British one-hit wonder and cult favorite John Otway celebrated his return to the music scene after 25 years, playing a sold-out gig at the world-famous London Palladium theatre, and Flying Pig Systems' Wholehog® III control system was there to help.

At the Palladium, Lee House and Flying Pig founder Nick Archdale were on hand to put the new software through its paces. During the week the theatre hosts the hit West End show Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and has a large rig of conventionals, scrollers, and more than 150 moving lights from High End Systems, Martin Professional, and Vari-Lite. "With a rig that size it was a joy to put some of the new time-saving features of the software to the test," says Lee House, who programmed the show, and who is also responsible for Wholehog III training in Europe.

Palladium house chief David Draude said he was pleased to see "how far the Hog III had come," and will now be running all the Palladium's Sunday shows on the III, rather than the Wholehog II which runs Chitty Chitty Bang Bang during the week. "With everything from theatre-type shows to rock and roll, it's the ideal choice for us, especially given that we often don't have much time to program on the day of show," he says.

The Wholehog III is celebrating the release of its v1.0 software after completing its final round of beta-testing. This is the first version of software for the new control system that has been given "show-safe" status by Flying Pig Systems. "This is an important landmark for us," says product manager Richard Mead. "Above all else, our customers require their control system to be reliable, and that has been our absolute priority. But this is really just the beginning. Now that we have established this stable foundation, we will be moving forward rapidly with new versions and features."

The beta version of the v1.1 software is already available for download by users who want to be part of the ongoing testing and development process. This adds a host of new features and is scheduled to attain release status in November.