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Batman Live




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Synopsis

Faithfully adapted from the DC Comics’ characters and stories, BATMAN LIVE focuses on Robin’s quest for justice, which leads him to follow in the footsteps of his hero, the mysterious vigilante known as the Batman – much to the dismay of his protective guardian, millionaire Bruce Wayne – who secretly happens to be Batman.

This dynamic triangle resolves itself in a non-stop thrill-ride across Gotham City that transforms Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson into the legendary crime-fighters Batman and Robin and transports the audience from the Big Top of Haly’s Circus to the lower depths of Arkham Asylum – from the glittering peaks of the The Penguin’s Iceberg Lounge to the subterranean wonders that await inside the Batcave, which features a revolutionary, all-new Batmobile designed exclusively for BATMAN LIVE by Professor Gordon Murray.


About the Show

For the first time in DC Comics’ history, Batman is an all-­‐new, live-­‐action arena adventure, which is taking the world by storm. BATMAN LIVE comes to North America in September 2012, following a popular and acclaimed arena tour throughout the United Kingdom, Europe, and Latin America.

 Created by Bob Kane for the pages of Detective Comics (DC Comics), Batman has become one of the world’s most celebrated and recognizable super heroes of all time. More than just a character, he is cultural phenomenon. Batman has been seen in film, consumer products, home entertainment, interactive games, television, theme parks and in fifteen monthly comic books from DC Comics that are read by millions.

Two and a half years in the making, BATMAN LIVE is a spectacular stage production of unprecedented scale. With an original script written by Allan Heinberg, and with a production team headed by its creative director Anthony Van Laast, BATMAN LIVE is a theatrical extravaganza of thrilling stunts, acrobatic acts and illusions – and is a non-­‐stop thrill ride across Gotham City. Totally authentic, bold and awe-­‐inspiring, BATMAN LIVE is a completely new way to experience the world of Batman and a must-­‐see for fans and families everywhere.

Never before has Wayne Manor, the Batcave, The Penguin’s Iceberg Lounge, the Big Top of Haly’s Circus, and Arkham Asylum been brought to life on stage in a more visually exciting way. Join Batman and his accomplice Robin as they battle their nemesis The Joker and other super-­‐villains such as The Riddler, Catwoman, The Penguin, Two-­‐Face and Harley Quinn, set on destroying Gotham City.

BATMAN LIVE features a cast of 42 actors and circus trained acrobats, a 3D Gotham City landscape, an original symphonic score, a custom-­‐built and state-­‐of-­‐the-­‐art stage, a 105-­‐foot bat-­‐shaped LED video wall, big flight sequences, pyrotechnics and the impressive Batmobile, designed especially for the show by legendary racing car designer Professor Gordon Murray.

Faithfully adapted from the DC Comics characters and stories, BATMAN LIVE focuses on Robin’s quest for justice, which leads him to follow in the footsteps of his hero – the mysterious vigilante known as Batman, much to the dismay of his protective guardian, billionaire Bruce Wayne, whom the audience knows secretly is Batman.

BATMAN LIVE is, at its heart, a poignant coming-­‐of-­‐age story. Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson must learn to overcome their own fears and forge their own family – with the help of Police Commissioner James Gordon and Bruce’s trusted butler, Alfred Pennyworth – if they’re going to survive the combined forces of Batman’s larger-­‐than-­‐life rogues’ gallery, some of the most famous and beloved villains of the 20th century.

What is it about BATMAN?

More than a character –

BATMAN is a cultural phenomenon.

Men respect and admire him. Boys emulate him.

His only super power is his humanity.

You know BATMAN

STRONG, but not indestructible

AGILE, but not super human

BRILLIANT, but not radioactive

FAST, but not bulletproof

CLEVER, but not proud

HEROIC, yet UNLIKE ANY OTHER Super Hero.

He’s human, driven to protect others from the kind of tragedy that befell his own family.
He is committed to bringing to justice those who would harm the innocent.
His symbol is the bat – the ultimate creature of fear; from out of the darkness they soar with greatspeed, instinct and agility.
He’s proficient in martial arts combat. BATMAN is fast, flexible and elusive.
He’s both ingenious and brilliant. BATMAN creates and enlists the greatest of gadgets.
He has the ultimate vehicle – the Batmobile.
He’s all action!

