Designing epic stories
on unique canvases

Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo 23

  • Edinburgh
  • – Live music performance
  • – Projection mapping
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Creating projection visuals to captivate and entertain audiences at The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo ‘23 – we designed a visually stunning, unique and a technically complex projection mapping spectacle.

Throughout its 70-year history, the ‘Tattoo’ has risen to become one of the world’s most loved live spectaculars. Held at Edinburgh Castle the Tattoo runs throughout August and plays to a live audience of 220,000 people, and an estimated global broadcast audience of 100 million. The show celebrates military performance and highland dancing with pomp and ceremony, it is a 90-minute display of music, dance and pyrotechnics.

In 2022 the brief for the first of a trilogy of shows, titled ”Voices” was to take the show further, design visuals that celebrated music, dance and song and enhanced the beauty of the castle. Building on the success of “Voices”, the 2023 show “Stories” showcased a more diverse cast of performers and celebrated folklore and stories.

KDS’ design took inspiration from storytelling, using familiar themes such as paper theatre dioramas and pop-up books. Key to the look was introducing dimension and depth to the design, creating visuals that changed the physics of the castle and used its architecture as a theatre set.

For the flamboyant Trinidad and Tobago performance, a festival 3D set was created using graphic shapes and bold colour animated with fun playful movement and transitions. In contrast, the more reflective ‘Pin Drop’ sequence choreographed to the track ‘light of Tuscany’ required grace and elegance. Here a paper theatre was designed to house a forest, two unicorns and blossoming flowers. The proscenium arch and theatre set were built in 3D. Dramatic skies, stars, moon and lightning storms were layered in to tell the story of the track and create a dramatic, ethereal atmosphere.

The Finale called for a celebratory visual crescendo. The sequence began with a three dimensional pop-up book’ which opened up to take the audience through a series of page turns that revealed animated collage vignettes illustrating the lyrics of the track and used elements of Scottish landscape and history as well as icons from the countries who participated in the show.

  • Production
    The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo
  • Artistic Director
    Michael Braithewaite
  • Video Designer and Director
    Kate Dawkins
  • Senior Producer
    Sharmin Jackson
  • Motion Designers
    Alex Blomeley, Rob Hales and Dylan McIntyre