A Super-Trouper Set from the TSA Workshop for University of Adelaide’s Production of ‘Mamma Mia!’

Theatre Safe Australia (TSA) created a magnificent set for the University of Adelaide’s production, Mamma Mia! It was the major production for the graduating 2021 music theatre students, performed in the University’s own Scott Theatre.

Head of Music Theatre at the University, George Torbay, was pleased to have the TSA Workshop on board to help create this jewel of a performance. With other productions through-out the year, George wanted this one to showcase the graduating students and provide them with a stage brimming with scenery to recreate the theatrical experience of the romantic comedy.

George states, “The TSA Workshop undoubtedly helped create a complete theatre experience for the 2021 graduate students. The buildings, painted platforms and flooring bought the musical to life, allowing the students to immerse themselves in professional theatre surroundings.”

After building the set of Cabaret for the University, the TSA Workshop was looking forward to this project, whist keeping in mind future productions. By designing the set to be adaptable whist maintaining the design specifics unique to the production, allows them to re-work the scenery. They supplied a painted floor, a curved, stepped rostra, a low wall curving around the stage following a winding rostra and masking flats both stage left and stage right. The team at the workshop installed the scenery for the production and disassembled following completion of the series of shows. With the structure purpose built for the Scott Theatre, it is now can be adapted and refreshed by the workshop for the University’s future productions.

Our impressive 3500m² Workshop boasting state-of-the-art manufacturing with a dedicated 1,400m² area for staging and assembly,  allows for full setup including rigging and automation with our abilities to fly scenery, it is an unmatched work area to bring any design to life. With in-house scenic artists, on-site back up and space to build these size sets the TSA Workshop are a one stop shop. All carpentry, engineering, sculpting, scenic art and set electrics are under the one roof.  Accessible for transport and loading, and just 10 minutes from the centre of Adelaide, the TSA Workshop is worth a visit.

Need more information? Check out our TSA Workshop


TSA team up with City of Gold Coast Major Sporting Venues to supply drapes for Gold Coast Sports and Leisure Centre

To set the scene for the QLD Junior State Gymnastics Championships, Theatre Safe Australia (TSA) supplied over 2000 square metres of wool drapes across the complex, which became a striking backdrop for the sporting event. In addition TSA supplied 13 EXE chain hoists (250kg) with 250 metres of hoisting chain, 780 metres of control cables, 99 metres of Tri-Truss, Admiral Strong Boy dolly’s and an Atlas System Controller.

Working with Audio Visual & Technology Officer, Nat Thornton for Major Sporting Venues, he comments, “TSA have provided top quality products over the years, including truss, chain hoists and drapes. I know by choosing TSA as a supplier we receive our products on schedule and quality is second to none.”

TSA have supplied 36 drapes, 3.5 metres wide with a 11.5 metre drop, over a two year period for use in the Gold Coast Sports and Leisure Centre. The drapes were manufactured in Australia by TSA utilising high quality fabric with IFR (Inherently Fire Retardant) technology.

The IFR technology used on TSA theatre drapes keep all the nasty chemicals out of a venue and away from staff and patrons. It is a significant advancement on a fire-retardant spray that wears off over time. The woollen fabric used for the drape is made from a pre-treated yarn which is Inherently Fire Retardant and will remain that way for the life of the drape.

Need more information? Check out our Theatre Drapes


Beautiful Scenic Build for Loreto College

The TSA Workshop supplied Loreto College in Maryatville, South Australia, a striking, sensory piece of art for the Junior School Micklegate Library. The workshop designed and custom-built an incredible tree, utilising their carpentry skills, scenic painting and set-electrics, to deliver an inspiring result.

The tree was meticulously designed, and consideration of purpose and usability well thought out. Constructed from wood, the piece was assembled in the workshop and, after the scenic painting, came alive with an incredible wood-like texture to give the tree an authentic look and feel.

Fairy lights were added to help create a sensory environment, with the power on the base of the tree, it ran up the middle to connect to the lights. Within its environment at the college the tree sits on a green carpeted area and incorporates seating areas and shelves, making it the feature of the learning space.

“This is a great piece to demonstrate the flexibility of what The TSA Workshop can do, it’s a one-off piece that will be a part of the school for years to come.” Duncan Barton, TSA.



TSA’s Workshop Capabilities for Local Productions

With the Scenery Workshop in Adelaide now a part of Theatre Safe Australia (TSA), the services and capabilities are growing into a much larger solution for productions by branching into various markets. The beautiful scenery produced by the TSA Workshop for large-scale productions is not all they have the capability to do. The fine art of scenic building, painting, construction, and electrics isn’t just limited to the major touring productions. Similar set design can be created for smaller, local markets where the quality of set creation can be replicated within an affordable budget.

