Space! The final frontier… And our mission was to write and produce an immersive Christmas experience for the Armagh Observatory and Planetarium. We created an interactive 90 minute show that included a 25 minute dome show, live performance, arts and crafts and a visit from the big man himself.
We knew from the start of this project what an incredible production this show could be. After our initial meeting with the client about what they wanted to achieve the creative sparks began to fly.
We devised how we were going to create a live performance that would work with and enhance the dome show of “The Alien Who Stole Christmas”. So we decided to create a space panto! And thus, the E.L.F, or Engineers of Lightspeed Flight Programme, was born. Each person that came to the show would complete their training as part of the E.L.F crew and join their instructor, Marzipan the Elf, and take part in the most important mission on the planet; Mission Santa
We developed and wrote the original script with our in-house script writers, completed all the auditions and casting. We organised for all the props and set to be designed which included a custom built Spaceship Sleigh from ICA Creation
Our team also filmed some of the onscreen films prior to the event and our graphic design created some incredible space themed visuals to enhance the story that we had created. We also enlisted the help of Peter J McCauley who wrote and produced custom score.
With the script finished, with the cast in place and with Santa’s rocket sleigh parked, we were almost ready. Before the show could begin we had to complete the installation of all the specialist technical equipment including a cold sparks machine, video relays and the set. As a result our in-house events team came along and turned a lecture hall into mission control. Meanwhile we were busily rehearsing with the actors, which we had organised and scheduled as part of our planning, ready for the first audiences to greet us.
During the opening weekend we received an influx of positive comments and feedback from all the audiences. And then it happened. Every show sold out! Armagh Observatory and Planetarium subsequently requested to add two additional days to this Christmas run of shows. We laisied with the cast and crew to secure these extra days to meet the demand from the general pupil. Positive reviews and comments continued to come to us for the rest of the run, here are two for people who saw Mission Santa.
Laura McDonald said “Absolutely loved Mission Santa! Really well organised from start to finish. Marzipan was especially good and really interacted with everyone. My son really loved the show in the dome although meeting Santa was the highlight. We had a great visit and will be back.”
Pamela Patterson wrote “Mission Santa…absolutely amazing! Very well organised from start to finish. Marzipan was fantastic & interacted brilliantly with both kids & parents. And Santa was everything you expected him to be, WOW!!! Highly recommended”
Santa – Santa (of course!)
Marzipan the Elf – Noel Harron