London’s Royal National Theatre has invested in two new 8 channel Kinesys DigiHoist controllers for its Cottesloe Theatre venue.
The DigiHoists were specified by the National Theatre’s Rigging Resources Supervisor, Matthew Wheeler.
The National Theatre (as it is generally known) is one of the UK’s two most prominent public funded theatres, and is located on the South Bank of the Thames in central London.
It has three theatres: the amphitheatre-shaped Olivier seating 1100; the 900-seat proscenium arch Lyttelton; and the Cottesloe, an adaptable studio space designed by Iain Mackintosh, holding up to 400 people depending on the seating configuration.
The sale follows on from the purchase of a 21 channel Kinesys Elevation 1+ motor system – supplied in two phases comprising 14 half tonne Liftkets and seven one tonne Liftkets plus Kinesys Vector control - which is used regularly across the Olivier and Lyttelton Theatres.
The new DigiHoists replace the Cottesloe’s existing motor control system which was due for an upgrade. They run the venue’s 250 Kg Liftket chain hoists.
“Having been so pleased with the products and the service from Kinesys, it was logical to look at what they could offer for this purchase,” explains Wheeler.
Apart from the fact that they knew the kit would be reliable, well engineered and robustly constructed, DigiHoist was also recommended by several professionals.
On top of that, they were impressed by the future-proofing potential of the product, in particular its capacity for monitoring load information from LibraCELLS, a highly likely future purchase.
“Of all the motor distros I looked at, this was definitely the best,” confirms Wheeler, who completed the deal with Kinesys’ Mark de Gruyter and Dave Weatherhead, who he says were, “Extremely helpful and informed as always”.
Wheeler adds that another general reason for choosing the Kinesys brand is the outstanding service for which the company is renowned.
The DigiHoist system has been designed to be fully expandable and upgradable. Units can easily be daisy-chained together, and channel numbers are automatically assigned according to the unit’s position in the daisy chain.
The high resolution graphic displays offer useful feedback including channel number and status – as well as LibraCELL load monitoring information when fitted with the relevant upgrade kit. The digital link at the core of the system incorporates self-healing emergency stop connections, eliminating the need for shorting plugs.
As soon as the go-ahead was received for the purchase, Kinesys turned the delivery around very quickly, and the DigiHoists went straight into action. They are looked after day-to-day by the Cottesloe’s Chief Flyman, Barry Peavot.
Currently, the National’s Kinesys Elevation 1+ systems are also in use for productions of “The Doctor’s Dilemma” at the Lyttelton and “London Road” at the Olivier.
Photo shows the National Theatre’s Rigging Resources Supervisor, Matthew Wheeler with one of the Kinesys DigiHoists