Brilliant Stages was brought in by Sam Smith’s creative team to help the artist’s fantasy stage become a reality for his worldwide tour.
MD of Brilliant, Ben Brooks recalled how the company entered the fray: “This was an exciting show for us as we had so many new assets out on the tour” he began. “We supplied the tour with 5 of our new electronic drive scissor lifts as well as our very own Brilliant Automation Console for all our various elements of automation.”
Brooks described some of the goals set at the beginning of the project: “The creative team were always insistent that the stage had to be clean. From the very beginning they were working on a concept without a crowd barrier, meaning we had to create a stage set where the audience would see no cables. From this moment on it was clear that the stage would have to be bespoke to keep it looking as slick as possible. We worked tirelessly to give each and every part of the stage a classy finish with gold leaf trimming. It gave an almost high-end hotel look which perfectly complemented the aesthetic of the show.”
“The main outer shell of the shard, opened like a flower during the song, Writing’s On The Wall, effectively becoming a 50ft cantilever. Also within the structure we had integrated fabrics that could be used as a projection surface with in-built Sniffers, which would have the material disappear in a matter of seconds.”
But it wasn’t just the exterior that required a great deal of attention from the Brilliant team, “The underworld for all the techs was of utmost importance and had to fit in with the clean look of the show. We built them a station underneath the main structure as well as a dressing room for Sam’s quick changes.”
However, one of the most noteworthy elements of the underworld was a feature the crew affectionately nicknamed the Sam Sled. This souped-up mining cart shot the singer from the upstage to the very tip of the catwalk in the middle of the arena for the start of the show.
“As a little personal touch, each frame of the stage which he shot past every night had a little London Tube stop sticker – just to give him a taste of home,” said Brooks.
Ben added: “At first glance it seemed to be a fairly simple set piece but in fact it was quite a feat of engineering with multiple challenges including a strict seven week timescale and design complexities that gave rise to new technological developments
Start date: 20 March, 2018
End date: 18 April, 2019
Legs: 2 (Europe and North America)
No. of shows: 94
Attendance: 1.07 million
Box office: $86.1 million
Production Manager, Wob Roberts, said:
“Our collaboration with Brilliant was fantastic as it meant we got a lot of the set built way before rehearsals began. Elements like those really help the whole process.”
- The 50ft Shard / Flower
- The ‘Underworld’
- The Main Stage (including 5 electronic scissor lifts and Brilliant Automation Console)