UK – A host of Blackpool’s world famous entertainment venues have upgraded to Avolites consoles and dimmers to supercharge their new-season shows.
Perhaps best known is the Blackpool Tower Ballroom, which has enhanced its control ability with a Tiger Touch II; and The Winter Gardens, which has purchased Quartz and Tiger Touch II consoles.The Blackpool Tower Ballroom hosts the hit show Legends, which features tribute performances to icons including Elvis, Michael Jackson and Freddie Mercury
Oliver Wilkinson, from entertainment lighting specialist ArranPaul, supplied the Tiger Touch II (TTII) to Legends and designed and programmed the show, which is run nightly by in-house operators.
“This is an energetic, fast-paced show, along with some beautiful dramatic moments and solos - it’s certainly not a ‘flash and trash’ experience,” says Wilkinson. “We keep it very theatrical, to ensure that the show stands out in a city offering lots of entertainment options.”
Legends is a cue stacked show with more than 600 lighting cues, ensuring the numerous acts have markedly different looks.
“It’s a really fun show to design, and the TTII makes it a breeze for me to programme,” Wilkinson continues. “It’s my favourite console to cue stack on - one of my favourite Titan tricks is the Copy Cue feature, which really speeds up programming. The Undo Feature is also high up on my favourites. One simple accidental press, and I can undo my actions immediately.”
Due to the multiple acts performing, the team often needs to quickly amend the running order. “If one artist is unable to make it, the operator can just select ‘move’, highlight the cues, and move them around as needed. I know my design will be unaffected by cues being shifted around in the cue stack.”
At The Winter Gardens, the new Quartz and TTII consoles are used throughout the complex’s eight performance spaces. “They’re compact and portable enough to be easily transported, yet powerful enough to deliver on the biggest touring shows,” says Wilkinson. “The consoles are very user-friendly, which helps massively because they’re used by various in-house and visiting LDs and operators.”
The Winter Gardens’ impressive Empress Ballroom recently hosted the 2018 Chinese Dance Festival, using more than 120 channels of generics and over 80 moving fixtures and 100+ LED fittings. “The fact it’s so easy to update palettes and cues using Titan on both consoles makes them so user friendly to programme larger shows like this – the technical team is very impressed,” says Wilkinson.
Elsewhere in Blackpool, The Sands Venue, the Thornton Little Theatre and Marine Hall are among those now sporting Avolites consoles and dimmers, all supplied by ArranPaul.