Sweet Charity

  • Sweet Charity, Donmar Warehouse. Photo Credit: Johan Persson

Absolute supply the control for Sweet Charity at The Donmar Warehouse, Artistic Director Josie Rourke’s farewell production. Anne-Marie Duff will star as Charity, with Arthur Darvill making his Donmar Warehouse debut as Oscar.

The show is performed in the intimate space of the Donmar, with the floor incorporating two revolves. The engineering has been designed by All Scene All Props, with whom Absolute has collaborated with on other productions and revolves previously.

The two revolves, a centre revolve and an outer ring, are both driven by a number of “pinch drive” units. These small, compact units drive the revolve round using two wheels which clamp (or pinch) onto a steel drive ring. There are two pinch drives per revolve, synchronised in the control rack, which share the effort required to turn the revolve. 

Because these units are small and have few moving parts, they provide very smooth and quiet motion. Our standard servo motors, which we use to power the pinch units, produce significantly less noise than an equivalently powered standard induction motor. This is perfect for a small, intimate space like the Donmar, where the audience are close to the action.

An external encoder for each revolve reads it’s physical position and connects into the automation system using our standard IO Boxes, one for each revolve. Using external encoders ensures that the revolves position accurately and counteract any “slip” from the pinch units, should it occur.

The cues in the show use a variety of different techniques to program them. Because of the requirements of the show, some cues require the revolves to move a specific distance, or to a specific location. Other cues require the revolves to move at a certain speed for an unknown duration, and are cued to stop as part of the action or musically. This creates certain challenges for stage management and the operator, as the revolves may end up in slightly different positions depending on the varying length of the scenes. However, using Absolute’s easy to use and powerful programming software, incorporates a range of different move types which makes programming these cues simple.

The production runs from the 6th April until the 8th June 2019.

For more information and to book tickets, click here.

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