Large format projection specialists ETC UK supplied two PIGI projectors with double scrollers to the spectacular festive Peter Pan – A Musical Adventure production, staged at the Royal Festival Hall in December and January. Peter Pan was a collaboration between the venue, production and design specialists Imagination and promoters Raymond Gubbay.
Projection design was by Chris Slingsby of Imagination. He joined a formidable creative team including Ian Talbot (director), Will Bowen (set), Laurence Llewellyn-Bowen (costumes), Durham Marenghi (LD) and John Del Niro (sound design).
Projection ran for the whole show, overlaying the top and sides of the impressive scenic false proscenium arch, covered in grey gauze, that was specially installed for the production by Unusual Rigging. This transformed the Royal Festival Hall from a concert hall into a more ‘traditional’ style theatrical venue for the duration.
For Peter Pan’s first scene, a full front cloth was flown in front of the whole stage, and the projection also worked right across that surface.
All projection material was researched and created at Imagination before being sent to ETC UK for processing into scrolling artwork. The projection films were made in black and white, and were based stylistically on the engraved illustrations found in Victorian children’s books, some were referenced to original pictures, others specially created for the piece.
The projection artwork brought the show alive with a wide variety of magical and intriguing subject matter including jungles, trees, crocodiles, ships, skulls and crossbones, etc.. It acted as a powerful in motion location changer and a journey and time passage indicator as dictated by the stage action. Colour was added to the monochrome images via the lighting, the two visual mediums merging to imbibe the stage with a rich and textured layering.
The projectors were rigged in the back row of the circle. They were keystone corrected and soft-edged together in the middle to form one seamless 30 metre wide image. The on-stage area within the pros arch was ‘removed’ from the projection image by masking. Control was achieved via a PC running PIGI 6 control software, and Karen Monid oversaw the projection department.
Imagination Ltd. is Europe’s largest independent design and communications company with over 350 creative, technical and management experts working under one roof in central London. The scope of activity ranges from communications planning, retail and leisure design, project management, multimedia, television production, films, touring shows and theatrical events. Clients include Ericsson, BT, Ford Motor Company, Coca-Cola and Guinness.