Showing posts with label Madame Tussaud’s. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Madame Tussaud’s. Show all posts

Sunday, July 11, 2021

When the Circus Rocked Into Town

For about 12 years and through the duration of the 1990s, the celebrated Madame Tussaud’s featured a wildly ambitious and sensational wax museum and show in Piccadilly Circus that showcased the legends of rock and roll in an unprecedented multi-media experience.

The musical aspects of the dazzling but short-lived exhibit were emphasized by its animatronic technology which brought various performers to life using selected movement enhanced with audio synchronization and occasional special effects. Narration and song clips were played on visitors’ headsets using infra-red capabilities depending on where they were and what direction they were facing within the exhibit. The tour climaxed with an animatronic “live” concert which represented different styles, trends and stages in rock history.

Many life size fan favorites were displayed in the finale as well as throughout the exhibit's walking tour including The Beatles, Elton John, Led Zeppelin, The Who, Bob Marley, Elvis, Madonna, The Jacksons, Rod Stewart, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Stevie Wonder, Sting, The Sex Pistols, Sam Cooke and... Liberace- ???

While some of the exhibit’s thematic concepts were trite, erroneous and cliched, one can’t deny that they told an engaging and colorful story. Similarly, the revered roster of heroes was an overtly subjective one and understandably English. The absence of many major rock stars at Rock Circus would inevitably give scores of visitors cause to complain, spurn and mock. Indeed there were a number of inclusions that most rock fans would protest on the basis of having never heard their names before!

In any case, it would be financial reasons that led to Rock Circus’s 2001 closing and probably not matters regarding the content of the exhibit or its general popularity. For those Londoners and tourists who took that magical mystery tour, however, it proved quite “brilliant” and provided a once-in-a-lifetime glimpse at an idealized rock music journey that only the Madame herself could have pulled off. Rock on, blokes!

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Christopher Robinson