In a recent project the workshop team created a visually stunning set which they hired to Pelican Productions for their stage show Chicago – High School Edition. Pelican Productions is a vital part of the performing arts community in South Australia and has a dedicated team of professional vocal tutors and choreographers who foster young up and coming talent in musical theatre. The set is also being adapted for their latest production, School of Rock, which is financially beneficial to the client to spread the hire cost across different shows.

Kylie Green, Director of Pelican Productions, commented on the impact of the scenery on the stage. “The visual effects of the scenic elements on stage helped to bring our production to life. Our budding young performers were fully immersed in the magic of theatre, along with the very vibrant and enthusiastic audience.”

Now part of TSA, Duncan Barton, Workshop Production Development Officer, explains how it’s opened new channels to reach local schools and community theatre. “Our passion for creating magnificent scenery does not stop in the workshop, we want to assist in creating pathways for young people and aim to inspire the future of performing arts in Australia. Our skilled team work closely with schools, colleges, and universities to build and maintain stage sets that bring local productions to life.

Under one roof the TSA Workshop offers carpentry, engineering, sculpture and props, scenic painting, set electrics, rigging and automation, theatre maintenance, drapes, scenery hire, workshop tours and educator’s professional learning events. For the schools and local community theatre, the TSA Workshop can now offer set building and hire, rigging and automation and maintenance programmes.

For more information download our brochure: Theatre Safe Australia: Scenery Construction and Hire

Newcastle Conservatorium 2

Theatre Safe Australia help upgrade The Newcastle Conservatorium

The University of Newcastle’s Conservatorium recently upgraded the Audio-Visual Capabilities of the Harold Lobb Concert Hall. Your Vision, a respected local company engaged to undertake the works, commissioned Theatre Safe Australia (TSA) to assist with the hoisting and cable management of the truss system over the stage.

After being awarded the project through the tender process, TSA were able to deliver their scope of works over a period of six weeks. It was also completed within budget, whilst maintaining an optimum quality and safe installation.

Brett Coxon from Your Vision was very impressed with the high level of support from TSA and the capacity to complete the project within the time frame. Brett stated: “Theatre Safe were very professional and efficient, their quality tender submission was followed all the way through the project to a timely delivery. I was kept informed of the progress through out. I would happily recommend them as a company with high quality products, strong on communication and delivery.”

TSA supplied four EXE Rise 1000kg chain hoists, one Atlas Pro Series – 8 channel controller with pendant and two cable management systems. For more information on our products and their applications, get in touch with TSA today.

Scenery Workshop

Theatre Safe Australia (TSA) Continues Scenery Workshop Legacy at Adelaide Festival Centre

21 July 2021

Theatre Safe Australia (TSA) is excited to announce the addition of an advanced scenery workshop to our operation from 1 August 2021. Formerly operating under the ownership of the Adelaide Festival Centre Trust, the workshop in South Australia has been the country’s leading commercial set builder, handling 65% of all theatrical scenery work in Australia. Striving always to build out complementary arms of our business, TSA is headquartered in the Gold Coast and is one of Australia’s major suppliers of entertainment and theatre technology.

From August 1, Theatre Safe Australia will commence to operate a scenery workshop in the former Adelaide Festival Centre premises at Regency Park, South Australia.

Theatre Safe Australia will continue the legacy of Adelaide Festival Centre’s Scenery Workshop, employing many former Adelaide Festival Centre staff, the workshop will continue to provide high-quality scenic builds to clients, adding the support of a dynamic young company focused on continued innovation in the industry. This new chapter for Theatre Safe Australia creates an operational team whose commitment to providing top tier service and high-quality solutions is matched with decades of experience and now, the ability to take a production fully from concept to reality by acquiring the facilities previously owned and operated by Adelaide Festival Centre Scenery Workshop.

The new TSA Scenery Workshop will complement the venue services, production support and product solutions that Theatre Safe Australia already provides within the Australian and worldwide market.

Director of Theatre Safe Australia, Stuart Johnston: “We are very excited to be bringing such a talented and experienced workshop on board and look forward to what the future will bring. TSA will continue to provide the high-quality services clients expect from both companies and use this expansion to continue to innovate with the technology available in the manufacturing and set construction space.”

Theatre Safe Australia (TSA) is an Australian based company that exists to create solutions for the entertainment industry. TSA is motivated by supplying, creating and designing theatrical automation and engineering solutions for our clients and providing service that exceeds expectation. We craft solutions to fit every aspect of the diverse industry in which we operate, from large scale productions and corporate events, to local and regional based companies, theatres and schools. TSA’s goal is to create a tangible difference to the quality and safety of production and events being created and delivered in Australia.

Since 1979 Adelaide Festival Centre has provided automation and scenery builds for productions including Phantom of the Opera, Matilda, Billy Elliot, Singing in the Rain, Hairspray, Cats and Moulin Rouge! as well as countless others. This prolific production history has been achievable though a workforce and a workshop that pride themselves on the quality of their build, an understanding of the changing dynamics of the entertainment and theatre industry and a willingness to always go above and beyond to fulfill producers and clients’ requirements.

