The University of Huddersfield Drama Department wanted to replace outmoded seating used in their two studio theatres with an easy-to-assemble, lightweight, ‘student proof’ system.
They needed something extremely flexible, multi-purpose, highly durable and, at the same time, quick and easy to erect and dismantle to make way for other activities on the floor space.
The studio theatres are used for numerous student productions, teaching, workshops and professional shows staged by big names and touring theatre companies.
Manager of Resources and Senior Technician for the Drama Department at the University of Huddersfield David Wainwright successfully applied for funding and put the job out to tender.
“We were very thorough with the tender process,” explained David. “It was very detailed but, deliberately, rather vague to enable the companies to come up with something special to suit our needs.”
Twelve companies were asked to bid initially and this was then whittled down to four manufacturers. Three potential suppliers were then visited by the Resources Team before being asked to provide an innovative yet functional solution.
Mainstage, one of the UK’s top three providers of portable tiered seating and staging, embraced the challenge.
They topped the bill by putting forward their Topdeck Cameo tiered seating system, which really impressed the University team..
Mainstage assessed the studio theatre sites, requirements and available space and designed an innovative seating arrangement, using the lightweight Topdeck Cameo system, providing safe, robust tiered seating which can be put together with amazing speed and ease.
Components can be configured to any shape taking into account such things as pillars, fire exits and varying heights and widths of space available. They are also light-weight and fuss-free to erect. I
“Mainstage were, without a shadow of doubt, the best,” said David Wainwright. “We had many discussions with them prior to buying and they came up with a very simple and affordable system.
“The way the seating fits together is just so easy.
“We felt they were an ethical family company too, using factory wood off-cuts wherever possible, which was good to see.”
“All the staff were really nice to deal with – very friendly and extremely helpful at all times.
“What was particularly impressive was the training session with the students to show them how to put the seating up and take it down.
“We had no problems at all and, what’s more, we are doing what we wanted to do and more.”