ROCA EXPRESS

An immersive show to mark the anniversary of a Spanish premium brand

Agatha Christie's The Orient Express, the vibe of luxury retro trains and a total immersion into the atmosphere of the early twentieth century.
Roca is a brand of ceramics and bathroom solutions with a century-long history that dates back to 1917 in the suburbs of Barcelona. Today, Roca is an international chain with distributors in 170 countries including Russia. Russia is an important market for the Roca brand, so they intended to have a major celebration in Moscow that would be as big as the celebration in the birth place of the company.

The Blumenkrants team proposed an event designed as an immersive theatre and created a script based on the book The Orient Express by Agatha Christie, replicating the atmosphere of the beginning of the 20th century. The guests were invited to board the comfortable Roca Express and take a journey into the history of the brand from its foundation to the present day. The invitees included famous designers, artists, entertainers, company partners, mass media and the diplomatic community.
On photos: sets and decor of Roca Express carriages.
Upon arrival and before the start of the official part, we immersed our guests into the atmosphere of the last century, taking them for a ride in one of the first luxury train in history. One could literally see the clock become alive already in the lobby of the venue and get transported back in time, becoming a participant of an interactive performance. Moving from carriage to carriage together with actors, guests themselves became characters of Agatha Christie's novel. One carriage was full of policemen and detectives, another one invited you to watch a Parisian cabaret; guests were infatuated by illusionists, acrobats, a thimblerigger and a gracious burlesque dancer in her boudoir. The most attentive "passengers" could even spot a case of smuggling in the baggage car of Roca Express: sapphires hidden in fine china basins.
On photos: the show on stage and the hosts of the event Dmitry Khrustalev and Irena Ponaroshku.
The official part of the event started with a surprise: the heavy velvet curtains opened and gave a start to a theatrical dancing performance. The hosts of the event — Dmitry Khrustalev and Irena Ponaroshku — acted as train attendants and took the guests on a journey to see the most significant events and dancing and singing trends of the last century. This was accompanied by Roca images, ancient billboards, posters and TV commercials corresponding to each historical period. This compilation was broadcast on the screens and definitely added to the retro vibe of the show. At the end of the event, the guests took part in a fashionable flash mob — "the mannequin challenge" — a moment where the past and the future finally met.

On photos: Vasili Tsereteli and the Managing Director of Roca in Russia and the CIS Antonio Linares, Andrey Chadov, Tutta Larsen.
The Russia Branch of Roca organize annual dinner parties for their partners, dealers and designers during MosBuild Expo. This normally includes a beautiful dinner and exciting entertainment with performers, musicians and dancers. The anniversary took place at the same time as the expo but the event had a different format this time. We suggested a theatrical immersive performance, involving guests into everything that was happening on the set. Actors talked to guests, asking questions and giving them tasks to accomplish. This way, the event was much more than just a gala dinner, becoming a fiction film that everyone wanted to be part of.
Vlad Blumenkrants
performance director, CEO
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