Alex Weller, International Production Manager for Priscilla Queen of the Desert takes on the removal and storage of a huge, stunning set. A life size, luxury train.
He gathers friends Technical Director, Ed Borgnis and Immersive Experience Writer/Director/Actor Craig Wilkinson to discuss the possibilities of bringing this set back to life.
The passion is there, the set is there, the expertise is there, the know how is there. The venue to house a 20metre length train in London is not there. Well it's out there somewhere right! but trying to find it in this city at a price that is achievable for an independent project is going to be a challenge. We're also storing the train in a warehouse so we need to get it out of there quickly to avoid huge storage fees and for this set to burn a serious hole in all of our pockets.
January 2018 our venue search begins.
We reach out to venue finders, estate agents, property guardian companies, councils, private landlords, commercial landlords, network rail. We visit potential venues. Like the ones here below, perfect in size but pillars in the centre of the venue (pictured left) holding up the railway above not ideal.
Leases too expensive, venues too big, some too small, location not ideal, the space pictured to the right is perfect size but exposed to the elements.
Then in the moment you feel you have exhausted all of your options, you've thought so far outside of the box you no longer see a box, you have been creative in your searches and explored all of your contacts....
...maybe we're going to have to give up on the search and the project in general. Then there she is, in all her glory. Perfectly located in Zone 2, 10 mins walk from 2 different stations, 20 mins out of central London. We do need a change of usage and she needs some TLC but we think we have the perfect place. It's now or never for us. Timing is of the essence so we begin looking at planning for a change of use.
We sign the lease, put down our deposit and pick up the keys. Now we have a show to create, a venue to clean up, a set to build and tickets to sell for an Immersive Theatre & Dining experience set onboard a life size luxury train ready to open our doors in May/June 2018.
Wish us luck.
If you wish to support us further in this epic quest we are pre-selling tickets through crowd funding website Indi-gogo. You can see more here