Cyrano de Bergerac tree branch

akc134

Member
I'll building a set for Cyrano (balcony, tree, everything) for under $800 (paint has its own budget). I have little stock lumber, but can be creative and make it work. What I need a solution for is this: A roughly 170 lb guy (playing Cyrano) needs to hang and swing from a branch on a tree. The branch then needs to snap and he falls with it. What do I do? And how do I do it cheaply?

My current thinking is this: Rig the branch (with a minimal grid but that's alright). Rig 2 lines with 1/8" black aircraft cable. I'd prefer to nicopress it (but I'm wondering if crosby's would be safe to hold the weight of a person since it's cheaper). Run the lines to grid with each going through 2 sheaves (so I'd have to buy 4, which can be pricy). Run the lines down to a cleat either attached to a wall or the ground. I know I can buy a cheap cleat at a hardware store, but I worry it's not safe enough even if I lag it. I just don't have the time or money to weld a pin rail. Additionally, I would add something (don't know what yet, just something repable) to also physically attach the branch to the tree.

Any thoughts or ideas would be appreciated.
 

sk8rsdad

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
Fight Leukemia
Does the "branch" he swings from have to be the same branch that is seen to fall? It would be safer for all concerned if the actor is in full control of their drop. If the branch they hold on to is blocked from view (i.e. the actors arms reach up into the tree canopy) then they would let go to fall, bringing a "prop" branch that wasn't visible to the audience beforehand with them.
 

akc134

Member
Does the "branch" he swings from have to be the same branch that is seen to fall? It would be safer for all concerned if the actor is in full control of their drop. If the branch they hold on to is blocked from view (i.e. the actors arms reach up into the tree canopy) then they would let go to fall, bringing a "prop" branch that wasn't visible to the audience beforehand with them.

That's a very good suggestion, and I will talk with the scenic designer about that possibility. I agree I would feel better if the actor is in full control of the drop. Thanks!
 

Van

CBMod
CB Mods
Premium Member
Just to stem the flow that is about to head this way; There is NO 'Cheap' way when dealing rigging people. There is the safe way. Period. I Don't remember this particular action in Cyrano, Is it referenced in the script ? If it's just an 'Inspired bit of blocking" by the Director then I suggest you quash it. Better to spend some of that $800 on a real fight choreographer than to spend it all on rigging for one scene.
 

Footer

Senior Team
Senior Team
Premium Member
A few thoughts....

Besides rigging/cheap/actor support don't go together, there are a few other issues.

You can not tie off wire rope to a cleat and have the line actually stay there under load. Added to that, wire rope is pretty much un-handable for any type of controlled operation. Unfortunately, I think you set off the alarm bells in the "Do it right or don't do it at all" clause on CB. I work in a theatre with close to the same budgets. Things can be done cheaply. However, anytime it comes to supspending anyone onstage from any type of rigging the word "Cheap" goes right out the window.
 

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