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Oleo/Olio drops and gauze


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Does anyone have any experience of creating an oleo drop with a sharkstooth gauze ?


I know the basic principles of creating the oleo roll, but have seen many (US based)

sites suggesting that doing so using a sharkstooth gauze is a bad idea with most of

them recommending a "Chameleon" gauze which doesn't seem as readily available



The stage is not wide (around 30' or so) nor high (about 13') so I don't see the usual

bowing of the drum being a problem (even if a thick cardboard tube was used)


Alternatively, any other suggestions to achieve what we're trying to would, of course,

be welcomed - there is very little height and (obviously) no flying facilities and we

need a gauze to be "flown" in and out at various points through the show (so using

something like a kabuki drop is not an option)


It needs to be front-lit to hide scene changes (when action is taking place in front

of the gauze) and allow a 'reveal' to the scene behind. Unfortunately we have no

way of hanging a black behind it (short of another oleo roll :)) so I was hoping the

sharkstooth can be lit in such a way that the audience will not see the (completely

dark) stage behind.

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for a gauze to be really effective, you would be well-advised to have a secondary black drape behind to cover the scenechanges if al all possible, but you could probably get away with it if the changes aren't too long or complex. It will be difficult to get the stage "completely dark" behind the cloth, as some light may bleed through, and you may in any case need a small amount of light in that area to ensure the scenechanges can be carried out correctly and safely.

Regarding using gauze as a tumbler cloth, I don't think I've seen this done, but...why not? The only reason I can think of for not using sharkstooth would be the stretch in the fabric - as it has to be loadbearing, any stretch occuring when it starts to take its share of the weight of the roller may affect the operation, but this is speculative, as I've never seen it done. Worth a try, I'd think. I've never heard of "Chameleon" gauze, you learn something new every day....


Would another possibility be to hang the gauze from a curtain track? this raises its own issues - eg how much offstage space have you got to store the gathered curtain? how do you get it nicely stretched when it's deployed? etcetera, but might be an acceptable alternative?

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Thanks andy, I know its nice to have a drape behind it ... but sadly in the space it's

not an option... the only other thing I could think of to reduce the chances of scene

changes etc being seen is to backlight it as well with something.


The stage is small, and there should be enough light through the gauze to provide

working light (normally we have a few birdies as workers if the tabs are in and these

are adequate.


The stretch in sharkstooth is what was worrying me, I would rather have it as on a

tumbler than a track purely to get it stretched nicely.. (ideally I'd like it on a frame

and flown but that's a whole other matter :))

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I once shortened a gauze for a friend of mine that was a printed plastic mesh. Although it looked like a gauze (though with rectangular holes) it had absolutely no stretch in it and was horrible to sew as you could not sew through the fibers only the holes.


I know nothing more about it other than it was for the Round House and they were so desperate for it quickly that they sat and watched me sewing it, I guess it was not cheap but if you want I could try to find out where it came from.

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