When people ask us "What is it that Unusual Rigging does?" we tend to regale them with tales of all the latest exciting projects we've been installing. The latest artwork or theatre show, perhaps one of our challenging engineering projects or special projects. But as the saying goes, in the majority of cases "What goes up, must come down" and, often the de-rigging is just as challenging as the initial install - if not more so.

From a theatrical perpsecitve, we're de-rigging and re-installing all the time when we're working on tours. And we're not talking about a few props for an amateur production. These days, touring productions rival long running West End productions in terms of just how spectacular (and heavy they are). When we're working on such tours, there are generally several lorries worth of kit that has to be moved from one location to the next, installed quickly and then, often a couple of weeks later, we're pulling it all out, loading it back into the vans and taking it to another part of the country to get ready for the next show a couple of days later.

When we're rigging and de-rigging big spectaculars - such as the Regent St Christmas Lights or the Lumiere projects that we work on with Artichoke, we literally stop traffic. Road closures are de-rigueur for this sort of job and naturally the same rules apply when we're taking it all down.

A recent challenge we faced was at the science museum in London. Fifteen years ago, and Unusual team led by myself worked with Wilkinson Eyre on their first museum project - the Challenge of Materials gallery. This included a beautiful and innovative glass bridge. Unusual installed the infrastructure to facilitate the building of the bridge. This summer, we were brought in to take it all out. A team, headed by Sam Carter and Jason White spent 15 night shifts completing the de-rig which was extremely challenging. Understandably, the bridge had been installed as if it were a permanent installation. Taking out the bridge involved us cutting the stainless steel frame up rather than disassembling it and drilling out the roll pins and connectors.

So while the end result of a de-rig is a big empty space, it still fulfills the brief set by our clients and ultimately a happy client is what we always strive to achieve.

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