Saturday, December 19, 2015

Designing a Madonna Mega-Tour

When Madonna descended from the heavens in an illuminated cage at the start of her Rebel Heart show at London’s O2 arena last week, it was the start of a dazzling spectacle. She performed for two hours, changed her costume every ten minutes, and sashayed over every inch of the stage and a 100ft-long catwalk, thrust like an arrow into the audience in the shape of a cross tipped with a heart. There were warriors in kimonos, nuns on stripper poles, mechanics in a body shop and a “Last Supper” scene played out on a long carved table that, true to the star’s proclivities, was more orgy than re-enactment. And all that was in the first half hour.

“A Madonna show is very complex; one of the most complex,” explains Ric Lipson of Stufish Entertainment Architects, the London-based practice that designed the sets and staging for this show. And he would know. Stufish has designed tours for the likes of the Rolling Stones, U2, Lady Gaga and Pink Floyd as well as the closing ceremony for the Beijing Olympics in 2008. “Not only is Madonna one of the biggest acts, if not the biggest act, in the world,” he continues, “she also has a band, 20 dancers, a 130-strong crew and an attention to detail that is meticulous.” It’s big business, too. Lipson says constructing the Rebel Heart sets and staging cost at least $10m.

by Giovanna Dunmall, More Intelligent Life |  Read more:
Image: uncredited