By: Kelly Holdaway On: August 16, 2013 In: Blog Comments: 0

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UNIC URW-376 mini crane at Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

Copyright Pete Le May

One of GGR’s UNIC mini cranes took centre stage at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in Southwark, London recently. Our spider crane’s starring role was to help to create the timber skeleton of the Globe’s new Jacobean style indoor theatre.

Designed to emulate the 17th Century style of theatres in Shakespeare’s time, the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse will be a 340 seat theatre with a candle lit stage and a two tiered horseshoe shaped gallery.

Lifting timber beams at the Shakespeare Globe TheatreA 2.9 tonne capacity UNIC URW-376 mini crane worked behind the scenes moving heavy handcrafted oak timbers into position safely and efficiently. It took seven months to get the dozens of 540kg hand chiselled beams ready in the carpenter’s workshop, and they had to be delivered to site in phases because of their sheer size and volume!

The UNIC URW-376 model was the perfect casting for this job as it had enough lifting power and reach to hoist the beams up to where they needed to be installed but was small enough to squeeze through the theatre’s extremely narrow 1460mm wide access point.

The UNIC’s working area limitation mode made sure that the crane’s boom could move around the limited space inside the building and around the parts of the timber structure that were already built. A searcher hook was fitted to the crane to lift the pieces that needed to be installed close to the building’s roof.

UNIC mini crane creating new Jacobean style indoor theatre

In total the mini crane spent 32 days at the theatre and thanks to an excellent performance from our operator Dan the job didn’t turn into A Comedy of Errors! We can’t wait to see what the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse looks like when it’s finished and the curtains go up on the theatre’s first performance of The Duchess of Malfi in January 2014.

Take a look at a video of our mini crane in action at The Sam Wanamaker Playhouse here.

The Sam Wanamaker Playhouse project has been able to go ahead thanks to fundraising efforts from Shakespeare’s Globe and they have £500,000 left to raise to hit their £7.5 million target. Click here to find out more about making a donation to the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse.

Here’s how a UNIC mini crane helped create an impressive marble staircase in the reception area of another London venue, St James Theatre.

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