XL Video supplied Little Britain’s UK theatre and arena tour, the live rendition of Matt Lucas and David Walliams’ phenomenally popular cult TV show that sold out multiple dates across the country.
Projected video backdrops were an essential element of the stage set. It allowed locations and timeframes to morph quickly and seamlessly throughout the energetic set, which leapt from school classroom to the prime minister’s office – and every imaginable location in between.
Additionally, for the arena shows, XL supplied a five camera PPU and Kayak control for IMAG that was beamed onto two side screens. This was directed by Geoff Posner of Pozzitive Television, who also directed the award winning BBC TV series.
XL’s project manager Malcolm Mellows worked with promoter Phil MacIntyre’s production manager, Andy Gibbs. Mellows Comments, “It was great to work with Andy again. He’s taken the time to gain a realistic and working knowledge of video projection as well as being fully aware of the requirements for video when on tour.”
Projectionist Bjorn Parry looked after the four Barco SLM R12+ projectors used for the main stage scenic backdrop for Little Britain Live. These were rigged onto the front lighting truss, with the images feathered together.
The content was stored on four Doremi digital hard drives, and split between A and B rolls, cued by the show caller. Each scene change was executed manually by Parry via a Dataton show control system. XL Video were also responsible for the distribution of a ‘confidence camera’ system around the stage, allowing everyone to see what was happening during the numerous complicated scene changes.
The scenic content was produced by Willie Williams who also designed the lighting. The numerous advantages of projected scenic backdrops include versatility, the possibility of exceptionally quick changes and minimal space needed for transportation.
The screen measured 33’ wide by 16’ high and was also part of the set, made out of a flat with a door cut into it, and used as entry and exit points.
The IMAG side of the package was engineered for XL by Gerard Correy. Footage from the five cameras – three positioned at FOH, one house left and one house right, was mixed by Posner using the Kayak system and output via four additional Barco R12’s, two per side, beaming onto two 20 x 15 ft side stage screens.
Sound equipment was supplied by Sonalyst and lighting by Neg Earth. The tour is scheduled to start again in the Autumn and run through to December 2006.