Morecambe Firm Rains Supreme at Kenneth Branagh Show

The Visitor, 26 February 2014

It’s been raining so much in Morecambe that we’ve even sent some of our wet weather to Sir Kenneth Branagh.

The movie legend got soaked by a downpour on stage created by a team of special effects specialists from Morecambe. Family firm Water Sculptures created an artificial cloudburst for the opening battle scene in Branagh’s National Theatre Live show 'Macbeth'.

The White Lund-based company was also hailed in the New York Times after providing a similar rain effect for 'King Lear' at the Harvey Theatre in Brooklyn, starring Frank Langella, who played Richard Nixon in the hit movie 'Frost/Nixon'.

The firm is in high demand all over the world for their ‘water work’ in theatre and pop concerts, specialising in water displays and fountains. In 2009 a Water Sculptures team assembled a seven-metre high screen of water, from jets concealed within the stage, for Take That on their nationwide ‘Circus’ stadium tour.

And the firm has also, appropriately, worked on the touring version of 'Singin’ in the Rain'.

'King Lear' was first staged at Chichester Festival Theatre in 2013, and after a hugely successful run the show recently transferred to New York.

“As we did the original install in Chichester we were asked to do the same thing for the New York production, which finished last weekend,” said Louise Hodgson from Water Sculptures. “Transferring meant having to source new pumps, heaters and filtration equipment to cater for the American voltage, and two of the crew spent New Year in the snow in Brooklyn.”

'Macbeth', directed by and starring Branagh, was first staged in an old church for Manchester International Festival last summer. Like 'King Lear', it will move to New York in May.

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