Heat no obstacle to ice pageant

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 06 August, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 06 August, 1997, 12:00am

Despite soaring summer temperatures and humidity, engineers are preparing to stage the world's biggest ice spectacular in Victoria Park this week.

A 59,000-litre ice-block, which will take 2.5 days to build, is being set up for the opening of the Warner Brothers Family Entertainment on Ice tomorrow.

First, tonnes of sand are being laid over the grass to provide a level surface. Aluminium plates, filled with coolant, will cover them and crushed ice will be spread over the top.

Finally, a thin sheet of water will be sprayed on the temporary stage and should freeze to provide a skating surface for the production.

Batman and Robin, Sylvester the Cat, Tweetie Pie and Bugs Bunny are among the characters planning to whiz across the icy surface this week.

Show director Amy McPartland said performers were not worried that the icy platform might turn to sub-tropical sludge beneath their feet.

Performances in Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Manila and Jakarta would be capped by Hong Kong - the final destination on the world tour.

It will be housed in the world's largest big top, accompanied by a sound system fit for a major rock concert and beneath 250 computer-controlled lights.

Australasian Entertainment Company managing director Dale Renee said more than 250 crew members and engineers would work 12-hour shifts to ensure the $80-million production opens on time - and its centrepiece remains frozen.

The show will run until August 24.