fitted on some of the five sided faces of the complex but nevertheless stunning geometric shape.
The Lion King is also on tour in Japan and Total Structures are supplying both ½ ton and 1 ton chain hoists and the motor control systems for the show.