Cinderella – Fairfield Halls, Croydon
2019 saw the completion of extensive refurbishment works to Fairfield Halls in Croydon and the Christmas pantomime reflected the fresh look of the venue with a brand new approach to storytelling in this genre with a sparkling and entirely digitally activated design, conceived and produced by Imagine Theatre.
Regular collaborator, Harrison Cooke, who was the Chief Video Engineer on the team designed a powerful the system that included control also for the kinesis system for the flown screens and Luigi Sardi programmed the show on a disguise media server.
The new comes with some spectacular video work from Nina Dunn, Luigi Sardi and Harrison Cooke, the best I’ve seen in Pantoland
Nina’s team collaborated with Mark Walters – arguably the king of pantomime design – to design and create content for the set which consisted of five large ultra high resolution LED screens set into a beautifully detailed set that contained light-boxes that were also designed to take content.
She and her illustrators spent months learning his image making techniques in order to develop new imagery that could then be animated either in 2D or in 3D, imposed on a model to create eye-popping, vivid scenes, transitions and magical transformations for the show that nevertheless remain faithful to the style that audiences know and love. In April, Nina and Mark were awarded Best Set Design in the Great British Pantomime Awards.
Mark Walters’s set, dominated by a handful of curving, filigreed turrets, functions like a panoramic picture frame for Nina Dunn’s sparkling video projections. From palace to forest to Cinderella’s kitchen, each scene is animated. The attractive cartoon look is pronounced without being overdone.
★★★★ The Times
The stage design, by Mark Walters, was outstanding, with CGI backdrops and flower vine surrounds but stayed true to a classic multilayer panto design. We were treated to special effects, rotating stages and beautiful stage lighting where the set lit up within as well as with an array of colourful stage lights from above.
The permanent part of the set consists of a number of curved turrets and platforms at various levels. The videos which are projected behind them, are superb taking the audience from Cinderella’s village to inside her home then into the woods and eventually to Prince Charming’s palace. The images are based on children’s storybook drawings and work superbly and seamlessly.
An elaborate fixed setting is supplemented by high-tech video screens and Nina Dunn’s animated video designs deliver a host of colourful backdrops.
Equipment was supplied by Blue-i Theatre Technology
Video Designer – Nina Dunn
Illustrator – Elfyn Round
3D Animators – Paul Roberts and Olly Venning
Compositors and 2D Animators – Nina Dunn, Letty Fox and Tamaš Nadudvari and Laura Salmi
Production Co-ordinator – Laura Salmi
Video Programmer – Luigi Sardi
Video Engineer – Harrison Cooke