Alongside the main assembly area are the woodwork and metalwork shops, home to yet more talent that straddles both ingenuity and practicality. The level of craftsmanship and attention to detail is what ensures every piece of scenery in every stage revolve is up to scratch for the duration of an entire tour, enduring hundreds of performances. The precision built pieces leave these workshops to be assembled in the main area, with exceptionally talented scenic artists putting the finishing touches to them. It’s this scenery that creates the world that we theatregoers are taken to, where the magic of the performance takes place. But long before the sets are built on such a grand scale, they start life in a much more manageable size – albeit just as intricately detailed. Our guide Dani took us upstairs to show us the design offices, the place where every aspect of a set is created in a scale model that is quite simply breathtaking. Imagine the most complex and realistic doll’s house, and you’d be somewhere near the level of detail that goes into these models.
So, once a production is ready to get underway its entire creation story can take place at TR2. A show can start with the first casting auditions taking place in Rehearsal Room 02, before the set takes shape in model form upstairs prior to being built in the workshops. Meanwhile the wardrobe team can make the costumes for the performers practising in Rehearsal Room 01, ahead of the finished set being pushed through to Rehearsal Room 03 for a full technical run through, after which the whole lot gets shipped out to theatres around the world where we get to experience the final show in all its glory. All of this produced under one roof? Quite simply, TR2 is a factory of dreams. And when you consider the unassuming exterior on arrival, it only adds to the magical way that theatrical productions require such hard work and expertise behind the scenes to bring a show to life. Just like a performance, TR2 is much more than what you see on the surface.