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News: Newcastle's Tyne Theatre & Opera House search for volunteers to help operate historic theatre machinery

Newcastle's Tyne Theatre & Opera House search for volunteers to help operate historic theatre machinery

As part of a new heritage project Tyne Theatre & Opera House is searching for volunteers who are interested in learning more about their historic theatre machinery. 

As one of the only surviving examples of Victorian wooden modular stage machinery, the Tyne Theatre’s equipment is of huge historic importance. Prior to the theatre fire of 1985, the machinery was used regularly by fully trained volunteers in productions. Now however there is a real risk of losing the historic knowledge of restoration and operation. 

The theatre wants to develop a team of committed volunteers who are trained in the operation and maintenance of this machinery, allowing authentic historic performances to be staged once again.

This is a unique opportunity to learn historic stage-hand skills on a system that includes four bridges (lifts), two demon traps and a grave trap, as well as many other fascinating features. 

There will be a taster session at the Tyne Theatre & Opera House on Saturday 26 November between 2-4pm for anyone interested in learning more. The session will include a tour of the theatre and a chance to see the stage machinery in action as well as an opportunity to find out more about the volunteer role and meet the project team. Project Director David Wilmore says “This is an exciting opportunity to get involved in a unique project encompassing theatre history and stage technology … whilst also keeping you fit at the same time!”. There are limited spaces available so anyone interested should contact the theatre on 0191 234 1172 or email

Tyne Theatre & Opera House is a charity. As a non-profit organisation, the survival of the iconic, historical venue depends upon the support and the generosity of the local community.

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