Stage Production

If there’s one thing we know, it’s how to build scenery for the stage.  It’s our bread and butter, it’s what our reputation is built on, and it’s what we do best. 

We have built scenery for some of the country’s greatest stages.  Our reputation for producing high quality scenery stems from our ability to utilise traditional scenery building methods, coupled with the use of new and emerging technologies to meet the ever-changing needs of the theatre industry. 

In the Carpentry Workshop


Conventional timber flattage forms a large part of our construction process and are often a preferred choice for large scale opera scenery. Naturally strong and hard-wearing, our traditional timber construction scenery provides a resilient framework that is ideal for touring. Our experienced team can produce a wide range of timber scenery clad in a variety of materials dependant on the finish required and varying from soft finishings such as canvas or wool serge which can be sewn to size on site, to hard clad in ply.  Our cladding is inherently flame retardant or treated to comply with current health and safety legislation in performance venues and paperwork to support this is provided with all the work we produce.  If weight is an important consideration, especially for flown scenery, we can clad flattage in twinwall polycarbonate which provides a durable, flat surface whilst keeping the weight of the flats to a minimum.  Examples of our timber flattage can be seen in the highly praised production of Adrian Mole for the Leicester Curve Theatre, WNO’s Carmen, Derren Brown’s Miracle tour, Mamma Mia! – The Party at the O2 and Two Ladies at The Bridge Theatre in London.

The utilisation of CNC (Computer Numerical Controlled) technologies into our scenic construction process allows us to produce scenery quicker and more accurately than ever before.  Our CNC machine is constantly in use- tasked with producing anything from intricate fretwork patterns to formers and templates for our craftsmen and women to work with, as well as routing and engraving surfaces and designs into a host of materials. Our expert CNC technician’s draught, program and operate the machine to work both alongside our carpenters on large scale tasks, and on smaller independent CNC projects for our clients.  Among other uses, the CNC machine plays a large role in the manufacture of floors for theatre productions; providing both an accurate and time-saving solution to the requirements of the design.  Able to mimic a variety of surfaces (in preparation for the scenic art team to work their magic), the CNC machining process allows us to produce precise flooring which can be either laid directly onto the stage floor or can be interlocked or built up to a rake, depending on the needs of the production, the venue, or tour. One example would be how we used our CNC machine to create a mock industrial linoleum floor for a refurbished production of Lady Macbeth for the English National Opera.  The challenge of a quick turn-around on stage was met with a cleverly devised, fully CNC’ed interlocking system that allowed the floor to be laid and lifted quickly and most importantly, with ease, whilst maintaining the same high-quality finish you would expect from CTS.


Metal Fabrication at CTS' Facilities


In addition to our skilled carpentry work, our proficient metal fabrication team provides further solutions to many of the challenges we are met with in the every-changing face of the theatre industry.  In many cases, steel framed flats can provide a stronger and sometimes lighter piece of scenery; ideal for touring and fabricated to the same high standards as our timber work. Our fabricators are skilled in the use of steel and aluminium and can produce anything from large scale complex structures to more intricate and precise engineering.  Steel is our favoured choice when faced with the challenge of creating sizable 3D structures.  Etch primed to resist the elements, all our steel work is prepared and welded on site by our team of experience fabricators.  In addition to our on-site fabrication, we have a close relationship with several local machining and engineering companies who we can call upon to create precision engineered or laser cut elements to meet the specific needs of the job.  For larger, specialist or more complex structures, we utilise the expertise of local structural engineers to advise our process and provide accurate calculations on projects that require significant structural consideration.  Recent examples of our fabrication work includes the award winning Company for Eliot & Harper, Nutcracker for the Atlanta Ballet, The Prince of Egypt at the Dominion Theatre in London, Ivan for Grange Park Opera, and a new production of Madame Butterfly for Welsh National Opera.

The theatre industry provides our core workload here at CTS and as such we are specialists in our field.  Our understanding and experience of the theatre process means that we offer a complete service suitable to the specifications of the production and our clients’ requirements.  Our knowledge of stage rigging and theatrical procedures allows us to produce scenery that is stage ready; fit to fly including all stage hardware and bespoke steel wires to suit or tour-ready with built in amendments able to adapt to the specific requirements of different venues.  Whether you are looking for a company to build your next epic opera set, or a team to work on your small regional touring show, look no further than Cardiff Theatrical Services. With us, you know your project is in safe, experienced and high-quality hands.


Cellini Scenic Construction. Image: Origin8Photography


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Cardiff Theatrical Services Limited
Ellen Street, Cardiff, CF10 4TT

Tel: +44 (0)29 2063 4680
Fax: +44 (0)29 2048 1275

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