Robe dreams big at Puy du Fou España
Friday, 17 January 2020
robe-puy-du-fouPuy du Fou unveiled its first venture in Toledo, Spain with an epic night-time immersive spectacular (photo: ACTLD)
Europe - Award-winning independent French theme park, Puy du Fou, unveiled its first venture in Toledo, Spain with an epic night-time immersive spectacular El Sueño de Toledo (The Dream of Toledo), creatively directed by Nicolas de Villiers and the team from Puy du Fou with lighting designed by Koert Vermeulen from Belgian creative visual practice, ACTLD.
At the heart of Koert’s lighting spec are 74 x Robe BMFL WashBeam and 20 x MegaPointe moving lights.
El Sueño de Toledo takes spectators on a hi-octane condensed one-hour journey through history – from the Reign of Ricaredo in the 6th century to the arrival of the railways – touching on the battle of Navas de Tolosa and the discovery of America along the way! The 1500 years of history is represented by 185 actors and a plethora of special effects.
Koert and Nicolas have worked together on several previous Puy du Fou live shows and projects in France. The show is staged outdoors on a performance space approximately 125m wide by 100m deep, rising up towards the back. The set includes several permanent buildings and structures and a large lake, with the action taking place both on, in front of, and behind the water.
Nicolas briefed Koert on the historical narrative and Koert produced a lighting concept for the show which is played out by the large cast to a special soundtrack composed by Nathan Stornetta.
“The show’s essence was similar to some of those we have created in the French park, so some of the base principles and style needed to reflect a continuity, but it’s a fresh, new and completely unique dramatic tour de force which needed a lot of attention to detail” explained Koert.
One of the key Puy du Fou requirements was that the show was elegant and refined as well as providing lots of excitement. All of this had to be delivered in a classy collage of lighting, projection-mapped scenery and SFX.
With over 1000 lighting fixtures in total on the show, the 75 x BMFL WashBeams are the workhorses confirmed Koert together with some LED wash lights.
Due to the site topography and the fact that no sky rigging was available for overheads, most of the lighting is shooting in from the sides, with some fixtures at the back and others scattered around the suite at ground level plus numerous smaller concealed luminaires and footlights.
The BMFLs are positioned mainly at the sides of the performance area with a few around the front, while the MegaPointes are all hidden in the hills at the back.
Koert and his own programming team of Christopher Bolton and Luc de Climmer had three weeks on site overall to get everything into the grandMA3 console, but out of that there was only one complete week of lighting programming.
Construction was ongoing for the whole period, adding extra pressure on all technical departments. The show is currently breaking for the winter and will be back in full force in April.
(Jim Evans)

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