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“I was totally blown away by The Voyage; I absolutely loved it. Everything about it was totally brilliant, the choreography, the story, the singing, the specially commissioned accompaniment, the graphics, lighting. The whole package was stunning”
Jenny Kent, Audience Member



The performers from Motionhouse, Legs On The Wall and The Quest Community Groups throw steamers into the crowd as they set sail for The Voyage performance, created for the opening of the London 2012 Festival by Motionhouse and Legs On The Wall and produced by Birmingham Hippodrome. Photography by Paul Machacek.


Legs On The Wall’s Rhiannon Spratling performing in The Voyage, created for the London 2012 Festival by Motionhouse and Legs On The Wall and produced by Birmingham Hippodrome. Photography by Paul Machacek.


Motionhouse’s George Adams, Claire Benson and Giorgio de Carolis performing in The Voyage, the opening of the London 2012 Festival in the West Midlands; created by Motionhouse and Legs On The Wall and produced by Birmingham Hippodrome. Photography by Clare Overton Lewis.

 

Legs On The Wall’s aerialists Rhiannon Spratling and Robbie Curtis performing in The Voyage, as part of the London 2012 Festival created by Motionhouse and Legs On The Wall and produced by Birmingham Hippodrome. Photography by Katja Ogrin.
 

The Voyage

The Voyage was a major outdoor spectacle performance, which formed part of the official launch of the nationwide London 2012 Festival celebrating the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The Voyage was an epic tale telling the dramatic story of passengers on board the HMS Olympia, a life-size cruise liner built against the prestigious backdrop of Birmingham's Town Hall.

Professional dancers and aerialists joined forces with a huge gospel choir, brass band and over 140 community performers from the Quest participatory project to transform Victoria Square and tell the story of The Voyage. The immersive multimedia performance saw the action unfold onboard the ship and amongst the audience on the ground. Phenomenal projections transformed the Town Hall and the city's skyline became a dream of undiscovered worlds.

The Olympics attracts individuals and groups from across the globe, crossing oceans on a quest for adventure, pursuing their dreams.  The Voyage explored what this means for us all: departures and arrivals, hopes and fears, expectations and disappointments.

The Voyage was a stunning combination of physical dance, gravity-defying acrobatics and dynamic imagery, which surprised, captivated, and enthralled audiences of nearly 15,000 people from Friday 22 – Sunday 24 June 2012. Setting sail nightly from Victoria Square at 10.00pm the large scale spectacle transported audiences back to the heyday of cruise liner travel between the 1940s and 1960s, and took in the optimism of the era and the mystery of journeying to an unknown land.

Created by Motionhouse in conjunction with Australian physical theatre company, Legs On The Wall, and produced by Birmingham Hippodrome The Voyage was our most ambitious production to date. The outdoor physical spectacle was brought to life by extraordinary film projections courtesy of Logela Multimedia, a stunning life-size cruise liner set designed by Simon Dormon, beautiful period costumes by Sofie Layton and specially composed musical arrangements from Sophy Smith and Tim Dickinson,which were performed live by a Gospel choir and brass band from Birmingham's Town Hall and Conservatoire.

Premiered | Friday 22 June 2012, Victoria Square, Birmingham, UK

Created by
Motionhouse & Legs On The Wall

Co-Artistic Directors
Kevin Finnan (Motionhouse) and Patrick Nolan (Legs On The Wall)
Producing Partner
Birmingham Hippodrome

Performers
Motionhouse:
Claire Benson
Martina Bussi
Giorgio de Carolis
Junior Cunningham (Rehearsal Director)
Olivia Quayle
Alasdair Stewart
Philipp Stummer
Rebecca Williams

Motionhouse Apprentices:
George Adams (Apprentice Artistic Director)
Jade Barton
Kalliopi-IoannaChodrakis (Pollyanna)
Joshua Houghton
Tess Letham
Amy Lovelock
Luka Owen
Laura Vanhulle

Legs On The Wall:
Dean Cross
Robbie Curtis
Nat Harris
Rowan Heydon-White
Paul O'Keefe
Rhinannon Spratling

Choir
Town Hall
Brass Band
Birmingham Conservatoire

Community Quest Performers:
Birmingham Ormiston Academy (BOA)
Coventry PAS Youth Dance
Motionhouse Adult Group
Nova
Playbox Theatre
Solihull Youth Dance Company
Stratford Upon Avon College

Production team
Film By
Logela Multimedia
Set Design
Simon Dormon
Set Construction
Oblique
Lighting Design
Mark Howett
Score Design
Sophy Smith & Tim Dickinson
Sound
Cloud One
Costume Design
Sofie Layton
Costume Assistant
Debbie Williams
Production Manager
Simon Byford
Production Assistants
Chris Barron & Phillipa Smith
Health & Safety Supervisor
Adrian Bristow
Stage Manager
Barbara Egervary
Head Rigger
Jon Blake – Legs On The Wall
Riggers
Chris Turner & Jason White (Unusual)

Partners: Produced by Birmingham Hippodrome. Created by Motionhouse in collaboration with Legs On The Wall.

