Lights, camera, Christmas!
Theatre group promises to electrify this festive season with a show that makes use of illumination
The Christmas lights along Orchard Road may have to share the limelight with what Lightwire Theatre has to offer.
Co-founders of Lightwire Theatre, husband and wife Ian and Eleanor Carney, both 48, created a unique show in 2014 called A Very Electric Christmas.
They have since been taking the show around the world during the festive season.
It will be performed here for the first time from Dec 9 to 11 at the Victoria Theatre.
The show is about a little bird and his adventures with dancing poinsettias, The Nutcracker soldiers, mischievous mice and an evil Rat King.
It is performed in darkness, with light work bringing the story to life.
The creative storytelling technique does not come easy. Recyclable materials such as aluminium rods, skateboard wheels, fishing rods and plumbing supplies are used to create the sculptures.
Each creation takes up to 200 hoursto complete. Black fabric is then added. "EL wire" - electroluminescent wire - is soldered and lined onto the sculptures.
The Carneys met in a dance class at age 13. Teaming up with Corbin Popp and his wife Whitney, the four of them came up with Lightwire Theatre. They competed in America's Got Talent in 2012, receiving praises from the judges.
Despite getting to just the semi-finals, Lightwire Theatre found international success, performing in Paris and Hong Kong. It concluded a two-month tour in China in August.
Here, Eleanor shares with The New Paper via an e-mail interview the inspiration behind A Very Electric Christmas.
How did you come up with A Very Electric Christmas?
My husband and I were professional ballet dancers for over 20 years.
When we were approached to create a Christmas show of our own, we focused on what was important to us, and that was being home for Christmas.
No matter where we were on tour dancing, we always made it home for Christmas Day to be with our families. So, that became the theme for A Very Electric Christmas.
How did you come up with the idea of using recycled materials for the sculptures?
We did not have a ton of money, but we had a lot of creativity. Part of the fun of building our shows is figuring out where to get the materials to make our ideas come to life.
How long did it take to conceptualise the show?
It takes nine months to a year to build any of our shows. Most of the time is dedicated to the building process as we build everything ourselves, including the electronic components.
Prior to building, Ian and I write the story. We always present it to our core group to hash it out together.
We have 10 to 15 people working on the show, but ultimately, it is the eight performers who bring it to life.
This is our third year performing A Very Electric Christmas. Each year, we try to add something new to the show. This year, we included a laser to interact with our "EL wire" characters in our snow scene.
Tell us more about the show in Singapore.
We have a big list of things we would like to see when we are in Singapore. We are particularly interested in a city that seems so cosmopolitan, yet it has so many "green" qualities.
We did a lot of research of our own and had some help from people who are from Singapore. Having an insider's point of view on the things that are most relatable to people from Singapore was the biggest help.
We customised the show to include local landmarks, food and things that are unique to Singapore.
What: A Very Electric Christmas
When: Dec 9 (7.30pm), Dec 10 (10.30am, 3pm, 7.30pm) and Dec 11 (11am, 3.30pm)
Where: Victoria Theatre
Tickets: $55, $75 and $95 from Sistic