Pirate Crew London have been seen all over the Southbank this week working inside and out on various projects for many valued Clients.
AT THE NATIONAL THEATRE
AT THE SOUTHBANK CENTRE
AT THE TATE MODERN
The work of a theatre technician goes beyond the stage. This week a team of Pirate Stage Crew from Milton Keynes and Northampton have been in the beautiful Cambridgeshire countryside. The task? To help Selladoor Worldwide move smoothly into their new stores.
This week the team were lead by one of our longest serving and ever trusted crew chiefs, Jason Arundell. Our team jumped in the Pirate Transport, traveling for an early start to get Selladoor set up in their new home.
Selladoor have decided to move all of their shows into storage from further north. This was the perfect opportunity to organise the 11 shows they own into their own location, and consequently take stock and organise.
Over the course of 4 days our team unloaded 14 Paul Mathews trailers containing 11 theatre shows including American Idiot, Of Mice and Men, Little Shop of Horrors and Jersey Boys which has recently returned from a tour of China.
Although this is far from the most glamorous side of theatre, it is just as important and our team treats it as such. Each show was carefully unloaded and safely stacked into different parts of the store, therefore keeping a clear distinction between each one. This was also a perfect opportunity to get rid of any damaged or surplus bits of scenery. The team filled a whole trailer and 2 skips with all the things not needed any more!
Our team worked hard and fast and as a result finished ahead of schedule each day. This gave our clients the best opportunity to see what they have and plan for the future. The week went by with a happy atmosphere due to the smiles and good humour of the crew.
We take pride in our team’s professional and can-do approach to all tasks and would like to echo Adam’s thanks. What ever the job our Pirates are always here to help!
The Pirate Team
Pirate Crew were out in force at The Bridge Theatre this week, taking out the show Julius Caesar which we helped put install in January. Since then the show has been seen by 100,000 people with great reviews. We are really happy to have been a part of this and to continue our relationship with The Bridge.
This week we worked closely under the management of the Bridge Technical team and Production Team to carefully remove and load the show, as well as the auditorium structures.
All Pirates were proactive throughout the week. As The Bridge is a favourite client of ours since its coming into existence it is another venue where our knowledge and prior good work makes us feel at home.
The Bridge is a well designed versatile space and Julius Caesar certainly proved that. Removing the newly fabricated seating bank and effectively reinstating the venue to original specifications, not to mention removing hidden automated lifts needed a lot of due care and hard work by all involved.
Pirates have gone above and beyond to help the client make this happen. From the very start of the job we have managed to constantly shave time off of each day to allow breathing space for the venue to attack the next day’s tasks.
Pirates have been particularly successful at making sure that the new custom seating structure was loaded onto the trucks with the main focus being to protect the structures so that they will remain pristine for future use. Safety and economy of space was a must and our talented Forklift Drivers, Crew Bosses and hard working Crew achieved just that.
Specific care was paid by all when rigging to lift pieces and working with the venue staff to Tetris together some really mammoth pieces of metal work. When in the future this bank is used again, the information we have gathered from the first build to this get out, will make us a valuable asset in reinstalling it.
Huge thanks to all the Pirates for their continued hard work and great service.
Many thanks to The Bridge Team, Jonny Pascoe (Head of Technical Operations) and Kate West (Production Manager) for trusting our expertise us on this show.
Pirate Crew at The Olivier Awards 2018
And the Winners are……
As a crewing company with a specialism in theatre and large scale entertainment events our multi skilled crew work on hundreds of shows every year in venues all over London and around the country, working long hours and sometimes travelling long distances to help bring these productions to life.
So when the most prestigious theatre award show – The Olivier Awards comes around each year it is always a compliment and a pleasure to be one of the main technical crew suppliers for the event.
For the second year in a row it has been hosted by The Royal Albert Hall, a magnificent venue that we regularly supply crew to for other events and an ideal home for a celebration of all things theatre and entertainment. Personal knowledge of the building and the awards ceremony itself gave us a massive advantage before we had even arrived for the first build day.
And what a first day it was, especially for our heroic first team who traveled from Milton Keynes to arrive at 03.45am for a 04.00am start, wading straight into the task at hand and helping all departments on the show to start to get into the building and begin the task of building an award show worthy of Royalty.
Throughout the first day, 3 separate teams (of up to 14 crew per team) of Pirates worked diligently to aid every different department and company, from unloading to building, hanging, cabling and rigging, with a continuous focus on quality which is a core value for all our crews that really shines on events like this. Working closely with Steel Monkey, Deltasound, Unusual Rigging, TAIT, and White Light to name but a few is always a pleasure and most of our crews were well aquatinted from previous jobs over the years so it made for a friendly and cohesive work environment for all.
As the first day came to a close the production had already began to take shape in such good time that all involved were able to leave an hour earlier than planned safe in the knowledge we were on target thanks to a sterling days work.
Starting bright and early at 08.00 the next morning another 10 man crew of Pirates sprung in to action continuing the good work that had gone on the day before. One of the key strengths consistent with the crew we have is the ability to work across all departments and this certainly showed, with all Pirates working on staging, lights, sound, rigging and front of house displays.
All crew were able to move seamlessly between disciplines working together sharing knowledge and skills to complete all tasks set. Props and scenery from major theatre productions began to arrive as the day drew to a close adding to the anticipation for the following days celebration. 4 more crew began that evening as the day shift came to a close to put the finishing touches in place, once again finishing earlier than expected and giving piece of mind to the production as a whole that everything was on schedule.
Our Show Crew arrived early on the final day, a team of Pirates who were added into the production stage management team to help the show run smoothly. Each member with a wealth of experience working on shows and a real credit to our company.
