The auditorium is the largest space in Bedlam, and the one that scares the uni fire officers the most. 90 red seats from the playhouse, along with an extra one for the staffer.
In 2013 it got re-tensioned, and this was the year the theatre manager decided they wouldn’t allow people climbing up onto it anymore (someone had fallen off on the stage a few years prior)
It got rhung in 87, rehung and rewired in June 91, and rehung after the Crucuble in December in 95.
Because the seats were finally being replaced the opportunity was taken to refurbish the rake. This was for 2 reasons:
The seating company said that they would prefer that the rake were resurfaced prior to the new seats being installed to ensure a problem free fit out. The original ply had been compromised to some degree by the hundreds of nail, screw and bolt holes that had been sunk into it over the years.
EUSA were willing to pay for the £850 worth of ply and £800 worth of carpet tiles in addition to the seats themselves. It was all put on depreciation over 10 years.
The refurbishment itself consisted off:
There are pictures of it somewhere.
In total, the project took around a week and a half to complete and involved:
The rake was 19 years old and had been subjected to significant changes in temperature. Consequently, some of the beams had warped and twisted. Where necessary these were replaced though this was the exception rather than the rule.
Additionally, because power tools weren’t an option in 1989 the rake was glued and nailed together. Wood will shrink over time and in many instance the nails had failed to function. The glue had also failed in some areas. This was remedied by the use of over 200 3x10 quicksilver screws. In particular the front joints that connect to the risers were reinforced.
Though the structure of the rake itself in terms of it’s design was often perfectly sound, in places however, it was necessary to slightly re-engineered the framework so as to better support the weight. Notably, the area stage right adjacent to the rear of the cupboard required a denser structure than was originally present.
Amongst the more unpleasant things encountered during the project were a mouse skeleton and a considerable quantity of mouse and possibly rat droppings. Some of the programmes and ticket stubs dating back to the early 1980s can be found in the archive.
Prior to the replacement of the seating in May-June 2008, it consisted of 90 ex-cinema chairs which were bought from the ABC in Spring 2001. They were installed a couple of weeks prior to fringe 2001 and it took six people who knew what they were doing three long days to do it.
The trick to putting them in was to assemble them a chair at a time and get the backs to line up properly. They didn’t quite fit because they were designed to be on a curve but it worked; up to a point.
When removing them you need to make sure you don’t lose any of the springs because if you don’t have the spring in the seats have a tendency to fall out.
The seats were depreciated over five years and were due for renewal in 2006 but we didn’t have the money.
At some point they were also brown-green ish, and looked like they didn’t have soft fabric but more a leather type stuff?) which we’re assuming is pre 2001.
The rake was installed just before fresher’s week 1989 and was completed at 8:55 on the Monday of fresher’s week. Trap doors to get under the rake are located beside the door to the toilets under a lift up flap and in the little alcove through the cupboard, by the cafe entrance. The space under the rake is the only part of the building that is always warm but it’s so dark, full of dust and its where the sub lives, so you’ll not want to spend much time down there. Spare parts for the old chairs were also kept there in black plastic bags but have been sold/thrown out in Mid-2008.
In 1982 they replaced all the seeats and sold the old ones via advertisements in the Student.
In early 1980 sometime the first rake was built.
The scene dock is that little cupboard that we keep the ladders and platforms in. The doors were built 2 days before 1997 fringe.