Bandit Lites is excited to announce that they have recently provided lighting production to the extremely successful, first ever Cbeebies Live! “Fantasy Circus” tour, presented by BBC Worldwide.
The tour, production managed by Nigel Mousley with lighting designed by Mark Cunniffe, visited UK arenas over the holidays, with a star-studded cast including The Tweenies, Postman Pat, Bob the Builder, Fireman Sam, and many more. The tour included three shows daily, enthralling thousands of children and parents alike in a block-busting, action-packed highly visual performance.
Bandit UK’s chief executive, Lester Cobrin, comments, “This is a fantastic song and dance show for the whole family to enjoy. The show is a highly innovative live stage production and I am extremely proud and privileged to be involved with such a dynamic team of people.”
Bandit supplied a crew for the tour, including Nigel Julian as crew chief and Ewan Cameron, who also operated the show using a Jands Vista console. They were joined by technicians Tom Crosbie and Ricky “Avo” Butler.
The production loaded into Bray Studios near London for four days of technical rehearsals before hitting the road. During this time, Cameron worked closely with Cunniffe to program and shape the show. Not surprisingly, it consisted of plenty of big, bold, bright looks and lots of color and movement to keep pace with the rapacious rhythm of the performance, designed to address even the shortest of attention spans and keep a mass of excited children entertained for the duration.
In terms of equipment, the above-stage space was dominated by two medium duty circular trusses. The 16-ft. diameter circular truss was trimmed 6.5-ft. above the nearly 46-ft. diameter circle and hung in between these were 24 strings of festoons that took a highly effective canopy look and brought a carnivalesque ambience to the stage.
Lighting fixtures rigged onto the circle trusses were 24 bars of 4 PARs, 24 PAR truss toners, 12 Martin MAC 2K Profiles, and 12 MAC 2K Washes, along with 15 DWE 4-lites for audience illumination. There were also 16 ACL Beacons for the PC Plum sketch, and a 48-inch mirrorball, which dropped in for the “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” scene. Twenty-four JTE PixelPAR 90s were mounted in the setalong with two GS300 low smoke machines.
Above the stage in the upstage area–effectively in the rear truss position–was a 39-ft. diameter semi-circular truss, rigged with another six MAC 2K profiles and seven High End StudioBeam PCs.
All these trusses were sub-hung from a mother grid above, which also housed the Tweenies space-ship (which descended for their dramatic stage entrance). This set piece also contained lighting in the form of 20 ACL 4-lites, plus two ZR33 smoke machines and fans. On the floor were another eight MAC 2K profiles, an additional six StudioBeam PCs, and the back and sides of the space were wrapped by the 120-ft. wide LED starcloth. Bandit also supplied four Lycian 2kw follow spots, positioned at the front and to the sides of FOH.
A series of custom gobos were supplied for the MAC profiles, as specified by Cunniffe.
“The show has really gone very smoothly from a technical and logistical viewpoint,” says Julian. “The load in took between nine and 10 hours each day as there were many complex elements and set pieces that had to be incorporated.”
For Cameron, the initial programming period was very intense in order to get the precise structure that Cunniffe wanted for the show into the console, but once it was there, operating day-to-day went very smoothly.
With the additional assistance of tour manager, Trish McClenaghan and stage manager, Milan Rakic, the Cbeebies Live! production was indeed a show not to be missed.