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5 Things You Need to Know About Madonna’s Rebel Heart Tour Set Design

It’s a one-of-a-kind stage fit for the Queen of Pop


When it was announced that Manila will be a part of Madonna’s Rebel Heart tour, fans went into a frenzy and immediately prepared to score tickets. After all, it’s the first time that the music icon will visit the country to perform for her thousands of fans.

Aside from looking forward to a night of singing and dancing, we also can’t help but wonder about the show’s stage and set design. As a frequent concertgoer myself, I’ve always marveled at huge LED screens, moving stages, and other tricks that leave the audience in awe. Thankfully, we stumbled upon an article on Design Week about how the tour’s look and design came about. We’ve picked out a few interesting details that you might want to know just in time for Madonna’s two-day gig at the Mall of Asia Arena. So Open Your Heart, strike a pose (ala Vogue), and get ready for one epic Holiday:

Source and Photos: Design Week.

1. UK-based architects and production designers for concerts, theatre, and television, Stufish, worked on the show’s design. The team has been known for creating permanent buildings, semi-permanent productions, and touring shows since the mid-90s. Aside from Madonna, they have previously worked with The Rolling Stones and Queen. According to their website, they have become the “premier choice of touring productions that wish to create a strong and dynamic visual impact for the artist and the audience.” 

2. To showcase the Rebel Heart theme, the stage features a runway that looks like an arrow or a cross with a heart at one end.

3. Most of the show is powered by what designer Ric Lipson calls as The Machine. Designed by Tait, it is an 8.5x4.8m screen which can be walked, jumped, and danced on. That’s not all—it can also rise up to 2.5m—from flat to 90 degrees vertically in 30 seconds. The screen is also used to show backdrops, video content, and various montages.

4. Over the years, Madonna has been famous for her interesting, albeit controversial shows. For the Rebel Heart tour, Stufish also designed a Vogue Table – a baroque-style interpretation of the Last Supper. It is more than seven meters long and supports 1.2m candelabras at each end.

5. Apart from the set list, choreography, and set design, props also play a major role in any production. One of the things that fans can look forward to is the 5x2.5m steel spiral staircase to be highlighted in one of the numbers. According to Lipson, it’s only a prototype that Madonna used during rehearsals. When the aluminum version came, the pop icon felt that it wasn’t sturdy enough so they opted to use the steel one for the rest of the tour instead.

The article also gave insights on how the team strived for perfection—down to the tiniest props. Since it’s a global tour, the show’s template has been designed to fit into the different arenas where Madonna is set to perform.

For more details about the Rebel Heart tour, visit Design Week. You can also drop by Stufish's website to learn more about their projects.

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