CONSTRUCTING A HISTORIC EVENT FOR THE OPENING OF THE NEW CAUSEWAY DISTILLERY
01 / INTRODUCTION
A Milestone Event
Irish Whiskey Producer Bushmills approached us to support them with the opening and launch of their new £37 million state of the art Causeway Distillery.
Getting this state of the art facility from conception to reality was a journey of many years and Bushmills wanted to celebrate this the way they know best, by raising a glass and inviting key press and stakeholders to a milestone event, hosted within the distillery itself.
As the oldest licensed whiskey distillery in the World, Bushmills continue to forge ahead as a World leader and innovator in their field. The essence of this spirit was to be at the heart of the message we would need to convey.
02 / OUR BRIEF
Bringing the brand story to life
With such a distinguished reputation and a heritage of over 400 years to celebrate, we were asked to bring the Bushmills brand story to life through a musical celebration.
The entertainment needed to tell their brand story visually as much as vocally, and we worked with our talented team to create a musical and visual palette that referenced a familiarity of Irish music and arts, directed through a future-facing lens.
With a VIP international guest list to impress, the flow of the evening’s entertainment was set to fall into 3 performances across the evening. Our goal was to create a different mood and atmosphere within each stage. With our chosen theme of ‘Restless Progress’ and the unending pursuit of excellence set, we assembled our team of creatives and got to work creating something rooted in Ireland that felt new and exciting.
Peter Corry Productions was approached because of our reputation for creating high quality bespoke entertainment, our eye for detail and our access to a unique talent pool of Northern Irish Artists and Creatives.
LEAVING NOTHING TO CHANCE
With such a unique setting to work within, there were many things to consider to ensure the performance was memorable for all the right reasons.
Working thoughtfully between the impressive stills, the relatively limited amount of secure concrete floor space and the huge height and scale of the surroundings was integral to drawing focus to this new modern mechanical marvel whilst finding ways to soften the edges to make it feel welcoming to the guests.
What we discovered through numerous site visits was that despite the space being vast, the layout of the room was actually very intimate and we played on this to create performances that felt immersive with a strong connection to the guests around them. Performers appeared from behind every still and from every stair well and entrance point available to create this wraparound feeling.
Sound was an unknown quantity as the stills themselves had never before been turned off. Working closely with the technical team, the sound had to be delicately balanced to navigate concrete walls and numerous metal surfaces.
Working with skilled and experienced musicians was integral to this process and the careful ear of our Musical Director and composer made for continuous tweaks to ensure that the sound experience was of the highest quality.
The Lighting state would be integral to the success of our finale piece but was something we wouldn’t be able to fully appreciate until the room was set and dressed and everything was in place, leaving us a short window to work with the actual lighting state we would have at sunset at our technical rehearsal ahead of the event. With only one shot at getting this right in rehearsal before the performance the following night, excellent communication and planning with the lighting department would be crucial to achieve success.
The visual presentation needed to reflect this approach of new to old, so we drew our inspiration from the colour palette of our surroundings. The copper of the stills, the black of the walls, the cream of the pipework and the moss green of the plants brought in by the staging company to echo the exterior landscape and to soften the hard edges, helping to bring a gentle organic element in to play against the very industrial feel of the materials.
By taking recognisable aspects of Irish wear including (but not limited to) linens, knits, kilts, capes and waistcoats we then deconstructed everything and played with cutouts, re-shaping and asymmetry coupled with texture to bring warmth to play against the metallics. A work-like strength and heritage pieces were balanced against an editorial look from the hair and make-up department to create an almost tribal/familial look that felt energised and aspirational.
DELIVERING FOR THE BRAND
THE CALL TO DINNER
The ‘causeway call to dinner’ from the overhead balcony was a raucous performance of drumming designed to grab the attention of the guests who had been previously gathered below to enjoy their first official toast of the evening. This call to dinner introduced our host for the evening who was integral to the smooth running of the evening, helping to ensure that all speakers were looked after and welcomed into the space at the required moments.
Taking the overall theme of ‘Restless Progress’ and utilising a new manifesto that had been written by the client, we turned this text into a performative piece using a central character to deliver this supported by a piece of new musical composition and supported by our cast and ‘community’ of singers who represented the wider people of the Causeway region. Bushmills itself is a company who have incredibly strong links with the families who have worked with them across the decades. With numerous generations passing through the workplace, we wanted to make reference to this and welcome the guests in to become a part of this new space.
LIGHT AND SHADE
A finale piece based around the theme of ‘Light & Shade’ brought the night to a foot stomping close. Drawing on the well loved heritage of Irish dance, we combined LED lighting on the dancers feet and on the instruments to highlight these heritage aspects while presenting them in numerous blackouts. Now you see it, now you don’t. Supported by the return of our singers and drummers, this was a spectacle that brought the house down and left the guests in no doubt they had just witnessed something they couldn’t possibly hope to see anywhere else. An experience unique to and befitting of this stand alone brand.
The show was an absolute masterpiece, and every aspect was meticulously crafted to perfection. The performers exuded exceptional talent and passion, captivating the audience with their awe-inspiring skills. The seamless blend of music, dance, and theater left me spellbound.
If you’d like to explore bringing your brand story to life, get in touch here and let’s get inspired together.
EXPLORE MORE CASE STUDIES
We have had the pleasure of working with Lunn’s Jewellers on a number of occasions in creating and delivering unique performances that incorporated each event’s theme whilst bringing their unique brand stories to life.
We were given the enjoyable task of creating a bespoke performance for their private event, celebrating 60 Years of SPAR in Northern Ireland