Read more about the Scenery Workshop here.



Wicked is Defying Gravity with Theatre Safe Australia at Brolga Theatre

Theatre Safe Australia (TSA) installed and commissioned the hire of a Performer flying system at Brolga Theatre and Convention Centre in Maryborough Queensland for the production of Wicked. The system is specifically designed by industry experts in performer flying effects at TSA, then installed on site where a Flying Director and Flying Supervisor from TSA train the venue staff how to operate the flying system during the production rehearsals and show season.

Robert Haigh, the Venue Technical Manager explains how TSA where able to provide the full flying solution to enhance the show. “We are really pleased to have flying performers in the show. With the assistance of TSA we got the best out of the system and maximised the performer flying effects. Really pleased it met our budget requirements as it’s a vital part of the production to have the performers flying.”

The system is a custom built ZFX flying track consisting of ropes, purpose-built pulleys and Mil Spec wires that lift the performer and traverse across the stage by operators pulling the ropes behind the scenes. The performers who take flight during the show, Glinda and Elphaba, are flown in different ways. Glinda, using TSA’s 3D Aerial bubble to seamlessly float across stage as well as up and down.

The other performer flyer in the production, Elphaba, is lifted using ZFX flying harness, designed for under costume with clip points discreetly exposed to enable the attachment of wires. While the TSA Flying Director was on site for the rehearsals and performer flying training, they were able to provide vital feedback, support and assistance to re-block the flying sequence to maximise the flying effects. One of the sequences was adjusted so instead of the performer being clipped into the harness centre stage which is very exposed to the audience, the performer walked behind some scenery, where a trained operator clipped the flying wires to Elphaba’s harness out of view of the audience. This maximised the flying effect so that when she walked back to centre-stage she was lifted effortlessly by the operator who was positioned off stage. This example demonstrates the advantage in having a Flying Director onsite, enabling our skilled team to pass on vital industry experience and maximise the outcome of the flying effects.

The Flying Supervisor was able to assist the flying director train the operators during the rehearsals to pass on years of operator technique to make sure the flying during the performance was perfectly seamless.

The entire system, which will be used for the season at Brolga Theatre is safety tested upon installation and commissioned by Theatre Safe Australia. This system can be hired and is fully customisable for any venue, as it can be re-designed to fit different set-ups.


Flying training 1

Theatre Safe’s Performer Flying Workshop

Theatre Safe Australia (TSA) held a specialist flying workshop at their training facility on the Gold Coast for Technicolour Theatre Company. A purpose-built flying system was constructed for the training to demonstrate the complexities of different systems both manual and automatic. The training also covered integration of the systems into productions, the safety elements to consider and most importantly the end-user operation.

The training set-up consists of a mother grid of Litec truss rigged at a height of 10 metres with a custom ZFX flying track beneath. The manual system consists of ropes, purpose built pulleys and Mil Spec wires that lift the performer up and down as instructed by a flight director and operator pulling the ropes.

During the workshop a trained TSA rigger fitted the custom-made harness to the performer, this is designed to go under costumes and is discreetly hooked to the wires which elevate the performer. The technique of connecting the performer during the performance was demonstrated to the students, for instance, when Mary Poppins takes flight there is a balloon scene prior which hides the in view performer flying system wires as they enter the stage, then the children proceed to hug Mary as the trained performer clips the wire to Mary’s harness simultaneously.

This manual operation takes some practice between the operator and performer, they have to work together so that the flying is seamless. They may often communicate with an established set of signals to help them take flight, land and other movements such as a pirouette or somersault. This is where the TSA training facility is useful to save time and expenses of rehearsing in the theatre, being able to allow performers to become accustomed to the sensation of taking flight in training environment before moving to a stage environment.

Andrew, Director of the Technicolour Theatre Company, commented on the benefits the training gave to the students, “TSA were able to pass on years of industry knowledge to our young performers. There’s certainly a lot more to flying then just being hooked up and flown around the stage. Above all the students really enjoyed the day, especially when they got to take flight!”

Another system that was demonstrated during the training was a powered system, which adds an electric winch to the track and operated by an automation system allowing for automated up and down movement. Every theatre/ venue is different, TSA design and build bespoke systems depending on desired effects and budget. For larger, more complex venues and productions a system can be utilised to automate performers and also scenery. This multi-axis control is achieved with specifically designed automation control systems and software.

TSA are among only a handful of companies in the world where equipment has been specifically designed, manufactured and engineered for the performer flying industry. The equipment is unique in that it is not modified stage, industrial or climbing equipment but custom designed products with the safety and success for use in theatrical productions in mind. This enables our effects to not only operate seamlessly but also ensure that we are following the highest international standard of safety.