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Issue 23, Volume 2  

Welcome to volume two of the October Halloween special of Magazine. In this issue, we're still behind the scenes as we find out more about the mechanics behind Thorpe Park's Fright Nights event.

We speak to Adam Slevin, who is the Entertainments Team Leader, the event producer and the creator of Hellgate. 

Adam has worked at Thorpe Park since 2002 where he started as a ride operator before becoming a Rides Team Leader. Since then, he has moved across to become the Entertainments Team Leader and has worked for Tussauds Studios on audio projects for both the theme parks and the waxworks.

We caught up with Adam to find out more about the work that goes into Fright Nights.

Coaster Kingdom: When do the preparations start for Fright Nights every year?

Adam Slevin: "To be honest, they never stop! Itís pretty much an ongoing process in terms of ideas, planning, recruitment and construction. The initial planning meetings take place around Easter with the real preparation work starting in June.

Freezer has now become The Asylum

"We then go into production at the end of August, which leads to the hardest seven weeks in the year for our department. We cast the actors for the attractions in September and rehearse just prior to the event in October.

CK: What are the biggest challenges you face with Fright Nights?

AS: "Delivering the event year on year, and improving it each year is a huge challenge, especially as each year we are catering for more guests. Itís also a challenge for a relatively small team keeping so many plates spinning in the air at the same time!

CK: Is the event getting easier to organise now it is becoming more established, or do you face new challenges every year as it becomes more popular?

AS: "It is easier in some ways because we take away key learnings each year, this year we feel very confident about the delivery of the event and the quality of our attractions.

"On the flip side Fright Nights is such a popular event itís always a challenge to live up to peoples' expectations year on year. We improve our established attractions every year and, in the case of this year developed a new one. For 2006 we have developed a fantastic new interactive maze, Se7en, which is based on the seven deadly sins and compliments Hellgate and The Asylum."

CK: In total, how many people are involved with Fright Nights, and what are their roles?

It's always a challenge to live up to peoples' expectations

AS: "There are three of us that make up the core Fright Nightsí team from the very start...

Kathy Bagshaw - Head of Theme Park Entertainment - Project Manager

"Kathy is Project Manager for the event and she keeps an eye on the event budget and provides production schedules as well as leading Fright Nights meetings.

Laura Sinclair - Theme Park Entertainment Manager - Project Champion & Event Producer

"Laura is based at Thorpe Park as Entertainment Manager and takes a lead with overseeing the installation of attractions, liaising with other departments and managing daily production schedules.

Adam Slevin Ė Theme Park Entertainment Team Leader - Hellgate Designer and Event Producer

"I am also based at Thorpe Park and together with Kathy and Laura we deliver the Fright Nights event and the inspiration behind our attractions. I also take a lead with the design and installation of Hellgate. I also have the privilege of delivering the audio for the Fright Nights specific attractions as well as sound across the whole park.

"We then also employ two Artistic Directors who deal with all the actorsí direction in the attractions. We work closely with the directors to create a sense of style and character for the attractions. They then go on to lead rehearsals with the cast where they spend time developing team spirit and characterisation.

"Our Production Assistants, Mark Swain and Lisa Rogers, have the unenviable task of assisting us in the production of Hellgate along with recruitment and administration." Continues...

Coaster Kingdom Magazine


Issue 23: Oct 2006

Issue 23, Volume 1
Volume 1
Behind the scenes of Asylum, Hellgate and Se7en at Thorpe Park

Open Mic - Jamie Shoesmith
Southport: an Inquest
Jamie Shoesmith explores just why Southport closed

In The Picture
In The Picture
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