Can you remember how when you were a child you would go to the circus, get your cotton candy or ice cream, and stare wide-eyed at the giant in the striped leotard who you thought could lift an elephant? As exciting as this was, it was nothing compared to the real mystery of the show, the mystery waiting to be revealed behind the heavy red curtain.
In our attempt to recapture the magic and mystery of our childhood, we underwent five months of preparation, brought together five event managers, three kilometers of fabric, two Opel Admirals from the beginning of the 20th century and a honking busload of clowns. We thought about the things that made the circus memorable to us and came up with a Freak Theater themed summer party; we even invited the popular band Silver Wedding to come perform for us. But first let’s explain how we got here.
Plarium has been developing your favorite video games since 2009. Since then we have opened offices and studios in the cities of Kharkiv, Kyiv, Mykolaiv, Simferopol and Lviv and have managed, in that time, to make our games the favorites of millions of fans worldwide. As a result of their tireless dedication and creative ingenuity, the magicians from our Event Management Team do their utmost to regularly churn out massive and cool events for all of our 700+ employees. Let’s take a look back and reminisce about some of our previous parties!
A Journey to the Past
The Plarium Cuba Libre Military Open Air Party was a show-stopping sensation in 2013! Some of the crew showed up on APCs and the top management flew in on an actual helicopter! The SunSay band performed for a riotous 2 hours that was only topped by an incredible fireworks spectacle to close the night! But Cuba Libre only whet our appetite for more! The Plarium Post-Apocalypse party literally brought the roof down! Upon consideration, we simply couldn’t believe our Kharkiv office could host the scale of party we needed within the confines of its four walls, so we threw off the roof! Throw in a car from Mad Max, and an entire floor converted into a labyrinth complete with traps to challenge our employees – all broadcast live – and you have some idea of the chaos wrought. The roof hadn’t even been brought back before we started wondering how we could top ourselves once more. Enter: Freak Theater.
The Making of a Freak Show
Nobody really remembers how the idea of a circus theme first came about. Perhaps it was always there, left over from those aforementioned moments in childhood. Wherever the idea came from, we knew the sheer number of possible images and costumes was limitless, and that we’d need to zero in on some thematic specifics. We were also playing with the idea of a Cabaret. Interested as we were in incorporating a somewhat vulgar formality into our circus world, we couldn’t shake off the majestic appeal of the circus and decided to combine the two styles. The end result was the Freak Theater show. With the theme squared away, it was time to set about finding an appropriate soundtrack so that our childhood fantasies could be rendered complete. Then we found Silver Wedding. The musicians in Silver Wedding play an intoxicating cocktail of French chanson, Dixieland and Country. The band had previously performed at various festivals including “Neighboring World” and “Jazz Koktebel”. With the soundtrack all set, all that was left was to find an appropriate venue.
What first struck us was to rent a train and several acres of land in Montenegro, and take the whole party on the road! Unfortunately, our lions, elephants and acrobats were unwilling to comply, leaving us scouring the Kharkiv district in search of a venue capable of holding hundreds of people. Turns out we had the location figured out all along. Reflecting once again on our Cuba Libre Military party, we recalled that the venue had everything we needed. In addition to being located on a huge land plot, there was an open concert hall capable of holding 600 people. Bingo!
Would you like a bit of magic?
Setting is everything! We hired 50 decorators from the Jenny Art studio, installed pavilions and recruited the best Ukrainian dancers from the Foresight ballet to showcase their talents! Their choreographer, Alexander Leshchenko, even took second place in the popular “Everyone Dances” show (think “So You Think You Can Dance”, but Ukrainian) and first place in the “My Dance” show. Once the setting was laid out, the freakshow could begin! We invited mimes, stilt-walkers and fire show artists from the East Fire theater (themselves all regular participants of the international fire festival in Kyiv).
But the true prize for us was the illusionist, Andrey Chekanyk. He was a former participant on such shows as “Ukraine’s Got Talent” and “Surprise Me”. And, dare we say it, his performance really did make us believe in magic again!
We also had a fun zone where guests could ride a mechanical bull and pay a visit to a fortune teller who would remind them of the names of their most distant relations. To top things off, professionals from the Sparrow theatre who had previously assisted on our Post-Apocalypse Party were again game to help us make the night a rousing success!
No summer party at Plarium is complete without a costume contest. To win, it’s not enough just to show up decked out as your favorite character. Participants also have to answer a couple of questions. This time the main prize (a trip to sunny Greece and tickets to Cirque du Soleil) went to the charming, incomparable Tanya Matskevych, a Senior Accountant at the Kharkiv studio. Her costume was all “Moulin Rouge”.
The show must go on!
Illusionists, clowns and fortune tellers, oh my! The real magic for us was, as always, to watch how ideas we’d scribbled into our notebooks late at night came to life in the form of fire jugglers, cabaret dancers and acrobats as part of an unforgettable show people are still talking about months later. Where else could kilometers of fabric become colorful decorations and the seemingly buttoned-down team from the IT-department create a ruckus by riding in on motorbikes while wearing bright felt top hats?
It’s the seemingly small details like these that inspire us to do our best and continue trying to make our future events better and more grandiose! It’s so exciting to watch the results of our work influence other people and us as well. That’s why it’s not time yet to relax. In half a year we’re going to reveal a whole new level of corporate event organization! Our video report from the Plarium Freak Theater Party will premier soon on our VK page. Follow us and know that the show… must go on!