The stagehand is someone that seldom gets recognition in the theatre and certainly not from the audience, yet without them most musicals could never take place. This is particularly true in the provinces where each week a show has to be packed into a fleet of juggernauts in order that they can travel to their next destination to be unpacked and delivered into the theatre and then assembled before any rehearsal can take place. Typically a show will close at around 10pm on a Saturday and open again at 7.30 on the Monday at a theatre maybe several hundreds of miles away.
Take a look back at the task in 1960 where the US touring production of My Fair Lady is in Washington DC in an AFL-CIO film that goes backstage for a close look at the work the members of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) perform from “play in” to curtain up.
We are hopeful of being able to bring an up to date perspective of the “get in” and “breakdown” for a current British production shortly.