Take That, riding high on one of the most remarkable musical comeback stories so far of the 21st century, return with Kinesys!
The tour reunites many of the successful production team that propelled the band to stardom in the 1990s including production manager Chris Vaughan, LD Simon Tutchener, artistic director Kim Gavin and Summit’s Jon Bray. Bray says “It’s really good to be working with so many of the original team again. Take That were the first band to use a large moving bridge over the audience and it’s good to see that trick back in the show, plus a host of other ambitious movement and automation effects”. The epic set for the 2006 tour is designed by Bill Lazlett. It includes several moving pieces, the most technically challenging of which is the very elegant ‘Halo’, a 17 metre diameter hinged circular piece of trussing scenery weighing 5 tonnes. This moves in and out throughout the show serving several different scenic and practical functions. These include positioning two water effects - a rain bar and a water screen - which are attached to it – in exactly the right place for the finale, and also opening and closing, and forming a walkway for the band to access the catwalk flying in over the audience – across which they access the B stage. The Halo ranges from being flat to hinging out to 36 degrees and is rigged on eight double braked variable speed LL Lodestar motors all of which have to run at different speeds as it moves into different positions. Along with the rest of the set, it’s made by Total Fabrications.
The beauty of using K2 for this is the system’s ability to work with the actual moving items. Any object (in this case the Halo), can be flown, tracked or revolved, and is dealt with in terms of its own movement – rather than the movement of the devices that support it. You simply tell the system where and how you want it to move the object and K2 works out all the calculations needed, and then relays that information to the motors. “K2 was easily the most flexible option” says Summit’s Jon Bray “Its 3D-ability is invaluable – it means you can deal the set piece rather than the motors, and its specially good for showing the client and discussing real time moves with the creative team”. K2 is being operated by Toby Rouse who is working closely with Mark Whittaker and the tour’s head rigger Phil Broad.
There is also plenty of fixed speed automation going on which is being taken care of by Richard Wythes using a Kinesys Elevation 24 control system. Over the stage is a large 5.5 metre long ‘Take That’ logo constructed from trussing which is flown on four vari-speed LL Lodestar motors, and in the centre of this is a 9 metre trussing circle on 6 fast vari-speed Lodestar JJs which flies up and down and pitches front and back. The 6 metre circular B stage is parked in the roof above the front-of-house control position, and the catwalk that connects A to B stages is also stored up in the roof above the audience. When the time comes for the band to perform on the B stage, the Halo, catwalk and B stage all fly in simultaneously. The Halo connects the main stage to the catwalk, and the band step onto it …. and at the other end, the B stage lands directly over the top of the lighting desk, standing on four 3m trussing legs attached to its base! Another identical tilting Take That trussing ‘logo’ moves into place above the B stage, which also has its own independent lighting truss. The 9 x 6 metre mother grid for the TT truss and B stage also doubles as lighting and PA truss hanging positions for that area. These FOH pieces are all controlled with Kinesys Vector software running through the Elevation 24 fixed speed controller, and everything over the audience is on encoded hoists. The band perform a Beatles medley and some other songs on the B stage before returning to the main stage.
“K2 was easily the most flexible option. Its 3D-ability is invaluable – it means you can deal the set piece rather than the motors, and its specially good for showing the client and discussing real time moves with the creative team”
In addition to all the tonnes of moving metalwork, Summit is also involved in moving the onstage video screens, which is again controlled by the K2 system. The video wall is divided into four sections – three sections are divided vertically into thirds, and the central third is then divided into two sections horizontally. The top section half flies out on 3 Vari-speed Lodestar hoists motors while the bottom half disappears downwards below the stage on a scissor lift. The remaining two offstage sections then track further offstage (i.e. sideways) on vari-speed electric beam trolleys controlled by the K2 system.
Client: Summit Steel
Lighting Designer: Simon Tutchener
Fabrication: Total Fabrications