Epstein Theatre, Liverpool

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J&C Joel was approached by the Epstein Theatre to upgrade the stage engineering in the venue.

In 1997 after a £1.2m refurbishment, the Neptune Theatre situated in the heart of Liverpool has renamed the Epstein Theatre, in honour of the Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein.

The Epstein Theatre is a traditional hemp house with a wooden grid. A specific requirement of the theatre was to be able to move the suspension bars to any given position up or down the stage.

In order to achieve this, J&C Joel installed pairs of continuous up and down stage Unistrut channels at the pulley’s locations.

J&C Joel’s brief was to upgrade the hemp sets to allow a safe working load of up to 125kg, whilst also having the Hemp pulleys (JPUL023) with 150mm diameter sheaves bolted into position. This allowed the 18mm Chatham Hemp Ropes (ROP019) to freely run over the pulleys, suspension bars and tie off cleat.

Next, side masking was provided to hide a pair of working fly floors from the auditorium, in addition, a divert side, drop pulley, rope and suspension bars were also installed in the theatre.

On stage, J&C Joel manufactured four stage legs (stage wings) and a rear curtain from their black Wool Serge 565 (WS090), the legs measured 1.52m wide by a drop of 6.09m and the rear curtain measured 9.93m wide by a drop of 6.09m. All stage drapes were sewn flat with ties for attachment and had a chain-weighted pocket sewn into the base to ensure they hang straight.

The theatre’s Front of House curtains were manufactured and supplied using J&C Joel’s port Velvet Velour (VEL002), lined with black Bolton Twill (BT005) each measuring 4m wide by a 6m drop. These drapes complimented the theatre’s traditional red, luxurious appearance; lining the drapes ensured they had excellent acoustic, masking and blackout properties that would benefit the venue’s sound and lighting quality.