Stage One in the dock

Scenic solutions specialist Stage One went dockside for the recent naming ceremony of the superliner, Azura, the latest addition to the P&O fleet. Abigail Parkin (20 May 10)


Robbie Williams Productions brought in Stage One to provide a package of staging and scenery for the event. This comprised a dance floor and performance area along with a presenter stage. It was from here that ballerina Darcey Bussell performed the naming ceremony and ritual bottle-smash. The Azura became a floating party venue for  VIPs with the vessel docked at P&O’s Ocean Terminal in Southampton.

“The ceremony took place on the lido deck, which is the topmost 16th deck,” said Ted Featonby, project manager, Stage One. “This meant that all of the kit for the event needed to be craned up from the dockside - quite a time-consuming activity.”

The set, which was designed by Ala Lloyd for Stufish, included a 130m2 dance floor area that was positioned over the swimming pool and created by joisting over and infilling the pool with staging units, topped with decking and a 9m by 7m vinyl graphic. They also created a 2.1m high presenter platform, accessed by a curved staircase containing decorative scenic handrails that trailed up and around the back of the platform.

Stage One  also provided several props including an old-fashioned movie camera, complete with a 100m roll of black ribbon ‘film’, and a scenic clapperboard that was used to ‘cut’ the film and release the bottle. The film ran up into the specially built bottle-smash device attached to the ship’s superstructure.

Additionally the company provided more than 20 flats for general masking and a 10m by 3m ‘Azura’ name panel, positioned adjacent to the bottle-smash.

“The inaugural cruise was departing the day after the ceremony, so once it was over we had to work incredibly quickly to dismantle and remove our set and equipment,” recalled Ted Featonby.


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