People can never seem to get enough of Peter Pan on the stage. The old warhorse that originally starred Mary Martin and later Cathy Rigby continues to be revived; a non-musical production of the J.M. Barrie classic, featuring set and creature design by The Jim Henson Creature Shop, premiered in Australia in 2000. Now, in England, an all-new version of the story, Peter Pan — A Musical Adventure, was recently staged at the Royal Festival Hall last December and January. The design team included set designer Will Bowen, costume designer Laurence Llewellyn-Bowen, lighting designer Durham Marenghi, projection designer Chris Slingsby of Imagination, and sound designer John Del Niro.
Usually a concert hall, the Royal Festival Hall was transformed into a more traditional theatrical venue for the event thanks to a false proscenium arch, covered in gray gauze specifically installed for the production by Unusual Rigging. Onto this material Slingsby used two Pigi projectors supplied by E\T\C UK to project a variety of black-and-white drawings including jungles, trees, crocodiles, ships, skulls, and more. 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. All projection material was researched and created at Imagination before being sent to E\T\C UK for processing into scrolling artwork.
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 30m-wide (100') image. The onstage area within the proscenium 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.