Introduction

Following a vigorous selection process, Project7 was chosen to work on the Hippodrome theatre, which was being remodelled to stage Channing Tatum’s ‘Magic Mike Live’. Having already wowed American audiences with its 360-degree show, the Hollywood star’s production now needed an exceptionally high-quality theatre capable of the same in London. The grade II listed Hippodrome, in the heart of Chinatown, required extensive changes in a short period of time. Project7, given our vast experience of heritage work, working 24 hours and to a tight deadline, were the perfect choice.

The Project

Within 32 days of working 24/7, in a live Casino environment, Project7 stripped out all of the existing theatre structure and carried out a refurbishment fit for the ‘Magic Mike Live’ set. The remodelling of the theatre involved increasing the seat capacity by 150 seats using raised platforms, increasing the floor footprint, extending and replacing the ornate balconies and fitting a new spiral staircase, changing the purpose of the theatre whilst matching the décor to the existing theatre. A curved acoustic wall was fitted to work with the original structure. The stage was fit with various apertures to allow actors to come up through the floor during the show. We also rebuilt the toilets and changing rooms and fit a bespoke ‘Magic Mike Live’ entrance arch. In addition to this, we worked closely with ‘Warner Brothers’ to fit automated lighting equipment, fitting new electrical and mechanical systems. The biggest challenge was to install a 5-lift scaffold in a live casino, which was accomplished by in depth planning and logistics. The Casino traded uninterrupted throughout the works without incident. We even managed to enable the cast to audition and rehearse while the latter parts of works were completed.

Completion

A collaborative approach between the contractor, stakeholders, designers and production teams ensured the successful and seamless delivery of the refurbishment and set installation. Channing Tatum, the film star and producer, even came to site to individually thank every member of the Project7 team in person for making the production crew’s vision become a reality.

At Project7 we pride ourselves on the product we delivered and the smooth running of the entire process. Our adaptability to the client’s unique requests allowed us to produce the desired venue, fit for a sell-out Hollywood show. Our approach to this project emphasised our reliability, understanding of architectural design, strong time-management skills and our capability of working in tough environments. The variety and range of skills required for this work really makes us stand out. The mixture of skills and the creativity required on this project demonstrated our construction artistry which we believe we bring to all our business ventures.

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