The Theatre of the Absurd Presents Madness: C’est la Vie Tour

One of Britain’s most iconic live acts returns to the touring circuit with a theatrical and multi-layered production juxtaposing the band’s latest number-one album and era-defining back catalogue.

Hot on the heels of their latest number-one studio album, Theatre of the Absurd Presents C’est la Vie, the iconic British ska/pop band and their close-knit touring team descended onto venues in the UK with a campaign living up to the name of their latest record and subverting the conventions of past shows. Signature gimmicks made way for vaudevillian storytelling using kabuki drops, curved and automated video screens, a three-piece brass section, dynamic lighting design with a small footprint, and the odd T-shirt gun for good measure (more on that later). Despite the ramp up in production values, those behind the scenes have been aboard the Madness tour bus for multiple campaigns, none however, quite elaborate at this, as TPi discovers.

“I’m lucky that the crew, particularly Tour Manager, Steve Martin – a powerhouse of tour management – have toured with the band for over two decades, so it was easy for me to step into the fold with their backing,” began Production Manager, Adam King, who oversaw the technical side of the production, while Martin handled all things artistry.

Their vendors of choice comprised 22live (audio), Christie Lites (lighting), Creative Technology (video), Popcorn Catering, Tyser & Allen (drapes), KB Event (trucking), CSUK (bussing), and CSE Crosscom (radios). “Steve and I were on the same page with suppliers – they all provide great support and service,” King said.

Words: Jacob Waite

Photos: Ash Youd, Dan Reid, Chris Scott, and Matt Arthur