ShowTex is a worldwide leader in inventing, manufacturing and installing innovative flame retardant fabrics, tracks and motion control systems for achieving the creative vision of theatre, event and entertainment professionals.
Puy du Fou is a historical theme park based in France and is home to some of the most extravagant shows in which thousands of actors and animals recreate historical stories. Now, Puy Du Fou has taken things to the next level once again with their newest production - Le Dernier Panache - probably one of the most daring shows they ever created. The team at Puy Du Fou commissioned ShowTex with the production and installation of all masking drapes, printed fabrics, projection screens, rails and motion control systems that brought Le Dernier Panache to life.
Performed in a completely custom-built and 360° rotating theatre, the 2.400 members of the audience are immersed in the story on a multi-sensory level, smoothly rotating to watch the performance taking place on six different stages. ShowTex rose to the challenge and installed the most solid and sturdy stage technology suitable for intensive use, including more than 2000 m² of custom made technical ceilings above 4 of the six stages. 10 tons of steel profiles and aluminium tubes were needed to make this indispensable system for hanging draperies and light sources.
Le Dernier Panache features no less than 3000 m² of Galaxy 250 printed fabrics, an M1-certified soft material. However, this was not traditional printing. Creating the life-size palace for instance required an extraordinary level of precision to achieve the realism and therefore all elements were cut out and hand sewn on LaserVoile for enhanced detail.
Moreover, this scenic space had to be used for several scenes in the show. So two printed backdrops of 200 m² were equipped with a HiSpeed RollUp system of 21 m each, as well as a mechanism at the back for Roman curtain opening, which allowed to change the set in a minimum of time. Aditionally, one of the sets was fitted with two concentric ShowTrack tracks, curved over a length of 31 m each and equipped with a built-in motor for easy and efficient DMX or simple cable control.
In order to create the ultimate immersive environment ShowTex installed a variety of large scale projection surfaces, including an impressive 900 m² panoramic screen made of FP SuperMat. The bottom of the screen is immersed in water and even hit by waves during the show, so ShowTex had to ensure that the screen stayed tight at any time. Elsewhere, seven double layered mobile screens featuring 1700 m² of FiberCloth M0 reveal different scenes in the show and finally 600 m² of New Mesh was printed and cut in the shape of a giant lamp offering an additional and sound transparent projection surface.
Thousands of meters of inherently flame retardant Molton CS were used for the production of masking drapes, legs, borders, backdrops and linings ensuring minimum shrinkage in this sometimes humid environment. But the biggest challenge of all was that the full installation had to be done in only a couple of weeks and all different suppliers had to work closely together. Working day and night with the most specialised and experienced technicians, the ShowTex teams rotated in shifts to get everything done in time and proved once again that nothing is impossible.
And this is just a preview of everything we did for Le Dernier Panache... Discover the full and uncensored story on our blog!