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.