From the footage of the show that was broadcast on social media, the day was a storming success. And as the celebrities and dignitaries left to party that evening the final mammoth task began. The get out!
37 pirates (most of which had been involved on various shifts on the build from start to finish throughout the 3 long days and nights) came together with the unified task of aiding all departments to dismantle and load out the show. Once again, having a good orientation of the venue, strong work ethic and bags of stamina meant that every single Pirate moved through each task set like locusts in a swarm, devouring lists of jobs and waiving goodbye to other companies in record time with a big smile on all faces present.
And as if is was fated, all of the hard work was finished an hour earlier than the year before at 04.00am early on Monday morning, the same start time Pirates had began with 3 days earlier. We could not be prouder of the commitment and hard work all crew contributed and look forward to more of the same when we work on this wonderful event again in 2019.
Ben Reeves – Crew Manager
Thanks to all the Olivier Awards Management team for allowing us to share in this event’s ongoing success.
Special thanks to Lee Batty for his relentless support for Pirate Crew.
If you’d like to know how Pirate Crew can help to make your event a success please contact us on email@example.com or 0333 123 4401.
A Pirate Valentines day with a difference – Pirate Crew Training
At Pirate Crew we have a wide and diverse number of skilled technicians from all different fields and backgrounds. Some young and some seasoned, but all highly professional. All of them capable of learning and sharing good theatre practice & techniques to help Pirate Crew achieve the high standard we already command in the theatre and events industry as far more than just your average crew.
After a very kind invite from John Rowland, Master Carpenter at the wonderful London Palladium Theatre, to use his venue for a day, we kindly accepted the offer and decided to put together a Crew Training day for our crew. As a company that has consistently worked with the Palladium over the past few years it seemed like a environment that many of our crew already felt at home in.
The main aim of the day was to give all pirates present a chance to learn and refine techniques that they were unsure of, or uncomfortable with, and help contribute knowledge and skills collectively to create a unified standard of Safe Practice and Technical Efficiency.
It created the opportunity to learn in an onsite environment with the chance to model techniques in a realtime situation with a forum atmosphere where pirates of all levels were able to discuss and critique the work that was done.
Treated as a real days work from beginning to end all pirates were bright eyed and bushy tailed at the stage door at 08.45am, primed and ready for the 09.00 start. After a swift morning briefing the team were quickly divided into training teams and and put to task on a number of exercises that would have universal value in any theatre and events environment and would be instrumental in the the collective tasks and challenges that would be tackled later in the day.
These included scenic flat handling, trailer loading, slinging flight-cases, general purpose knots & applications, using motors, manual handling techniques, basic counterweight flying, loading and weighting a counterweight flying system, grid work, site communication and much more.
Even though many of our Pirates had some prior knowledge and mastery of the techniques, it gave all present a valuable opportunity to get all things 100% right in a supportive environment. The aim was to teach what we knew but to also get the Pirates teaching each other and asking advice from their peers. This idea of a forum for positive ideas was very fruitful, and all crew present performed even better than expected as new skills were learned.
When talking with the crew the general consensus seemed to be that everyone now felt much more comfortable technically and also achieved a greater level of confidence in themselves as well as each other to perform all tasks to the same standard.
The second half of the crew training day was a collective task in which the different teams of varying experience took on a task each with the main goal being to create a finished stage setting complete with steel deck, marley dance floor, masking and spot lined equipment. As the task involved building and dismantling, all crews were given the chance to attempt each different task. Different pirates within the group were given the opportunity to practice in the role of Crew Boss, working from a plan and being the key person in each department. This gave the personnel a sense of the job of a Crew Boss along with it’s many challenges, as well as open their minds to thinking for and motivating themselves.
They learnt valuable lessons about safe and correct communication in a theatre environment and how to visualise each process from start to finish, and then to communicate this to their crew.
Assessors present were able to observe and comment at will, constantly challenging all crew present to constantly think about best practice and how to achieve the collective goals to a high standard. As the task went on each crew member gathered a greater understanding of why these techniques practiced on the day were so valuable and how a unified crew all working with the same methods and similar skill levels can be so effective for our clients.
From the assessment perspective it allowed us as a company to really take stock and appreciate the potential in all crew present, which is really exciting. From a teaching perspective the aim to get all individuals’ knowledge up to a good standard was a success. We and our clients expect a consistently good service in the workforce provided, both in skills and attitudes. It is obvious in the success of our personal approach with our crew, that we have the best path to having a truly happy workforce.
An added bonus to the day was that it show cased individual talents and gave us a chance to appreciate both existing & new people face to face.
As the day drew to a close the success was validated by the smiles on the crews faces and safe knowledge that as a company we have a core body of crew who will take this training forward to future Pirates who join the company, and that we have a positive platform for crew training in the future based around real information gathered from the crew we are providing it for.
**Photos by Lawrence Coke
Pirate Crew would like to say a huge “Thank You” to all the crew that worked on the Olivier Awards for us at the weekend.
It was an all round awesome weekend with the event being a great success.
Congratulations to all those that won awards – A full list of the winners can be found here
Again, thanks guys – we couldn’t do it without you.
We couldn’t be prouder to be Pirates!
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We are a leading supplier of backstage personnel to Theatre, Entertainment and Corporate Events industries. We are the only true provider of technicians, which sets us apart from similar alternatives. During the first years of business Pirate Crew has built a reputation of excellence which has been founded on our vast experience.
Pirate Crew Limited
Briary Barn, Home Farm Business Park,
Church Way, Whittlebury,
Tel: 0333 123 4401
Registered in England & Wales,