The Bristol Old Vic Theatre School has perfected the art of the ‘Kabuki Drop’ for events and performances.

A kabuki drop is where the production requires a curtain or drape to be released at a precise moment, revealing a new scene and sometimes the artists. It is also used to release a specific prop on cue, for instance dropping a mannequin to the stage for dramatic effect or, less dramatically, releasing balloons, confetti, poppies, artificial snowflakes, etc.

Within its technical and production programmes, the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School uses the acclaimed Electro Kabuki system to provide a modern, reliable way of staging a drape/curtain reveal. Staging and rigging are also among the many insights passed on to students who attend Bristol Old Vic school.

Over the centuries, productions have used a huge variety of techniques and mechanisms to deploy a ‘kabuki drop’ (from the ancient Japanese tradition of Kabuki theatre), with wildly varying degrees of certainty and success.

In contrast to the eclectic mix of kabuki drop solutions deployed in the past – things like strings and ropes, loops and pins, and even wooden spars fitted with cup hooks that are still taught – the Theatre School uses its Electro Kabuki system, for the 21st Century state-of-the-art kabuki drop solution, to demonstrate modern, dependable theatrical reveal technology. The school’s system was supplied and is ably supported by Electro Kabuki distributor and Theatrical Chandlers, Flints.

The Electro Kabuki system uses smart electromagnetic technology and a purpose-designed snag-free load hook to guarantee a flawless kabuki drop every time. At its heart is the same technology used in life-critical safety applications on oil rigs and shipping to release heavy-duty shuttering which prevents the spread of fire.

Thanks to its meticulous engineering pedigree and dependability, Electro Kabuki has become the mainstay of staging professionals the world over who need to rig a theatrical drop – a preference clearly endorsed by the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School’s use of Electro Kabuki to show students how it should be done.

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