Round and Round and Round — Part 2: Revolves and Theatre Cats
March 18, 2014
She was talking about round things, so we’re going to take you on stage and underneath the stage, to talk about a round thing. The best kind of round things are cushions and food dishes, but this is something very different.
Some stages use a turntable or a revolve to help change the set. Imagine a merry-go-round without the horses or roof, just the spinning platform. That’s prrrrrretty close to what a revolve is like. I was standing on one once when it started to turn. Even though it didn’t turn fast, it sure made me dig my claws in! If you’ve seen a Lazy Susan on a table, that’s the same idea, too. (Click that link, there’s a kitten!)
In the theatre, sometimes sets have to be changed verrrrrrry quickly — faster than a cat can pounce. At times like that, it’s helpful to use a revolve on the stage. One set can be on one side of the turntable, and another set on the other side. Then, instead of the crew having to carry everything from the first set off the stage, and then put everything for the second set in place, they just spin the revolve.
Here’s how a revolve/turntable works. It’s a cool video, but WARNING! You might get dizzy watching it. I’m digging my claws into the computer keyboard just thinking about that thing going around! Ready? Got those claws dug in? Okay, here’s the video, from the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre. Notice at the end they show the different sets on the revolve.
It isn’t just prrrrrrrrofessional theatres that use revolves. Here’s a temporary turntable built for a school production. The words are pretty technical (even for a theatre cat) but the pictures tell the story. Here’s another temporary turntable built for a high school production of Les Miserables. (Mrrrrrow! Les Mis is by the same composer who wrote CATS!)
When the Starry one was doing research for one of her books, she learned about a HUGE drum revolve at the Olivier Theatre at the National Theatre Centre in London, England. It is, paws down, the most gigantic turntable a theatre cat could imagine. It’s really two revolves, one inside the other, like a donut and its hole. The most amazing ameowzing thing is that the machinery that works it goes five whole stories below the stage. That’s a lot of steps for a cat to walk down. Or up. Bet it makes the plays there purrrrrrrrrfectly wonderful!
Here’s an article from the London Telegraph newspaper about it.
And here’s the best part. On the National Theatre’s website, they have a video about the drum revolve. Take a look at all there is going on underneath the stage. WAAAAAAAAOOOOOOOWWWWWW!
And now I think I need to find a nice round cushion to curl up on, close my eyes, and wait until the world stops spinning around me.
Have a purrrrrrfect day!