Rebuilding the theatre industry with MJC

By MJC Event Engineers
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Sadly, there won’t be any shouts of ‘It’s behind you!’ at UK theatres during pantomime season this year. However, with vaccines and other measures on the horizon, we could soon start to see the sleeping beauty that is the theatre industry get the kiss that brings her back to life.

With realistic hopes that the 2021 season could be the start of a revival for the UK’s beleaguered live-entertainment venues, specialist structural consultants MJC plan on using their decades of theatre industry experience to support the UK’s venues as they prepare for an exciting future.

“I think we are poised to see big things for live entertainment next year,” explains MJC Director Mike Jackson. 

“With that in mind, once the challenges of 2020 have receded, the next step will be to strengthen the infrastructure of the UK theatre industry, so it can embrace the renaissance the relaxing of social distancing will bring. 

We are spoilt for listed architecture in our theatres in this country. But ensuring these classic buildings are up to the structural challenge of putting on increasingly ambitious productions will be key to making the most of the industry’s bounce back.”

Which is where MJC enter ‘stage left’. “With a wealth of experience refurbishing, surveying and managing renovations in theatres of all kinds, we are well placed to support the next act for our country’s vibrant and vital live-show culture.”

Ensuring historic buildings can meet the needs of tomorrow’s productions

In the nearly three decades that MJC has been supporting the industry, the team have seen theatre shows become more ambitious, with more set changes, larger casts, and ever greater lighting and special effects requirements. 

“Our surveying and engineering consultants can assess the demands a production will put on a venue. And where adjustments need to be made, be it a complete grid redesign, or the creation of a light-weight modular stage, MJC can design, project-manage, and ultimately bring those artistic demands to life, whilst ensuring the preservation of the buildings.”

With numerous major theatre remodelling projects under their belt, many on listed buildings such as the Dominion Theatre and the Shaftesbury Theatre, the MJC team have expertise in working sympathetically with classic buildings to ensure they are futureproofed and ready for the next run.

A standing ovation… that doesn’t raise the roof

As things start to look up for the theatre industry, it’s important – and also a legal requirement – to ensure ceilings are structurally secure.

“Safety is key, of course, but these ornate plaster roofs also play a major part in the experience for many theatres. MJC understands how to inspect these delicate features without causing damage. And where upkeep is required, be it to the ceiling, the void or the roof itself, our expertise with theatre buildings means we can ensure all work is done sympathetically, without altering the look or feel of the building itself.”

Signs of success

If you walk through London’s West End, you’ll see some of MJC’s greatest hits. Their structural and design support for the likes of the iconic ‘Tina’ sign, alongside many other signboards, has played a huge part in creating the look and feel of the area. 

MJC knows how to take the artistic vision for the signage, and create engineering solutions that bring it to life.

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