XL Events continued a long term working relationship with the Brainiac phenomenon, supplying sound, video and lighting production to the ‘Brainiac Live’ show which made its West End debut at The Palace Theatre in London.
The UK Creative Producer is Dan Colman, and XL Events’ Director Rich Rowley has been associated with the show that ‘laughs in the face of science’ for the last six years, ever since it first went ‘live’ and on the road in 2008 following an award winning five year run on Sky TV. During this time it has acquired a serious cult following.
Rowley, also the Sound Designer in addition to his role as XL Events’ PM says, “Each time we take Brainiac to a new venue or on another tour, it takes on an innovative format bringing fresh ideas and fun to the equation. I continue to really enjoy working on it”.
One of the biggest challenges for staging the West End shows was that they were playing ‘underneath’ Derren Brown’s current residency at the Palace (for which XL Video is also a supplier!). This meant that all the equipment and set up had to be able to be rigged and de-rigged in an incredibly tight timeframe each day.
The sound was therefore designed to hook into the stacks-and-racks of Brown’s ‘house’ Martin Audio mid size line array / WT3 PA system. Rowley specified a Yamaha LS9 console to mix the Brainiac show, complete with four channels of Shure UHF radio mics and new DPA d:fine headsets which were specially purchased for the show by XL Events from Sound Network.
Brainiac’s lighting was designed by Dave Muir. XL supplemented the Derren Brown system with additional fixtures including LED battens to light the show’s projection screen set plus a variety of generics.
The video system consisted of a QLab media server which fed a pair of Barco CLM10 projectors rigged on the front of the circle, projecting onto a screen that was the major set / backdrop element for Brainiac.
Both audio and video elements were played out via Figure 53’s QLab audio engine.
Rich Rowley once again worked closely with ‘Voice Over Man’ Peter Dickenson to produce all the voiceovers and source the relevant audio materials.
That the set and technical production had to be cleared in as little as 30 minutes to allow Derren Brown’s crew to have the stage … was a real testament to the agile and thorough-through technical production concept provided by XL.
Immediately before going into the West End, the show played the Barclaycard Unwind Theatre at the British Summertime event in Hyde Park, and before then, since March, had been playing to 2,500 audiences at the ExCeL exhibition centre, so adaptability has continued to be a key for this ever popular show.
Dan Colman comments, “My relationship with Rich and XL as a technical solutions provider has really grown over the years, so now I think of them more as a ‘supply partner’ rather than a rental contractor. They always offer the best and most appropriate equipment for the job, and fit this to the budget”
He adds that it’s also great to have access to XL Events’ huge pool of expertise and knowledge in delivering the highest quality shows with panache and style.