Theatre boss finds a head for heights

The Menzies Three Peaks team

Scaling the heights

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FIREFIGHTERS leapt at the chance to practise their rescue skills – 100ft in the air.

The crew from Southsea 
was invited by the staff at the New Theatre Royal to carry out a practice rescue operation at the building site at the back of the Portsmouth theatre where the new learning and resources centre is being 
built.

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service used the large crane at the New Theatre Royal for rescue practice.

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service used the large crane at the New Theatre Royal for rescue practice.

Firefighters scaled a huge crane and rescued the theatre’s operations manager Dom Hart, carrying him down on a stretcher.

For onlookers down below it was a heart-stopping moment but staff at the theatre knew their boss was in safe hands.

Adam Carroll-Smith said: ‘Dom played a very good damsel in distress but he didn’t mind because he is a bit of a thrill-seeker so I think he enjoyed it up there.’

Crew manager Lee Sheen directed the operations from the ground.

The practice drill will help his officers when they are called out to real-life high rise rescues.

He said: ‘We managed it – we had two goes at it. It went really well.

‘We made sure all the crew had a go at it because it’s a really useful exercise for us to undertake.’

The 19th century theatre is undergoing a £4m revamp to make it one of the most modern theatre spaces in the south.

It will mean seeing the capacity increase from 525 to 700 – below the 1,000 seats at the Kings Theatre which will mean it feels more intimate.

It should be complete in the late autumn but in the meantime street artists have been brightening up the hoardings surrounding the building site.

Fark FK, Dharma, My Dog Sighs, Loss Dave and Midge spent the day working at the site.