Brilliant Stages creates Take That's giant

Tuesday, 23 August 2011
Brilliant Stages creates Take That's giantOM was designed and engineered by Brilliant Stages with the help of mechanical engineer Andy Edwards
UK - Central to Take That's Progress Live 2011 tour was the giant figure of 'OM', a 20m high animated man, brought to 'life' as a primitive god-like figure during the on-stage action. In reality OM was designed and engineered by Brilliant Stages with the expert help of mechanical engineer Andy Edwards.

OM was first revealed to the audience as he slid out in a sitting position through the central performer stage which split in two to allow his entrance. Brilliant Stages created the dividing stage along with two band pods which rolled off-stage on tracks and were sited on hydraulic scissor lifts (two under each pod) to give them vertical movement.

As the show progressed, OM performed moves that including a sweeping motion of the arms, nodding the head, raising each of the singers in the palm of his hands, until eventually moving out in a recumbent position into the middle of the arena. As he did so, he carried the band members on each hand and on platforms located within the abdomen until he finally stood up to reveal his full height and spread his arms wide in a stunning final image.

OM was clad in translucent fibreglass panels into which Brilliant Stages embedded bracketry for LED lighting which formed points of light over the whole body. Working in conjunction with Neg Earth, Brilliant Stages also supplied LED clusters in the palm of each hand and two points for eyes and heart.

The six show positions, which saw OM horizontal, seated and upright, with head raised and lowered, arms outstretched and sweeping, required twenty axis of movement throughout his jointed limbs.

Two show operators, positioned either side of the trackway, controlled the traction drive of the main 'figure vehicle' and the extendable element of the trailer that drove the feet forwards to straighten the legs. An additional operator was located within the abdomen to act as a safety 'spotter' and was in possession of a manual override for safety or in the event of remote control failure. An efficient system of E-stops was embedded throughout which could be activated by any of the operators.

Brilliant Stages worked with creative director, Kim Gavin, show designer, Es Devlin, and technical designer, Malcolm Birkett, in consultation with production manager, Chris Vaughan, to create OM and several other aspects of the staging including the screamers and the 7m by 3.5m boom arm on which Robbie Williams skimmed above the heads of the audience.

For more on Take That's latest tour, see the July 2011 issue of LSi.

(Jim Evans)

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