The Art of Showmanship and What We Can Learn From Musical Theatre
Back in July Flightcase Warehouse looked at how touring bands utilise the modern skills of events professionals and the capabilities of contemporary technology to deliver standout experiences for their audiences. However, delivering awe-inspiring spectacles that cement themselves in memory isn’t a new thing. Some of the greatest performances in history came way before the onset of 21st century digital technology and have established a standard for the glittering, stimulating marvels we enjoy today.
The best performance genre to illustrate our point is that of the constantly evolving “musical theatre”. Drawing inspiration from good old-fashioned spectacle (made an essential requirement all the way back in the 16th century by the world’s best-know dramatist, William Shakespeare) and the innovative use of the very latest tech and production techniques, when done right, even classic musical theatre shows seem as fresh and exciting as on their premiere night. Despite being around since before the millennium, the below 3 shows are still regulars on theatre programmes the world over thanks to their rare ability to reinvent their stories using innovative technology, modern techniques and contemporary creative direction.
1) The Lion King
A family favourite ever since its inception in 1999, The Lion King has long relied upon its production team to deliver a stunning visual experience for global audiences. The musical has enjoyed many years gracing Broadway stages and boasts tremendous international success, and is well-known for its heavily stylised and unique array of costumes and puppets that engage with actors and iconic musical numbers. The production team behind the Lion King works tirelessly to ensure that the show remains visually stunning, with inventive costume design and puppetry still being a key draw today in 2017.
2) The Phantom of the Opera
A staple of the musical theatre landscape, today’s Lloyd-Webber-penned retelling of an Italian classic not only has to ensure that it’s in-house orchestra and vocalists retain exceptional clarity (through hidden, wireless microphones in most productions), but that the various set pieces occur without a hitch. A long standing TPOTO tradition is that the chandelier hanging above the audience is dropped from the sky, reflecting action in the storyline. Obviously, as a large weight that needs to endure a controlled (yet rapid) descent there is a large amount of pulley, rigging and chain hoists involved in the drop. A very intricate yet spectacular set piece, TPOTO continues to stun modern audiences with its engineering marvel.
3) Les Misérables
“Les Mis” as it’s fondly known, is one of the most famous ever musical theatre productions and the longest running on London’s West End. Variations of this novel-come-musical are mounted worldwide, with a need for intricate stage sets and robust sound design wherever staged. Large orchestral capacity is combined with an equally sophisticated mixing desk, with audio engineers working nearly non-stop (as they do on most musical production’s) to ensure that not a note is missed. Of course, a big part of the show is the swarming crowds that take the stage, filling complex sets and using props that flesh out the feel of the French Revolution at its height. Never more bombastic than it needs to be, the behind the scenes stage hands work hard to make sure that not only the stage is prepped and ready for the show, but that every cast member is outfitted perfectly.
Musical theatre is a great genre to cast your eye to for inspiration when working in events. Pros in this area often push the boundaries of creativity and capability when it comes to utilising modern and ground-breaking technology, or delivery next-level spectacle to huge crowds. And you can guarantee that they put their trust in protective equipment that will never let them down, even when under logistical pressure or working with demanding kit.
If you require a protective solution for events, AV, lighting, sound, production, broadcasting and much more, please talk to Flightcase Warehouse. We have thousands of off the shelf flight cases ready for next day delivery and also offer bespoke manufacturing if you require a totally tailor-made solution. Call 01827 60009, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visi www.flightcasewarehouse.co.uk for more.