“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 Voyagewas 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 HippodromeThe 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
Giorgio de Carolis
Junior Cunningham (Rehearsal Director)
George Adams (Apprentice Artistic Director)
Legs On The Wall:
Choir Town Hall Brass Band Birmingham Conservatoire
Community Quest Performers:
Birmingham Ormiston Academy (BOA)
Coventry PAS Youth Dance
Motionhouse Adult Group
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)
"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
"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
"...an absolute spectacle that I did not want to end. All in all, I give The Voyage 5/5" Lucy Basaba, Yin and Yang