History came alive in a big way on September 17th at the world premiere of “Ben Hur Live” at London’s O2 Arena, a musical behemoth that features a cast of 400, ship battle, real chariot races and a lighting rig of more than 200 Martin MAC 2000 Wash XB™, MAC 2000 Profile™ and MAC III Profile™ moving heads.
The adaptation of the Oscar-winning 1959 film, which was based on the 1880 novel by Lewis Wallace, is produced by Franz Abraham with music by The Police's Stewart Copeland. The spectacular stage design is the creation of Mark Fisher and Ray Winkler with tour production by Art Concerts GmbH, a world leader in the production and distribution of monumental musical productions.
Lighting design is by one of the industry’s top designers, Patrick Woodroffe, who worked with associate LD Adam Bassett to paint the expansive scenes in luminous color and pattern.
German Producer Franz Abraham / Art Concerts chose Martin lighting for the production and Woodroffe was happy to concur. Some 114 MAC 2000 Wash XBs, 62 MAC 2000 Profiles and 16 MAC III Profiles are located overhead on a series of three large grids that cover the arena, as well as on audience trusses used for front and side light on the huge cast.
Project Manager Tobias Bartelmus at Art Concerts commended the professional cooperation with Martin Professional’s German office, saying, “The worldwide support, the huge experience in live entertainment, the reliability, and the professional and friendly cooperation turned the balance to work exclusively with Martin Professional for the main grids.”
Lighting Operator Andreas Kisters commented on the 1500 watt MAC 2000 Wash XB and its 1500 watt MAC III Profile complement, “The MAC 2000 Wash XBs work very well and we all like the brightness and the zoom of this product. The same features are great on the MAC III Profiles. All in all the system worked very well and we’re happy with the Martin lamps on the show.”
“Ben Hur Live” is on a 17 city tour across Europe through January then heads to South America before returning to Europe later in 2010 for a series of shows that starts in the open air of Circus Maximus in Rome. A US tour is planned for fall 2010.