Taking place at the O2 Arena in Prague, Queen Relived saw automated platforms, cubic structures and an array of geometric structures immerse audiences and bring them closer to the Freddy Mercury experience under the guise of tribute band, Queenie CZ.
“The show revolves around the concept of depth,” said Martin Hruška, who designed the stage, lighting rig, and video graphics for the show, in addition to writing its storyline. “I wanted the automation platform to change perspectives, I had a long cat walk dive deep into the audience. The idea was to break down barriers and connect the people to the band and to the music of Freddy Mercury.”
A total of 16 trucks were used to transport the show’s gear into the arena. Accentuating the intricate web of shapes and forms was an intense 17-universe lighting and video design run by Lighting Designer, Lukáš Patzenhauer on the ChamSys MagicQ MQ500M. Some of the rig’s lighting fixtures were arranged along the rim of the cubistic stage, others lined the dual catwalks or were hung from the venue ceiling, but most of the lighting intensity erupted from the seven giant geometric structures suspended in the air.
Directing intense beams of light in multiple directions, these fixtures gave the stage even more depth and texture, making Hruška’s patterns and shapes resonate with ever greater vitality. Stark colour changes from the overhead units reflected myriad moods on stage, whilst pixel mapped effects complemented the imagery on the expansive LED video wall.
As for the video wall itself, it treated the audience to a series of engrossing images fed to it by Hippotizer Green Hippo servers. Some of the images were abstract, others realistic, all were deeply effective, particularly at one point where the lighting was turned all to white and silhouetted images of the band were shown on the wall.
Patzenhauer reported that the MQ500M worked seamlessly with the media server. He also praised the console’s Timeline feature. “This was new and a very big time saver,” he said. Using this feature, he was able to play audio directly linked to cues in the cue list.
Another attribute of the MQ500M that was particularly valuable to Patzenhauer in running such an ambitious show was the console’s Pixel Mapping feature. Since the console can import fixtures’ XYZ positions from lighting plots he could quickly create grids from these to pixel map onto seamlessly.
The MQ500M motorised faders were also a big help in running this show. For example, using the Intensity Masters, he was able to control groups of fixtures quickly and easily.
Like most creations that seem to flow with natural ease, Queen Relived required long hours of dedicated effort to bring to fruition. The show was originally slated to debut in 2019, before COVID got in the way. Hruška spent 14 months creating the project, some elements of the show, such as the Cue Q Block, require extra special effort.
Hruška did not complain, though, as the show readies for a world tour. Plus, as Euclid once said when asked if there were an easier way to learn his brand of mathematics. “There is no royal road to geometry.” That may be true, but as Queen Relived shows, the rewards are well worth the effort.