Facts
  • BATMAN LIVE premiered in the UK on 19 July 2011 and has played 15 countries and 28 cities across Europe and South America, performed in 6 languages (English, German, French, Czech, Portuguese and Spanish) and been seen by over 600,000 people  The production travels in twenty 53-foot semi-trailer trucks.
  • It takes 2 days to build the production in each Arena (and only 5 hours to take it all out!)
  • The show tours with 115 people on the road, comprising actors, acrobats, stunt performers, crew, caterers, merchandise staff and truck drivers.
  • The stage for BATMAN LIVE features a 105’ wide video wall, which consists of 2 million LEDs. It weighs 33,000 lbs, has 415,750 pixels, 15 mm pitch and it can generate 4 trillion colors.
  • The stage was designed specifically for this tour, and uses 14,800 magnets as part of the fixing system.
  • There are 305 custom-made decks to make up the 60’ x 100’ stage.
  • Hanging above the stage is a custom-made truss incorporating lighting and automation, weighing approx. 88,000 lbs. In total, there are 125,000 lbs of equipment in the production.
  • 7,700 lbs of confetti cut in the shape of a bat has been supplied to the production for The Joker’s gun-shaped cannons.
  • The process from receipt of the approved design for the Batmobile to delivery of the first car took approximately 16 weeks.
  • The recording of the soundtrack took place at the famous Abbey Road Studios in London with a 92-piece orchestra.
  • Backstage, the costume department takes 1 minute and 5 seconds to change Batman into Bruce Wayne; it takes 4 people to achieve this costume change.
  • There are 490 costume elements in the show; the sculpting of the body for the Batman suit took over 100 hours.
Interview with
Nick Grace - Executive Producer


  Considering the nature of a live show,
is there anything unique about the costumes
 that give the performers the necessary freedom of movement
 to perform? Are the costumes comfortable to perform in?

NG- Half the challenge, of course, is to ensure
 the costumes are comfortable. Our company are made up
of actors and acrobats, so a large number of our
costume designs allow the performers to be able to move
properly during the fight scenes or while flying in a harness.


 
  What was the most challenging costume/set detail
 to create or work into a stage production of Batman?

NG- The costume for Batman was the most challenging.
 The actor needed to be able to act, walk, fly, fight….
We also had to allow for a quick costume change backstage.
Its takes 4 people and just 65 seconds to change
Batman into Bruce Wayne!


 
  With the universal appeal that the Batman franchise brings with it, how much backstory did you feel you needed to include? If any?

NG- Our main story line focuses on Dick Grayson's change
 from being part of the circus, to becoming part of
 the Dynamic duo, as Robin. Creating a strong storyline,
where the audience are able to invest in the characters
was extremely important for us. Bruce Wayne’s backstory is also explored, but of course there isn’t enough time to cover
every character in this way
.

 
  Can you tell us how you managed to work such an iconic part of Batman such as the Batmobile into a stage show?
Given that you have such a limited amount of space to utilize
as compared to a movie.
 
NG- We are playing in big arenas where they have
 brought the 100 foot stage into the audience, so there is lots of room
 for the Batmobile to make a spectacular entrance,
 always to an applauding audience!
We were fortunate enough to have legendary F1 car designer
 Professor Gordon Murray design the Batmobile
 exclusively for Batman live.



 
  Give us a sense of the amount of work that goes into
 a production of this magnitude. Rehearsals, stage and crew, set design. How many people are talking, to pull off such a show?

NG- The show was two and a half years in the making,
from the initial idea to the first performance.
We had 6 months to audition a cast of 42 circus performers
 and actors and to find an experienced crew of 46 people.
The Batmobile itself took 16 weeks,
 from receipt of the approved designed to delivery of the car itself.


 
      I am sure every production presents unique challenges.
What were the ones that stick out regarding this one,
how were these challenges met?

         
NG- This is the first time in DC Comics history that Batman
 has been presented live on stage.
Creating something unique that would live up to the expectations
of the Batman fans and combining state of the art technology,
 special effects and pyrotechnics was a unique challenge.


 
   Do you typically make any significant adjustments to the show itself as you get some performances under your belt?   

NG- This is a highly technical show,
so once it is rehearsed neither the script nor the technical cues change. Having said that, this is a live performance so, in effect, no two performances are identical.


   
  Who is your favorite character in this production, and why?
 
NG- It has to be Batman.
He is a super hero, yet possesses no super powers. He is a person that any man or boy can truly inspire to be.