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Theatre News

Oliver facts and figures

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Oliver! has started its run at the Theatre Royal and will be at the venue until Nov 3rd. We are reviewing the show on Tuesday night but until then, here are a few facts and figures that will astound you about the production:


* 30 Adult Cast.
* 24 Children - By the end of the tour 308 Children will have performed in the show.
* 4 Olivers, 4 Dodgers, and 3 touring teams of 10 children. They are looked after by 7 Chaperones.
* The backstage teams includes: 1 Company Manager, 5 Stage Management, 6 Stage Crew, 2 Flymen, 3 Followspot Operators, 1 Touring Carpenter,1 Automation Operator, 3 Sound Operators, 3 Touring Electricians, 2 Technical Swings, 9 Dressers, 5 Wigs personnel and 4 Wardrobe personnel.
* There are 15 Members of the Orchestra plus a Musical Director.
* The creative team includes: 1 Associate Director, 1 Children's Director and 1 Children's Musical Director.
*...and of course, 1 Dog playing Bullseye and 1 Dog Handler!


* Requires 11 X 45 foot Trailers.
* It takes around 12 hours to take the show out of a venue and 3 days to put it into the next venue.
* 21 Motors are used to suspend the set and equipment in addition to the theatres flying bars.
* 39 Production and Local Crew are involved in putting the show into a venue
* The flown Bridge weighs nearly a ton and will move 1.8km during the tour in performance.
* There are 16 flying elements in the set.


* Do 64 loads of washing per week.
* Spend each day darning stockings, and each member of our wardrobe team has their own darning mushroom.
* Every piece of costume has a hand sewn label with the actors name , scene and character.
* To keep track of the children's costumes each team has a colour and matching coloured hangers.
* The majority of the costumes are kept onstage in a large area known as the Quick Change Village.
* There are 6 x 3 metre rails of spare costumes for the children.
* There are 300 pairs of children's shoes on tour to adapt to their growing feet!
* Each Swing (cover cast member) has 19 sets of costumes, shoes and hats.
* Every child's costume is checked by a member of wardrobe before they go onstage - to check that they still fit and look correct.
* All the show shoes have a special rubber sole fitted - so nobody slips onstage
* After all the costumes are washed on a regular bases - they then have to be sprayed and painted to make them look dirty.
* All the local children have 4 costumes each and each venue's children have their costumes specially fitted to them or remade if they don't fit.
* 3 washing machines, 4 Tumble driers, 3 ironing boards and 3 Steam generator irons tour with the production.
* Wardrobe will drink over 4000 cups of tea during the tour!


* All the wigs are made from real hair and have lace fronts.
* There are 70 wigs in total including the understudy wigs.
* Fagin's make up takes around 45 minutes to do, using 3 different glues to secure his bald cap and facial hair. He also has a brand new bald cap every day.
* The makeup department go through 15 packets of baby wipes in a week to remove all the dirt off the children and adults.


* There are 65 moving lights, 175 generic lights and three followspots used in every show.
* There is 1 smoke machine, 8 haze machines, 1 fogger and 2 snow machines used in each performance, plus Pyro and Smoke Strips for special effects.
* The electrical equipment takes 2 x 45ft trailers to transport between venues.


* The Stage Management team is made up of 1 x Stage Manager, 1 x Deputy Stage Manager & 3 x Assistant Stage Managers.
* There is one Assistant Stage Manager running each wing on stage. The Deputy Stage Manager sits at the prompt desk and gives all of the cues to lighting, sound, automation and Stage Management. The Stage Manager is present on stage to ensure the smooth running of the show and to help solve problems if and when they might arise.
* There are 519 props used in the show. Each prop has to be accounted for before each performance. This is carried out by the Assistant Stage Managers using a check sheet.
* During a year this production of Oliver! will go through approximately...
832 Apples
500 cans of Sprite
250 packets of Ham
52 packets of Ginger Nuts
500 Muller Yoghurts
60 copies of a Victorian edition of 'The Times' newspaper
* Approximately 800 ice packs will be used throughout a year to help control muscle injuries to the cast.
* It takes 3 carpenters, 6 stage crew, 2 flymen and 3 stage management, 30 minutes to reset the stage and props before every show.
* Anyone who is backstage/in the wings during a show has to wear Black clothing in order not to be seen by the audience while doing their cues.
* All of the bowls, spoons, tankards and any other prop that may go into a cast member's mouth have to be sterilized before every show, this includes the string of pearls that Bill Sikes pulls from his mouth in Fagin's Den.
* When the show moves to a new theatre each prop has to be carefully wrapped in bubble wrap to avoid any breakages en route.
* The Stage Manager writes a report after every single performance with details about that show. This contains information such as anything that went wrong in the show and also if there were any understudies performing that night.


* 91 mics are used per show.
* Over 25,000 batteries will have been used by the end of the tour - all recycled.
* 140 loudspeakers are used per show.
* 38 video monitors are used per show.
* 26 wireless communications devices are used per show.


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