Alison Moyet at the Royal Albert Hall
UK - In an industry that can sometimes be a slave to technology and budgets, it is always reassuring to be reminded that the entertainment business is primarily still driven by the people and the relationships that are forged over years of mutual experience and respect.

When asked how Chaos Visual Productions UK were selected to provide the video element of Alison Moyet's latest live performances, tour manager Bob Ward doesn't hesitate, "Over the years I've developed a close working relationship with John Wiseman, president and CEO of Chaos in the USA. The story of John flying to Beyoncé rehearsals from vacation in Hawaii and landing in sub-zero temperatures in Saskatoon in nothing more than Bermuda shorts and a Hawaiian shirt is an image that will always endure! It clearly demonstrates his aggressive commitment and personal proactive style and it was that same spirit and commitment that I recognised in Chaos UK's Alex Leinster when we first met - but without the shorts.'

"Since our first meeting, Alex has consistently demonstrated that Chaos will leave no stone unturned to bring the right facilities, equipment and personal expertise to a project at an affordable level. I had absolutely no hesitation in bringing Chaos in for Alison Moyet's project - a design concept put together by Graham Leesmith (Grum Le Smurf). It was the first time that we'd incorporated elements of an audio visual production into Alison's shows and as PM I'm always very aware of how the 'creative impetus' can hi-jack the tour budget when video becomes part of the jigsaw.

"Alison's performances create a rare personal connection with the audience and her voice has the ability to convey a unique emotive experience. All the production elements therefore have to be an enhancement of that experience. Grum's design met all of the criteria and the adaptability of the screen layout meant we never had to compromise the integrity of the show. It also meant that we could go from regional venues in the UK to a hall the size and stature of the Royal Albert Hall with simply adding a few extra screens yet without diluting the video content."

The production rehearsals took place at Millennium Studios in Bedfordshire, adjacent to the Chaos premises. Leinster chose experienced technician Julien Hogg to assist lighting operator Ali Pike as Ward explains, "My experience of working with Chaos globally is that they only use professional qualified and experienced tour personnel and these tend to be hand-picked for the technical as well as the personal dynamics of a particular project. Julien provided excellent support to Ali who was new to the production and Alex ensured that sufficient extra support was in place when we got to the RAH by sending James Ross with the extra screens."

The unreservedly enthusiastic reviews for these shows are a tribute both to the enduring power and quality of Moyet herself and also to the intelligent production values of the audio, lighting and audio visual elements of the show itself. As a production manager that must surely be an endorsement of the choices made for each element of the show. So would Ward return to Chaos Visual Productions for a repeat performance? "In a heartbeat!" replies Ward.

(Jim Evans)

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