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Dr Who: Crash of the Elysium

Manchester International Festival, Ipswich Arts Festival, BBC Wales, Punchdrunk


Director: Felix Barret

Sound Design: Stephen Dobbie

Lighting Design: Paul Normandale (Re-Light Jezz Hellens)

Written By: Tom MacRae

Based on an idea by: Stephen Moffatt


Manchester July 2011

Ipswich Arts Festival June-July 2012


Commissioned by BBC, Manchester International Festival, BBC Wales and London 2012 Festival.



The Crash of The Elysium was a live Doctor Who theatre adventure created especially for children and families, that was conceived in close collaboration with members of Doctor Who’s creative team at the BBC, including Stephen Moffat and Tom McRae. The show played to an audience of nearly 7,000 in Manchester and Ipswich.


It is every child's dream come true, and every parent's nightmare. You set off on a family day out to what sounds like a well-meaning but dull exhibition in a building about the sinking of a Victorian steamer called the Elysium, whose loss in mysterious circumstances was front-page news in the Newspapers on 18 July 1888. Suddenly, you find yourself dropped into the middle of a real-life episode of Doctor Who. The country needs protecting from a deadly threat, and the Time Lord needs you. Or rather, he needs the kids. It turns out that only children aged between six and 12 have the power to save the world; in order to do it, they need to say goodbye to their parents for an hour and take a step into the unknown. Who knows: they might even get to travel through time itself, like the Doctor.


Stage Management Company were once again commissioned to provide the Audio, Rigging and Show Control elements of the entire production, both in Manchester and on it's touring version in Ipswich.   This consisted of a multitude of 100v line speakers, hidden in set pieces and discreetly placed around the show. Automatic and Manual triggers were used to fire 4x Show Magic Control systems which in turn simultaneously triggered Lighting, Sound and Video elements which ran in sync at every performance (Audiences were admitted every 10 minutes from 10am until 9pm - that's a lot of triggering) and expert programming and development meant not a single failure.  A range of trussing structures were built to create part of the Set as well as over 30X CRT Monitors displaying varying themed content as part of the show.  Further equipment included d&b E and Q Loudspeakers and Lodestar 1ton motors.



"Awesome, wicked, fantastico, the best thing ever, epic, ten out of ten. A mere adult can only concur."


Paul Valley, The Independent.


"Not for the faint of heart or short of breath"


Alfred Hickling, The Guardian