Introducing Ice Age Live!

Date Posted: 09/05/2012

We chat to Hans Staal, executive producer of Ice Age Live! to find out what audiences can look forward to when the arena show makes its world premiere in the UK this autumn.

This autumn the UK will host the world premiere of Ice Age Live! A Mammoth Adventure. Billed as a ground-breaking arena show, Ice Age Live! will combine dance, acrobatics, flying and skating with an all-new storyline, bringing the popular film franchise to life.

Touring the following UK venues, tickets are now on sale, with special group rates available:

Cardiff Motorpoint Arena (18th to 21st October)
Nottingham Capital FM Arena (25th to 28th October)
Wembley Arena, London (1st to 3rd November)

Following the recent international launch of Ice Age Live! A Mammoth Adventure, we caught up with executive producer Hans Staal, to find out what audiences can look forward to in this upcoming arena show.

Hi Hans. Could you start by introducing Ice Age Live! and tell us a bit about the show?

It’s really exciting for us to produce this show. It’s a live show which is very much in connection with the three released Ice Age movies. Audiences will recognise a lot of things in the show, although it’s a new story, a new adventure with existing characters like Manny, Sid and Diego.

I’ve produced quite a lot of shows, and I must say I’m very excited. There’s so much in it, and so many different disciplines, so it’s really exciting to produce. It’s going to be a lot of fun.

It makes sense that Ice Age Live! is performed on ice, but is this actually a central feature of the show?

There is a misunderstanding going around about the show, but it’s not an ice show. It’s an arena show where all kinds of things are happening. Of course there is ice-skating, but there’s also acrobatics, aerial acts, music - it’s a very complete show.

How did the idea for the arena show come about in the first place?

It had been up in the air for a while, with several people thinking about it at the same time. Fox, the licensed owner of the franchise was thinking about the live show touring, and Stage Entertainment Touring Productions was also looking for new content. So Fox had the idea, and Stage was able to produce the show to the quality that they wanted - we can make it real.

Yes, I expect the show will really bring Ice Age to life, particularly for younger audiences?

Exactly. That’s exactly what you have to bear in mind when going to see Ice Age Live! The things you know and love in the movie, you’re going to see brought to life. We want to realise the idea that you’re actually in the movie, that you’re seeing it in real life.

The movie franchise holds real appeal with children and adults alike. Is that something you’re aiming for?

Yes, Stage Entertainment is mostly producing family shows, and that means that older people need to have the same excitement as young audiences. There’s a big underscore in the text in the movie between Manny, Sid and Diego, and that’s definitely going to be there in Ice Age Live! It’s a performance for the young and the old. I’m 56 years old but I enjoy the movies - there’s a lot of humour and things that make me laugh. 

What stage are you at in terms of producing the show, and how’s it all coming together?

At the moment, we’re in the pre-production phase. We’ve made our decisions as to how the set is going to be built, and there are people in (character visualisation designer/co-director) Michael Curry’s workshop in Portland who are realising the characters. We have 68 characters in the show so that’s quite a big job. They all have to look and act very real. I don’t want to use the word puppet in this case - it’s about characters, really bringing them to life. They need to have expression, they have to talk, and they have to move like the characters in the movie.

What are the main challenges in producing a show like Ice Age Live!?

There’s the challenge to realise the environment. When you look at the movies, there’s a lot of expectation about what the environment has to look like. The characters have to be brought into a situation where you can really believe you’re there, and that’s a very big challenge.

Also the Kung Fu acts, the acrobatics and aerial displays all need to fit in the show as well. It shouldn’t be a full circus act; it has to be part of the storyline. So that’s a challenge as well - to keep the flow of the story going while having all these elements in it.

And what are the key logistics one has to consider when touring a production of this size?

We have the intention to travel for five years, about 35 weeks per year, and that’s worldwide. That means logistic-wise, you have to organise yourself very well. Transportation is not cheap, so it has to be very efficient. However Stage has a lot of experience in touring these huge productions. Everything has to be prepared on efficiency - that’s the most important thing.

Finally, how would you sum up the show in a sentence?

Ice Age Live! is a real life experience of what you have seen in the movie - you really do experience Ice Age, live.

Tickets are now on sale for Ice Age Live! A Mammoth Adventure. Anyone arranging group travel can book now and pay later when reserving ten or more tickets. For every ten tickets purchased, groups will receive one ticket free.

Useful contact:
0844-499 6670    
www.iceagelive.com
 

 

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