London based Cover It Up supplied the recently finished Dancing On Ice tour with specialist printed draping, a concept that worked so well that production manager Andy Gibbs from Phil McIntyre Entertainment decided to use a similar style of draping for the current Britain's Got Talent tour.
This also proved hugely more cost effective for the tour than travelling a large set!
Dancing On Ice
For this tour, Cover It Up supplied a black wool serge 'touring package' of borders and legs, to cover all masking eventualities.
Where it became more interesting was the supply of a series of printed drapes. Two of these were straightforward kabuki drops printed on a gloss satin fabric, the result of a lot of research to determine optimum 'falling' properties - so it ended up in a neat quickly foldable pile on the floor rather than an unwieldy mass that was difficult to move!
Cover It Up arranged for these to be printed at a specialist facility in Manchester.
They also supplied a 4 piece 'tent' which included 2 side wings in the same printed gloss material. The conical tent sections resembled a tepee in shape and were used to conceal Torville & Dean as they made a dramatic entrance via trapeze flown in from the roof, mid-way through the show.
The 2 long wedge shaped leg sections of the tent each had a triangular cap at the top and were printed in orange with a Mexican Aztec style design, while the side wings sported tarot card insignia.
The tent sections took some very careful design. The construction had to be able to be split open by Torville & Dean as soon as they were ready to break through, which was achieved utilising Velcro technology. This moment had to be just long enough for them to swing down the 12 metres on their trapeze to the ice, but not long enough - or far enough apart - to reveal any of the backstage areas behind in the process! This effect was helped by some clever lighting by LD Durham Marenghi.
Once they landed, the tent drapes were dropped in and had to be collected and folded seamlessly in seconds into a market traders barrow prop, wheeled on just before the reveal. This was helped by a heavy chain being incorporated into the bottom of the drape sections, which also preserved the shape when they were flown.
Britain's Got Talent
Gibbs was so impressed with the impact of the gloss printed drapes that he decided to replicate a large part of the set from the Britain's Got Talent TV show with a 'soft' version which was cost efficient and convenient for touring.
Cover It Up's Elliot Stennett project managed this one. The BGT TV show stage had staggered wings with an LED screen at the back, which was replaced by a large projection screen upstage for the tour and 8 printed legs instead of the LED wings. The legs are 8 metre drops and 1.6 metre wide, in shades of red, white and blue with pictures of London landmarks and scenes along the bottom.
The biggest BGT challenge for Cover It Up was the turnaround - they had just 4 days from receiving the artwork to delivering the completed drapes, which entailed some 24 hour overnight shifts!
However, by this time, Cover It Up also had the experience of previously going through most elements involved in the process of printing the fabric for Dancing On Ice, so were able to work quicker!
Andy Gibbs comments that it has saved the production considerably by using inventive draping methods.
Cover It Up is also supplying a standard black wool serge touring package.
For more press info. on Cover It Up, please contact Louise Stickland on +44 (0)1865 202679/+44 (0)7831 329888 or Email [email protected]'. To contact Cover It Up direct, call +44 (0)20 726 7900 or check www.cover-it-up.com.