1993: Ice Stages
One of the most daring challenges in CFT's history was the installation of of full size ice rinks in the 1990s and 2000s. They were constructed on four occasions for winter touring productions in the Festival Theatre, including Sleeping Beauty On Ice (1993), Cinderella On Ice (1994), Peter Pan On Ice (2000) and The Phantom of the Opera On Ice (2001).
Head of Stage Karl Meier remembers the process: "Although things have now changed, in the early years we had to tank the stage with a polythene sheet, lay hundreds of small pipes that were full of a substance called glycol and then cover these with a few tons of crushed ice. A crew member would then spend the night with a hose pipe spraying this with water until the surface was complete. The first year after the show finished we broke up the ice and put it on the grass outside the theatre – it stayed there for what seemed like months. For later shows we had it taken away in skips!"