“Can you make me an Iron Lung?” isn’t a question I get asked very often…. as you might expect I’ve been asked exactly once by the Starmaker Theatre Company for their production of Cry Baby.
First job was to figure out what the heck an Iron Lung actually is (It’s basically a mechanical respirator which encloses most of a person’s body and helps them breath and they were in use in the early 1900s!). Next was how to make one without incurring a ton of expense as it was only needed for the production series of shows.
Fortunately, a load of defunct fencing became available, so rather than manufacture to look like metal, the decision was taken to make from wood reminiscent of how early steam trains had their boilers enclosed in timber (Think Stephenson’s Rocket!).
With the addition of a frame (also recycled timber) and a set of heavy duty castors, it was ready to contain a human and was wheeled onto the stage nightly for the run of the show!