An 11-metre diameter, 43-tonne rotating sphere is the centrepiece for Take That’s latest world tour, Greatest Hits Live – designed, manufactured and constructed by Brilliant Stages.
We worked alongside entertainment designers Stufish with whom we have successfully collaborated with previously on a number of high-profile tours - The Rolling Stones, U2, Muse and Beyoncé & JAY-Z – so we knew what to expect in terms of ambition, size and complexity.
The 3D sphere was the focal point of the show, the big ‘wow’ factor that you have come to expect from a Take That tour. Coming in at over 40 tonnes, with a cut-out section and covered in 2800 digital panels – you can see why.
Complete with revolving doors, high-spec lifts and revolving staircases, the sphere's cut-out segment displayed Take That's logo – a vertically mirrored double "T" emblem.
The centre of the sphere contained a giant multi-purpose stage lift and an automated video wall – both of these features were highly engineered to allow them to move 45 degrees, 90 degrees and every angle in-between, whilst also serving as a performance area and lift for some of the songs.
Not only was this a phenomenal stand-alone structure, it also had the ability to rotate 360 degrees using a 1500mm slew ring, a giant electric cog, and the same technology used to operate and turn cranes.
A challenge faced by our design team was finding a way in which the sphere could be dismantled and transported around the world without getting damaged.
It was also of paramount importance that the breakdown of the stage fit in with the touring schedule, fit into a certain amount of trucks and was demountable in a way that could be handled by the crew.
To ensure ease of build, breakdown and transportation, we took a number of measures to ensure that it was a smooth operation from start to finish.
We broke the sphere down into 14 sections, all designed to fit in curtain sided trailers – with the help of a massive 8 tonne forklift. We also had to produce a special low ride curtain sided trailer to fit the ‘neck’ of the sphere. The sphere and staging is packed into 13 curtain side and 3 mega cube trucks.
Furthermore, Brilliant Stages designed and commissioned a bespoke lifting system to allow each section of the sphere to be lifted by a crane (stadiums) or a DST track rigging system (arenas) for the set construction. Each section has its own lifting plan and weights are recorded by the tour riggers to ensure we have safe lifting throughout.
Height: 13m on its base
Automation: 360° rotation
Sections: 14 Core-structures (including 5 x sections weighing @ 6500kg)
Lower T Lift: 4 x Serapid LL80 units capacity 10000kg
Upper T Video Wall: 2 Serapid RB60 Chain units capacity 1300kg
Take That’s Production Manager, Wez Wearing:
“From the first design meeting up to rehearsals at LH2, it took Brilliant 20 weeks to fabricate, assemble and deliver the final working product. The first time we all saw it fully loaded was a stunning moment. Brilliant worked tirelessly to make this all happen, bringing a new meaning to the word ‘dedication’.”
- 11-metre diameter, 43-tonne rotating sphere
- 11000kg performance scissor lift that rises 4m from stage level – containing three 5m travellators – for the artists to make their grand entrance
- Two prop lifts
- A beam and frame main stage
- An upstage tec