We Will Rock You
We Will Rock You, the musical featuring the music of Queen, broke new ground in London's West End with its extensive usage of LED video screens as an integral part of the show's scenery. Set designer Mark Fisher and Video Designer Willie Williams specified eight 2.5 metre square Lighthouse LED panels - four mounted on tracking winches and four on stage trucks. Set construction company Brilliant Stages turned to Kinesys to provide control for the video screens, and also the "High School Colonnade" and "Tottenham Court Road" stage trucks.
Four of the eight LED screens are suspended from Brilliant Stages' custom-designed 500kg winches. Each winch is in turn mounted on an aluminium I-beam allowing it to track across stage. The winches are driven by 7.5kW servo motors with Velocity drives; 0.75kW motors handle the tracking. The eight drives are controlled by a simple custom controller with an LCD display giving real-time status display and allowing cue editing and replay functions.
The other four screens are mounted on stage trucks which can also link together to form a high-level performance platform. A 2.2kW servo motor and Velocity drive is used in each truck to allow the screen to be raised through approximately 1.5m to meet the flown video screens. The inbuilt cue storage of the Velocity drive is used to store the three required show positions, with a simple hand control being used to select the cue and operate the lift.
The two largest set pieces used in We Will Rock You are also controlled by Kinesys drives. The 10 tonne High School Colonnade features in two of the show's acts, and is moved up and down the raked stage by a "Serapid" rigid chain system, driven by an 11kW servo motor. A Velocity drive with custom LCD pendent control provides cue editing and replay and status display. The derelict Tottenham Court Road tube station built onto the theatre's hydraulic lift tracks downstage once the lift is raised, powered by a 7.5kW servo motor controlled by a Velocity drive. Again, the integral cue storage within the Velocity drive is controlled by a simple pendent controller to allow the three show cues to be operated reliably and accurately.
We Will Rock You
Date: May 2002 - Venue: Dominion Theatre, London
Set Designer: Mark Fisher
Set Construction: Brilliant Stages
Video and Lighting Designer: Willie Williams