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Take That Circus Tour Elephant

Production Office

Chris Vaughan

Show Director

Kim Gavin


Es Devlin

Asylum Supervisor

Mark Mason

Asylum created a large mechanical elephant and giant ringmaster for ‘Take That Presents: The Circus Live’ stadium tour in 2009. 

Elephant – The elephant had to rise out of the centre stage and carry Take That to the main stage while they sang. The challenge was how to fit a 6 meter high elephant into a stage that was only 1.8 meters high. 

The solution was to make the elephant as a series of collapsable rings held together with rope and attached to the top of a bespoke scissor lift designed by Andy Edwards at Brilliant Stages. We were working with very tight tolerances inside the B Stage, so we created a 3D computer animation of the elephant, scissor lift, and stage to make sure that when it was all put together, it would fit perfectly.

It was decided that the elephant’s movements would all be operated by the performers. We had one man in the head that would operate the trunk and the water jets at the end, another man sat on top to move the head, two women hung either side to move the ears and another with extraordinary abdominals, acting as the tale. A further four performers operated the legs from inside of the elephant. The final part of the brief was to design the rig in such a way that it could be set up and taken down in the shortest time possible. Three set carts were built to transport the elephant in one of 58 trucks that Take That were using on the tour.