We are hugely grateful to one of our prestigious Electro Kabuki customers, London’s Old Vic Theatre, for sending us some fascinating video clips. these show how the theatre crew rigged and tested various kabuki drops, including parachuting Brussels sprouts (yes, we kid you not!), used in its recent festive extravaganza – a staging of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol (starring Stephen Tompkinson as Ebenezer Scrooge) that received an impressive succession of 5-star reviews.
A visit by the Electro Kabuki team to this year’s PLASA exhibition at London Olympia revealed an industry as loud and lively as ever. Automation seemed to be a recurring theme. That notion was supported by what appeared to be even more companies offering automated solutions for staging events, large and small.
That’s good. Automation is at the centre of our ambitions with Electro Kabuki. Even a modest investment in an Electro Kabuki starter pack or a basic system automates the reveal effect, making it dependable. Adding a DMX firing box automates it further.
We’re looking at options to take EK wireless – hence the ‘no strings attached’ headline. Should really be ‘no cables attached’, but you get the idea.
We already have EK users out there in entertainment land who have implemented their own wireless EK systems. Our friends at Wiltshire-based Quantum SFX developed their own control system based around our EK modules. They often deploy this wireless kabuki drop solution as part of their remit in staging prestigious events. If you need a pyrotechnics and special effects company to stage your event, give Quantum a call.
Our other options include developing our own wireless solution. A feasibility study is on our schedule. What we’d really like to know is the potential level of interest. We design and build EK modules and controllers. So no one knows the innermost details of Electro Kabuki engineering like us, which is why we’re favourably disposed to the notion of wireless.
Respected German publication, KEM Konstruktion, requested editorial information on Electro Kabuki for its Hannover Fair preview edition. The magazine covers equipment and technology used in staging, theatres, cinemas and product launches, so we were only too happy to oblige. Colleagues at our parent company in Germany – Magnet Schultz Memmingen – are exhibiting Electro Kabuki among the organisation’s electromechanical products and solutions on show at the trade fair.
The KEM article gave us a fine opportunity to explain the innovative engineering features in EK while providing some valuable additional awareness in a country known for its dynamic theatrical market and heritage.
You can check out the EK editorial coverage in KEM Konstruktion online or in the PDF version of the printed magazine also viewable online. You’ll need to scroll to page 44 for the latter. And you’ll need to be able to read German to understand either!
It’s worth pointing out that the Hannover Fair is the world’s leading trade event for industrial technology, and one of the largest too. This year it takes place at the Hannover Messe from 23rd to 27th April. If you’re able to visit the show, be sure to see the Electro Kabuki display on the MSM stand H07 in Hall 15.
Looking over our recent orders for Electro Kabuki reveals (no pun intended) a surprising array of applications that are a perfect fit for EK’s technological staged reveal capabilities.
Among the systems despatched to all four corners of the world, we have uses that include parachuting Brussels sprouts (yes, really! – and that should explain the image) during a festive performance at a highly-regarded London theatre, reveals for two major international opera companies, and a cruise ship show featuring a high-profile ‘Strictly’ celebrity.
Remember our blog in late October about the new EK users at the First Baptist Church of Pasadena?
Now we have some footage of part of this festive season’s famous Singing Christmas Tree extravaganza – an annual event in its 33rd year. Despite more than three decades of history, this was the first time the Church had chosen to conceal, then reveal, the Christmas-tree-shaped stage as it holds 150 people ready to burst into song.
We are delighted to report that the DMX-controlled Electro Kabuki drop worked flawlessly. Take a look at a clip from the video here.
Best of all was the message we received from Brent Shore, Technical Director at FBC Pasadena:
“The Electro Kabuki system worked flawlessly as we expected it would and added the grand opening we were looking for to our annual Christmas Production of the ‘Singing Christmas Tree’. The system was easy to install and set up in our configuration to operate. We look forward to using the system for years to come to bring a moment of awe and wonder to all in attendance when our 32-foot-tall Christmas tree with 150 singers standing in it is revealed for the first time in our production.”
We recently received a tip-off that Electro Kabuki had been used to reveal the centrepiece at the opening ceremony of the 5th Asian Indoor Martial Arts Games (AIMAG) held in Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan. As far as we know, this is the first Electro Kabuki rig in Turkmenistan. (In truth, we had to Google Turkmenistan to find out more about the country. There are some fascinating facts to be uncovered if you have time)!
Information is scarce but we have found a YouTube video, which tells us that the EK reveal worked perfectly, playing its part in flawless fashion.
While most of us are still enjoying the last remnants of summer (apologies to our readers in the Southern hemisphere), some members of the Electro Kabuki community are already headlong into Christmas plans.
A new order for Electro Kabuki with DMX control arrived from the First Baptist Church Pasadena recently, and we despatched the system last week. Many churches in the US are avid users of Electro Kabuki.
West London-based Electro Kabuki user, Colour Sound Experiment Ltd, deployed its EK system as part of a bespoke touring lighting and effects package built and rigged for ‘alt rockers’ The Kooks, for the band’s recent The Best of… so Far tour. The tour closed with a high-profile gig at London’s Alexandra Palace, which required extra lighting production.