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The Wyld, Friedrichstadt-Palast, Berlin

J&C Joel were approached by the Friedrichstadt-Palast in Berlin, to create an eye catching drapery set-piece for their new production The Wyld.

With a budget of over €10million, The Wyld was the most expensive production outside of Las Vegas. Hosted on the world’s biggest theatre stage at Friedrichstadt-Palast in Berlin, it was a celebration of ultra-modern performance art. The show, which featured over 100 performers, was the creation of internationally recognised fashion designer Manfred Thierry Mugler and top European show producer Roland Welke.

Their concept involved five uniquely shaped and swaged drapes that appeared in seconds to conceal the stage space and to create ‘props’ for the artists to dance in and around. Then, the drapes disappeared off stage as quickly as they arrived revealing the set for the next act of the show.  The project was aptly titled ‘The Amazing Curtain’.

 

J&C Joel’s expert team quickly outlined the method and technology required to make the drapes appear and disappear. They identified that drape retraction units combined with a Kabuki drop system and Laser Gauze (LG001) drapes would create the special effect desired by the client.

A rigorous testing program was then carried out at J&C Joel’s testing facility. This saw a replica rig erected and a series of pre-agreed tests undertaken. J&C Joel’s team focussed on where the pick-up points were located on the drapes, the line and distance of flight, and how the drapes fell from the Kabuki drops.

The concept involved five uniquely shaped and swaged drapes that appeared in seconds to conceal the stage space and to create ‘props’ for the artists to dance in and around.

The system took 17 days to install over three site visits and during these visits, training was also delivered to the venue crew on how to operate the system and its complex, but user friendly, control system which allowed the venue to run the entire effect from their lighting desk.

Oliver Marns, J&C Joel’s Sales Manager who oversaw the project with Senior Project Manager Kelvin Green, commented: “We were very kindly invited to the premiere of the show which was attended by over 1,800 other lucky audience members. The effect we had produced worked perfectly and was the first set piece of the show and was greeted by gasps and then applause from the audience.

The concept involved five uniquely shaped and swaged drapes that appeared in seconds to conceal the stage space and to create ‘props’ for the artists to dance in and around.

“It was very rewarding to hear the effect was well received but for us, our brief was delivered when the client expressed their delight at how the system worked and thanked us for the way we had worked with them throughout the project.”

Matt Bland, J&C Joel’s Senior Creative Co-ordinator, who led the design and manufacture of the drapes added: “The whole project from concept to delivery tested every aspect of our abilities but, with the resources available at J&C Joel and with the support of the talented team in Berlin we managed to make it happen.”

Product list
Fabrics
Two replica sets of five individually shaped and swaged Laser Gauze (LG001) drapes with a bespoke header with reinforced pick up points for the polyprop cord. Each drape featured a kabuki bag from the same material sewn into the header.

Stage Engineering
Five custom drape retraction units
60 Kabuki drop units
A custom touch-screen control system with full in built safety system including a manual override function