Meet the Master of the Jubilee Pageant: A former circus producer, 64

Meet the Master of the Jubilee Pageant: Former circus producer, 64, who designed Queen’s Thames flotilla in 2012 is creative force behind this afternoon’s £15million parade

  • Pageant Master Adrian Evans said that it has taken 18 month’s to organise show
  • The former circus producer, 64, was also involved in Diamond Jubilee events
  • He said that the ensemble of 8,500 people have not rehearsed start to finish
  • And he praised the ‘most amazing’ production team ensuring it runs smoothly
  • Latest Platinum Jubilee news as the Queen celebrates 70 years of service

Today’s pageant on the final day of Platinum Jubilee celebrations has been created by a former circus producer who was also behind the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant.

Pageant Master Adrian Evans told Sky News that it has taken 18 month’s to organise today’s show, which will include thousands of people across the UK and Commonwealth. 

‘I hope it will be a great day, everyone’s excited, its palpitating in fact how exciting it is today,’ he said. 

The former circus producer, 64, provided the original idea, and creative direction for, the thousand boat flotilla for The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

He has directed festivals, been involved in theatres and was the director of animations for London’s Millennium celebrations.

He said that his first ambition for this year’s production was to provide an opportunity for people to express themselves. 

The event, with a budget of between £10 and £15 million, is expected to be one of the biggest celebratory events held on home soil for decades. 

Pageant Master Adrian Evans is a former circus producer and was involved in organising the Diamond Jubilee pageant in 2012

Pageant Master Adrian Evans said that it has taken 18 month’s to organise today’s show. Pictured, colourful buses due to be used in the pageant wait in a side street in Westminster

Today’s show will include thousands of people across the UK and Commonwealth. Pictured, a royal themed float due to be used in the pageant waits in Westminster

A float due to be used in the pageant sits in Westminster ahead of today’s show

‘Shaping it, having it make sense and bringing in that sort of wow, spectacle, is everything that you want.

‘You want it to be magnificent. I mean, 70 years on the throne, it’s got to be something fabulous hasn’t it.’

He said that the ensemble of 8,500 people have not rehearsed it from start to finish together.

‘This is the first time that it all comes together… I think everyone’s ready, everyone’s up for it — it’s going to be fab, everyone is so excited.’ 

He told the Mirror that he wanted to ‘capture people of the UK in all their diversity’ in the two-mile pageant replicating the route Her Majesty took on her coronation. 

It includes thousands of people from community and arts groups across the UK and the Commonwealth, including BMX stunt riders, drummers from London and Bollywood dancers. 

Today’s show will also include a 20ft puppet of the Queen surrounded by corgis, as well as a dragon puppet. 

Dame Joan Collins, Sir Cliff Richard, Twiggy and Ed Sheeran, will all be seen in the production.

Some 205 vehicles will appear as part of the parade, including 11 Morris Minors, seven Land Rovers, 20 vintage Minis including one in the shape of an Outspan Orange and seven original James Bond vehicles.

Ice cream vans, JCBs, Del-Boy’s Only Fools And Horses three-wheeled Reliant Regal Supervan III, 15 Sinclair C5s, and seven open-top double-decker buses decorated in images of the decade they represent will also head down The Mall and past the palace.

It will also feature the Gold State Coach, which was built in 1762 and is the third oldest coach in the UK.

It will be taken outside the Royal Mews for the first time since the Golden Jubilee. It is made of giltwood – a thin layer of gold leaf over wood. 

The coach is 23 feet long and 12 feet tall, and weighs four tons. Because of its weight and suspension, it is only ever used at a walking pace – and it is said to be the most uncomfortable carriage the Queen owns.

Drawn by eight Windsor Grey horses, it will be led by the Mounted Band of the Household Cavalry, heralding a riotous celebration of the Queen’s life, her favourite things and the diversity of her reign.

Mr Evans said: ‘Everywhere you look, in the golden sculptures and painted panels, in the uniforms of the postilions, grooms, footmen, attendants and mounted guards, there is rich tradition and history.

‘It will be a unique spectacle that we are privileged to be opening the Pageant with. It will set the tone for the very many spectacular sights to come.’

Mr Evans has hopes the entire event will ‘regenerate’ the country’s art scene, he told the Evening Standard. 

‘Whether it’s Bridgwater Carnival in Somerset, the oldest carnival tradition in the UK, or Global Grooves in Manchester, the work they create for the pageant will be integrated and celebrated alongside everything else they do this year,’ he told the paper.

‘We are investing in these community groups in a way that will help to regenerate the whole outdoor events industry.’  

Mr Evans said that performers are ‘bringing their all’ today, and praised the ‘most amazing’ production team.

‘There are technical guys… people who have worked on the Olympics and those big events and they have put an infrastructure in place that gives us confidence that not only will it run in the way that we want it to, but will be looked after,’ he added.

The production team for last night’s Platinum Party at the Palace have been praised online.

Today’s pageant route will make its way down The Mall towards Buckingham Palace

Brits have commended BBC organisers for the ‘magical’ and ‘phenomenal’ show last night, as thousands watched live from The Mall, with a peak of 13.4 million tuning in via their televisions. 

This morning, Sir Cliff Richard said that it was the best performance created for Her Majesty.

‘The show that I saw last night was probably the best produced show ever done for the Queen,’ he told Sky News.

‘I mean they must have spent millions on the lighting, it was just fantastic.’

Also among those praising organisers was musician Gary Barlow, and former Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osbourne. 

Charlotte Moore, the BBC’s Chief Content Officer, said in the lead-up to the show that she was ‘thrilled’ to be bringing the nation together for the ‘incredible, once-in-a-lifetime event’ to celebrate the Queen’s ‘momentous’ 70 years on the throne.

The performance included a special two and half minute sequence between the monarch and Paddington Bear, which had been kept under wraps for several months by Buckingham Palace, BBC Studios and Heyday Films/STUDIOCANAL. 

Anna Marsh, CEO of STUDIOCANAL said that filming with Her Majesty and Paddington at the palace is a memory to ‘cherish’, adding ‘Her Majesty’s warmth and generosity was a joy to behold’.

Last night’s set-up included three stages, linked by walkways, which created a unique 360 experience in front of Buckingham Palace and The Queen Victoria Memorial.

They were linked together with 70 columns representing each year of Her Majesty’s reign.

To the left of the palace was an orchestra stage with a 75-piece orchestra from military musicians from the British Army’s Household Division Bands.

And to the right was the Pop stage, which was backed by LED screens. In front of the Queen Victoria Memorial was the final stage, facing crowds in The Mall.

The entire front of Buckingham Palace was projection mapped — making it the UK’s biggest screen for the night.

Throughout the evening, the live concert spanned more than two and a half hours, with 30-plus artists and performers in the line-up from pop, rock, classical and musicals, with Queen + Adam Lambert opening the show.  

The event was staged by BBC Studios Productions.

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