Funders: Part of the London 2012 Festival funded by Arts Council England, Legacy Trust UK and supported by Dancing for the Games, Birmingham Hippodrome and Birmingham City Council.

International partners: Australian Government through the Cultural Development Programme of the Office for the Arts, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and the Australia Council, Australia Unlimited, British Council, BVN Architecture, Nelson Meers Foundation, New South Wales Government, Australian Government Department of Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport

In partnership with Town Hall Symphony Hall Birmingham, Birmingham City Council, NEC Birmingham, Birmingham City University, British Council, CBS Outdoor, Copthorne Hotel, Cloud One, HSL Lighting, Birmingham Conservatoire, Warwick District Council, Warwickshire County Council. The Voyage was developed with support from Advantage West Midlands andWarwick Arts Centre

Initial Visual Concept Development: Weta, New Zealand (Creators of Avatar)

To see The Voyage flyer please click here

  "Spectacle is a word that is often over used in theatre but for The Voyage there is no other word. This outside dance theatre performance uses every sense to tell a simple story of love and loss, companionship and adventure... Everyone knew how special and unique this event was and will be eternally grateful that their city was chosen to host it."
Will James, Public Review


A member of Birmingham’s Town Hall Choir sails through Victoria Square on a rescue boat as part of The Voyage, created for the London 2012 Festival by Motionhouse and Legs On The Wall and produced by Birmingham Hippodrome. Photography by Katja Ogrin.



"We were absolutely blown away by the performance… Thanks for a magical experience; I was quite sad that I will never see it again like that."
John Seedhouse, Audience Member



Motionhouse, Legs On The Wall, the Quest Community Performers and Birmingham Conservatoire’s Brass Band and the Town Hall’s Choir in the finale of The Voyage; created for the commencement of London 2012 Festival in the West Midlands by Motionhouse and Legs On The Wall and produced by Birmingham Hippodrome. Photography by Mark McNulty.


"...an absolute spectacle that I did not want to end. All in all, I give The Voyage 5/5"
Lucy Basaba, Yin and Yang



Motionhouse’s Junior Cunningham, Martina Bussi, Giorgio de Carolis, George Adams, Olivia Quayle, Alasdair Stewart, Josh Houghton and Claire Benson performing on a life-size cruise liner in The Voyage as part of the opening for the London 2012 Festival, created by Motionhouse and Legs On The Wall and produced by Birmingham Hippodrome. Photography by Paul Machacek.



 Motionhouse, Legs On The Wall, Birmingham Conservatoire’s Brass Band, Birmingham’s Town Hall Choir and the Quest Community Performers in the opening of The Voyage, created for the London 2012 Festival by Motionhouse and Legs On The Wall and produced by Birmingham Hippodrome. Photography by Delineate Design.



             
 

Image Gallery                    



Motionhouse's Jade Barton, George Adams, Laura Vanhulle, Tess Letham, Alasdair Stewart, Luka Owen, Martina Bussi, Amy Lovelock, Giorgio de Carolis, Joshua Houghton, Kalliopi-Ioanna Chodrakis, Claire Benson and Olivia Quayle performing in The Voyage, created for the London 2012 Festival by Motionhouse and Legs On The Wall and produced by Birmingham Hippodrome. Photography by Paul Machacek.Motionhouse's Giorgio de Carolis and Olivia Quayle performing in The Voyage, part of the London 2012 Festival created in collaboration by Motionhouse and Legs On The Wall and produced by Birmingham Hippodrome. Photography by Katja Ogrin.Legs On The Wall's Dean Cross, Rhiannon Spratling and Rowan Heydon-White perform in the large scale spectacle, The Voyage, as part of the London 2012 Festival created by Motionhouse and Legs On The Wall and produced by Birmingham Hippodrome. Photography by Katja Ogrin.Legs On The Wall's Robbie Curtis and Motionhouse's Martina Bussi performing in the large scale spectacle, The Voyage, created by Motionhouse and Legs On The Wall and produced by Birmingham Hippodrome for the opening of the London 2012 Festival in the West Midlands. Photography by Edyta Swic.Motionhouse's Rebecca Williams, Jade Barton, Claire Benson and Laura Vanhulle performing in The Voyage, created for the London 2012 Festival by Motionhouse and Legs On The Wall and produced by Birmingham Hippodrome. Photography by Clare Overton Lewis.

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To see more images of The Voyage in our gallery click here