Adele reportedly ‘drafts in’ Take That’s creative director to save Vegas show
A source close to the production claims Adele has a new creative team and the ‘disagreement over the set’ was filmed by a documentary crew. Adele postponed her residency at Caesar's Palace the night before the first show, and still hasn't offered new dates.
Adele has reportedly split with the creative team behind her delayed Las Vegas residency and brought in Take That’s creative guru in a bid to kick-start the troubled venture, according to a source close to the production.
The postponed run of concerts, which was meant to start in January and end last weekend, is said to have cost the Tottenham-born singer millions, according to the source. She now tentatively hopes to start her residency in the summer with a completely redesigned show.
Adele is reported to have parted company with award-winning designer Es Devlin
, her long-term collaborator who designed the set for her vast 121-date world tour in 2016-17.
Sources say she has drafted in Kim Gavin, the artistic director behind every Take That
tour since 1992. Gavin also won a BAFTA in 2014 for his work on Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway. As well as Gavin, the 33-year-old entertainer has employed Stufish, the production designers behind the Rolling Stones’ forthcoming 60thanniversary tour and Stormzy’s recent Heavy is the Head tour, according to the source. Together, Gavin and Stufish will “look after and develop a new show as everything from the Es show has been scrapped,” this person claimed.
The Telegraph also spoke to an individual who claims to have intimate knowledge about the shows. Adele’s management, Devlin and Gavin have been approached for comment. A Stufish spokesperson declined to comment.
Adele's postponed Vegas show has left many fans heftily out of pocket Credit: Getty
Adele is currently aiming to restart her “Weekends with Adele” run of Vegas shows at the end of July or early August, following her pair of shows in London’s Hyde Park, according to the source. The singer tearfully postponed her entire 24-date Vegas run in January just the day before the shows were due to start. The rearranged dates would be consistent with the summer concert schedule at the 4,100-seat Colosseum at Caesars Palace, where the original run was due to happen: there is a ten-week gap between residencies by Smiths frontman Morrissey and Rod Stewart at this time. The singer also assured Graham Norton in February that the rescheduled shows are “absolutely happening this year, 100 per cent.”
However, these summer plans remain provisional as – according to the source – the production is still allegedly experiencing problems and they are struggling to make it happen in time again.
Fans have been left in limbo since Adele cancelled the original run of shows on January 20. While official ticket prices for the Weekends with Adele gigs – so called because she was going to perform on Fridays and Saturdays from January until April – ranged from $85 (£65) to $685, VIP packages cost $4,500 with some seats commanding prices of over $30,000 on secondary ticketing sites. Fans were not offered refunds, and many had also booked flights and hotels. Ticket-holders have talked about having to make “pointless trips to Vegas” as they’ve been unable to get refunds on their rooms or plane tickets. One fan, who paid $1,000 for two tickets, told the Telegraph last week that Adele is “holding [our] summer plans hostage” as they are unable to plan anything in case she reschedules her shows and there’s a clash.
But fans are not the only ones currently out of pocket. With an entirely new show apparently being worked on, it is not clear how much of this cost she will be able to recoup.
Kim Gavin and Es Devlin worked together on the Olympics' Closing Ceremony Credit: David Rose
Adele’s much-anticipated residency has been beset by problems. Reports following her January postponement suggested that the singer had fallen out with Devlin, who has also worked on tours for Beyoncé
and U2. Specifically, Adele was said to object to a vast on-stage pool that would fill with water as she was lifted up on a cherry picker-style machine in the middle of it to make it appear as though she was walking on water (the singer was reported to have described the pool as a “baggy old pond”).
The source said that the implosion of the original production was caught on camera as a documentary crew was following the singer. “There was a documentary crew following the build-up in Vegas, and footage of the Es blow-up and the total implode of the production exists,” the source said. It is unclear whether this footage will ever see the light of day.
The appointments of Gavin and Stufish suggest that the show could have a lighter touch than the high-concept production reports suggested Devlin had envisioned. Gavin’s work on Take That’s Circus stadium tour of 2009, for example, saw the former boy band carried around by a six-metre high mechanical elephant. The show featured clowns, acrobats and puppeteers. Gavin played a major role in the staging of the Concert for Diana and Wembley Stadium in 2007, and was involved in the closing ceremonies of the Olympic and Paralympic games in London in 2012. Gavin was also the creative brain behind Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean’s ITV show “Dancing on Ice – a 30 year celebration of the Bolero dance”. Meanwhile Stufish, which describes itself as a company of “entertainment architects”, designed the venue for the upcoming ABBA Voyage ‘ABBA-tar’ show in east London and are behind recent or current tours by Elton John, Simply Red and Soft Cell.
According to the Telegraph’s source, the original show was cancelled partly due to disagreements. The source also said that there had been reports that it had been too late to change what Es Devlin had created as Adele was only due to attend the final rehearsals.
Adele said in the January Instagram video in which she announced the cancellation that the show has been “absolutely destroyed” by soaring Covid cases and what she labelled “delivery delays”. “My show ain’t ready,” she explained in a 91-second video clip. She promised that all performances would be rescheduled, with further information coming soon. While Covid and delays in delivery of equipment were clearly factors in the cancellation (Adele told Norton that some stage equipment wasn’t due to arrive at the venue until the day of the opening show), there now appears to be more to the delay than met the eye at the start of the year.
With Take That’s creative brains now on board, will Adele’s show soon be back for good? Fans will be hoping so.