23, Volume 2
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.
speak to Adam Slevin, who is the Entertainments Team Leader, the event
producer and the creator of Hellgate.
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.
caught up with Adam to find out more about the work that goes into
Kingdom: When do the preparations start for Fright Nights every
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.
has now become The Asylum
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
What are the biggest challenges you face with Fright Nights?
"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!
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?
"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.
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."
In total, how many people are involved with Fright Nights,
and what are their roles?
"There are three of us that make up the core Fright
Nightsí team from the very start...
Bagshaw - Head of Theme Park Entertainment - Project Manager
is Project Manager for the event and she keeps an eye on the event
budget and provides production schedules as well as leading Fright
Sinclair - Theme Park Entertainment Manager - Project Champion &
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.
Slevin Ė Theme Park Entertainment Team Leader - Hellgate Designer and
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
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.
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...