I can’t quite believe that The Voyage is upon us! I’ve been working with Motionhouse for 2 ½ years now, and for pretty much the whole time I’ve been here we’ve been working on the show. It probably wouldn’t be recognisable in its current form as it’s had many guises along the way and even different names, but The Voyage has still been part of Motionhouse’s and my every essence ever since.
Our journey has seen Kevin jet off to Australia and even visit New Zealand as Weta Studios, the designers behind The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy, Avatar, King Kong and other award winning films were behind the original set designs for the show, which have since been extensively revised by the amazing Simon Dormon. Patrick has visited us in the UK on a couple of occasions and even joined us for one of our Moho annual summer BBQs on one trip. Earlier in the year I took time out from my hols in Sydney to visit Patrick, Sally, Andy and the Legs team and visit the Red Box, the heart of Legs On The Wall. This is of course not to mention the thousands of hours that have been put in by our phenomenal production team; our brilliant composers Sophy Smith and Tim Dickinson, the ever-talented filmmakers Logela Multimedia who are responsible for the beautiful projections that take us on our voyage, our talented lighting designer Mark Howett, who also joins us from Oz, our fantastic costume designer Sophie Layton and finally our spectacular set designer, Simon Dormon.
The thing I think people sometimes forget about when they watch performances of this size is the hundreds of people that work tirelessly back stage in order for such a massive show to be realised; the production team at the Hippodrome, production managers, builders, techhies, riggers, dressers, costume assistants, group leaders, chaperones, the health and safety team, the stage manager, the PR, marketing and admin teams and of course then there’s the performers from Moho and Legs On The Wall, the 130 community group participants, brass band and choirs who all make up a massive and dedicated team. I looked
around me in awe during yesterday’s dress rehearsal at all these amazing people who have devoted their time and energy, a lot of them for free, and I was visibly moved. There was so much passion and commitment in their faces, despite the late nights and long hours, and as soon as I heard the brass band spark up that first note of the show I was transported, thinking about the voyage The Voyage had taken itself.
Tonight’s now the night for our audience to experience their own journey of The Voyage. Waiting for the train on my way into the office this morning I spotted a dad with his young son. The toddler was so excited about starting his trip and his face was full of joy and hope and it really made me think about the journeys we all make, big and small. The Voyage won’t transport us physically out of Birmingham this evening, but I have no doubt it will move our audiences, and make them think about those journeys they have taken in their lives that have really made a difference, some full of hopes and fears, some full of dreams and expectations. It may even inspire them to take that step and proceed on their quest for adventure that they’ve always dreamed of – just like our performers are doing and our Olympic athletes, who will soon be beginning on a journey of their own.
The Voyage has been a jam-packed, emotional rollercoaster for all of us involved and I for one feel honoured and privileged to have been part of the London 2012 Festival, celebrating the Olympic and Paralympic Games and being involved in bringing one of the largest ever open air dance spectacles to the West Midlands region. Enjoy the show tonight, and indeed throughout the run – it’s been a pleasure to have been part of the journey, and seeing our audiences’ reactions will be the icing on the cake, and I’ll no doubt shed a tear of joy.