Construction of the £42.5m Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds gets underway

Take That

Could it be magic?

Pop quiz: What do boy band Take That and the construction sector have in common? Well, the group’s stage shows have gained a reputation for being packed with innovative production ideas and mechanics - many of which rely on engineering techniques more commonly found in the construction industry. As the now three-piece embark on a 51-date European arena tour, we revisit June 2009, when Thomas Lane looked at the group’s comeback tour from a design perspective - a stage that included a giant mechanical elephant, a big top and a 10m-high puppet ringmaster. He said: “Although the end product is rather different to most construction projects, there are some definite similarities between the two worlds: many of the people working in this business have backgrounds in construction; the hours are punishing; the financial risk is huge; and the client can change its mind at the drop of a hat. But in the world of stage design you also have the added fun of designing and building elements that have never been tried before and, of course, dismantling the whole thing night after night and rebuilding it a few hours later in another city.”

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