MSA supplies automation for Cinderella the Musical

The stunning new Lion Productions show Cinderella the Musical (Askepot the Musical in Danish) is taking the country by storm with a vibrant, creative and modern staging of one of the world’s favourite and best-known fairytales. The show premiered at the Tivolis Koncertsal, København, (Tivoli Concert Hall, Copenhagen) and is being followed by an ongoing national tour.

Motor Stage Automation (MSA) has provided two elements of automation equipment for this specular and acclaimed production – MRD750 7.5 metre double revolve comprising a 5-metre centre circle and a 2.5 metre outer ring, plus two tracking video screens on a rear truss.

All of this is being operated via a Kinesys Vector control console, programmed by Lion Productions’ head of automation, Erik Mølgaard Jensen, at the start of the tour. A touring operator runs the automation day-to-day, with Erik also overseeing the moves to different venues.

The MRD750 high gloss surfaced revolve is in constant motion throughout the performance for moving props and people. The action starts off in a slick modern fashion show environment, and transitions to a more traditional Cinderella fairytale setting, the narrative coming alive with scenography by Benjamin La Cour, costumes designed by Soeren Le Schmidt, plus new music by Danish pop artist Rasmus Seebach.

The two rings are moved using an Elevation 1+ drive on each, both feeding into the Vector controller.

The screens are rigged on the venue house bars and comprise 18 metres of MSA’s Litec DST52 Track, and each screen is moved by two Litec EXE 21-metre-a-minute vari-speed drive trolleys, all supplied to the production in MSA touring dollies for convenience and portability.

The screens are each 6 metres wide and 1.5 metres deep, made up from ROE CB8 semi-transparent product. They display a variety of content and are an essential digital scenery tool relating to the plot and location settings, moving in and out constantly throughout the show, sometimes in unison and sometimes asymmetrically.

In total, there are 54 different movement cues in the show, making it a busy one for automation.

PSN (PosiStageNet) tracking data from the EXE units is fed via the Vector console to the disguise VX2 media server programmed with all the video content, enabling the video to move proportionately in harmony with the physical screen positions, always in the right place.

The biggest challenge on this show, explains Erik, is the short timeframe and working around the other departments for ins and outs, however, this is also a scenario that everyone is used to.

He highlights the importance of everyone involved onstage and backstage being aware of the automation. While things might not always be moving super-fast, artists and actors need to be aware of what is moving, when, and how it affects themselves and others.

“We have a straightforward and highly effective system on this show which really enhances Benjamin’s creative vision,” comments Erik.

He has known MSA’s Christian Vigsø for some time and comments, “MSA is a great company. fully focussed on producing tools and systems that can maximise the imagination of the designer on any event or production.”

He adds that Christian and business partner Kasper Sonberg are “very good at listening to people and to what the market wants and needs on a practical level, plus other factors like safety and a perspective on how everyone – including audiences – ultimately benefit from better production values.”

Christian and his MSA team are constantly out on shows themselves, so they keep close to the action and the trends of the moment and are constantly thinking of new and different ways to expand everyone’s horizons.


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