The Lord of the Rings: The Musical

Official website:

Creative Team:

Producer: Kevin Wallace
Director: Matthew Warchus
Lighting Design: Paul Pyant
Associate Lighting Designer: David Howe
Set & Costume Designer: Rob Howell
Choreographer: Peter Darling
Fight Director: Terry King
Production Stage Manager: Sam Hunter

Related Equipment:



LSI: The Lord of the Rings - Toronto (April 2006)
[20.44Mb PDF]
From Lighting & Sound International

Production History

Toronto: Princess of Wales Theatre
February 4, 2006 (previews begin)
March 23, 2006 (press opening)
September 3, 2006 (final performance)

London: Theatre Royal, Drury Lane
May 9, 2007 (previews begin)
June 19, 2007 (press opening)
July 19, 2008 (final performance)

One of the most expensive productions in West End history, the show had to earn £350,000 per week just to break even.

Scenic Automation (from Silicon Theatre Scenery website)

Silicon Theatre Scenery was responsible for the automation and control, including various winches and additional axes.

Showdeck: 30 tons

The showdeck consists of a 13 metre diameter revolve with 16 hydraulic scissor lifts and a centre lift. The scissor lifts move within the revolve. The complete hydraulic system, including the controller, is integrated into the revolve. This includes:

26 winches of which:
17 counter balanced winches for 400 kg flies;
2 single wire winches for special effects with a speed of 3 m/s;
6 winches for performer flying as part of the STS flight system;
A winch for five canvases that hang in a circle.

33 axes control the following:
21 Kabuki Drops, a release mechanism for canvases;
4 trusses which are driven by an electric toothed belt;
2 props that move in all directions, fold up and are inflatable.

Command and control: STS AutoStage2000 
The control system consists of 44 inverters, 21 hydraulic controls and digital I / O by two IPCs which are controlled via multiple CAN buses. One of these IPCs is integrated into the revolve. Electronic data interchanges between the two IPCs is through slip rings. There is a third IPC, to SIL 3 specification, which controls the air systems.

The operation takes place at three different STS OptiStage2000 desks, Each desk is equipped with six playbacks, a Querty keyboard, emergency stop, DMBs, as well as the standard operating controls. Each desk has two 15 inch touch screens.

The operator has the various playbacks to control the speed of the programmed movements. This is a proven concept and various other productions have shown its usefulness when dealing with complex moves. It allows the operator to speed up the moves and adapt to the actor without stopping the show.

The emergency stop is fully wired and meets safety category 4. On-line the status of each emergency stop is monitored so that the operator can easily see which emergency stop has been pressed.

Reduce your programming time by 80%
Given the complexity of the revolve movements, these are programmed using a 3-D animation test package. These movements are loaded into the new control program Through this new programming interface, we have made tremendous time savings and allowed new opportunities for creative directors.

Lighting Design by Paul Pyant

Backstage Tour




Bring on the dancing hobbits – The Guardian (preview) 14 June 2007

Making of The Lord of the Rings