Monkey Business for Summit Steel

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Summit Steel is supplying production rigging for "Monkey: Journey To The West", currently being staged in a 3,300 capacity Kayam Tent outside London's O2 Arena.

Damon Albarn (musical score) and Gorillaz partner Jamie Hewlett (visuals, stage & costume design) present this innovative performance work fusing Chinese opera and circus with animated video cartoons and live performance.

Summit won a competitive tender to supply rigging services and equipment to the show which is staged by AEG Promotions UK. Summit's team is project managed by Chris Walker who is working closely with AEG's site production manager Tom Armstrong and Monkey Journey 2008 (the touring company) production manager, Jim Leaver.

The show's flown infrastructure is based around a 22.4 metre wide by 20.5 metre deep ground support system that was installed into the tent by Star Events Group.

From this, Summit has rigged 16 trusses measuring between 20 and 30 metres for lighting (White Light) and drapes (Acre Jean). The majority of these have been flown into place and deaded-off for the show's run.

Either side of the stage, they have flown and deaded 8 custom lighting ladders supplied by the production.

They also flew the PA - a d&b line array system from Entec - consisting of 2 main left and right hangs and a small centre cluster.

Summit supplied and rigged I-beam tracks for the 'Bamboos' – four sets of 8m high Chinese poles used by the show's acrobats, and rigged two follow spot chairs and a front of house lighting truss from the tent's King poles.

The show also features performer flying, for which Summit hung a series of special trusses supplied by Netherlands based Silicon Scenery containing a total of seven fly tracks for the aerial artists; six are positioned over the stage, and one over the audience. In addition to this, Summit has supplied and rigged two Kinesys vari-speed performer flying hoists which are used to fly two silk performers.

Walker led Summit's team of 7 riggers for the load in, and Kevin Lyons is staying on site overseeing all rigging requirements during the run.

Lighting has been designed by Nick Richings and sound by Barry Bartlett.

The show runs at The O2 site until 4th January 2009 and is then scheduled to tour central Europe, Asia and the US later in the year.

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