120 performers, 12 horses, 5 dogs, 1 musical child prodigy and all nature of tales for an invited audience, across the streets of 12 areas of London for 12 bespoke walking tours exploring Britishness followed by performance at a reception in the Saatchi Gallery - across one day event for International Press Launch.
Penguin and Riot PR asked us to collaborate to make 2019’s Penguin Presents Show.
In its 2nd year as a theatre show at the Palladium they wanted us to concept and collaborate with them creatively to
fuse Immersive and stage performance with presentation of their big authors for the coming year.
But we were to be sure to make it playful and imaginative and unexpected: a cohesive show as opposed to an episodic presentation of authors.
Starting with the title, Penguin Imagines were immediately drawn to our own childhood imaginations, the start of our own relationship with books and reading. The love of reading develops at such an early age and, we really believe it should be nurtured and cared for. So, tasked with exploring the true power of publishing we thought of the kids and we thought of us as kids and also of the old adage of 'show me the boy at 7 and I will show you the man' (this works for girls and women too folks!)
We were delighted to devise ways to integrate the childhood memories of staff, authors and external guests and transport our audience back in time to explore their own and others 7 year old selves and to genuinely contribute to the shape of the event.
The Characters they met, the things they read, the sets we designed and the props they came across were all devised from the memories we garnered from the audience.
Kate Hargreaves, Lucy Hall and Adam Neville made up the core team who worked in the most rewarding collaboration with the staff of Penguin Random House.
We concepted and devised all aspects of the aesthetic and performance with PRH & their branding agency Riot PR and then we got to work with some truly brilliant companies and individuals that we commissioned to bring certain elements to fruition.
Holotronica (who we've been desperate to work with) made an incredible 3D Holographic finale to accompany a touching poem by Cecilia Knapp from the Poems Out Loud book. We worked with two fantastic young readers from London Primary schools to bring the reading and stage presentation to life.
Limbic Cinema created all the video content for projections on stage and worked so patiently with us as we made the necessary changes as the author list coalesced. What they made was visually stunning and so in tune with what we'd imagined.
John Colville lit the whole show beautifully and we got to work with the splendid Ed Borgnis as Production Manager.
Some of our favourite immersive performers devised the stage transitions and front of house performance to immerse the audience from the moment they arrived to the moment they left the theatre.
Our fantastic musician friend, Sarah Anderson composed a specially commissioned piece to accompany the Big Books section.
And our friends Get Lost and Found entertained the audience in their seats with a giant word game.
Then Speedwagon and Chris Lopez recorded it all on film and in photographs for us.
Meeting, directing and creating for the likes of Ai Wei Wei, Bill Bryson, Stormzy, Malorie Blackman, Cerys Matthews, Kerry Hudson and Darren McGarvey was an enormous treat on top of all of this.
Thanks to all who were involved and collaborated (thats the whole audience too).
We were immensely proud of what we all made together.
We spent 6 months of 2019 working intensively with Polar Black Events to create a theatrical event for an invited audience.
The Audience were brought by Remy Martin (the world famous cognac producers) to the Chateau of Versailles to launch their Team Up for Excellence campaign.
Our brief was to entertain and surprise, to bring to life the rich history of Versailles as well as that of Remy Martin.
We were tasked with leading the 100 guests on an exploration of the Palace and of the Petit Trianon Gardens.
It was really fascinating research: the first Remy Martin was granted a Royal Accord by Louis XV to plant extra vines in Cognac in order to produce more of his fine cognacs- the King of France was a massive fan apparently.
We'd advise anyone to go and visit and see the stupendous opulence of Versailles, its an odd place with a famously odd history and the stories we had to work with were exhaustive and deliciously bizarre.
We were asked to create a bespoke tour of the Chateau, faithfully rooted in the year of Martin's first visit 1738,
followed by a surreal tour of some of the Arbres Admirables in the Gardens of the Petit Trianon- where Madame Pompadour was courted and Marie Antoinette hid!
And all this was followed by performance at a truly staggering dinner party in the Orangery which Polar Black Events and partners created with aplomb. A surprise performance by Les Indes Galantes bunged the proverbial cherry on the top
Our cast and crew were so brilliant: tireless and fun and dedicated and dependable in the face of a punishing day of 3 back to back shows and we were delighted to collaborate with the fantastic French dance company Danaiade.
Dream job, lovely creative client who championed our expertise at all points, location to die slash kill for and more history than you can shake a stick at. We've put a project page up so you can see the beautiful pics.
We're delighted to have worked on another project for the National Trust - This launched in early 2017.....