Wicked History

Wicked Technical Services, now referred to as Wicked, launched in 2004 by owner and Company Director Kevin Thwaites. As an established theatre technician and lighting specialist, Kev brought a wealth of knowledge to Wicked. He also brought extensive experience in professional driving. Having worked with several coaching companies for a number of years, in 2008 Kev began driving for other production companies which led to him purchasing Wicked’s first truck at the start of 2010. Later that year, Wicked worked with corporate events company Verridan to provide both crew and transport for the 02 Connected World national conference tour, paving the way for future projects.

Wicked also produced our own professional productions of ‘East’ by Steven Berkoff in 2009 and ‘One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest’ by Dale Wasserman in 2010 at The Custom’s House in South Shields. Whilst the financial climate has prevented productions since, Wicked looks forward to producing again in the future.

In 2011 Wicked upgraded to a more powerful truck, the affectionately known ‘Big Blue’, ready for the national tour of ‘Drumchasers’ (Music Fix Ltd). Wicked provided a complete production package encompassing all aspects of the tour including project management, equipment hire, crew, transport and logistics. The tour highlighted the demand for specialist transport in the live entertainment and events sector and kick started a rapid growth in Wicked’s transport services.

In 2012 Wicked added two 18 tonne trucks to the fleet in order to cater for smaller tours and meet the needs of our rapidly expanding list of clients. We worked on a number of national tours including ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ (The Radio Theatre Company), ‘Hormonal Housewives’ (Lee Batty/ Jamie Wilson Productions) and ‘Slade and Sweet’ (Flying Music). The year also marked the start of our relationship with Northern Stage with the national tour of ‘Close the Coalhouse Door’.

2013 saw huge expansion for Wicked with both new and existing clients across all areas of the business. The fleet grew considerably to incorporate two 18-tonne trucks and four 44-tonne articulated trucks with trailers. Theatre tours included ‘September in the Rain’ (The Booking Office), ‘Rapunzel’ (BalletLORENT), ‘RENT! In Concert(JP Productions) and ‘Vampires Rock’(Steve Steinman). We also supported a number of leading musical acts, touring with ‘Frank Turner – Tape Deck Heart Tour’ (One Man Landslide), ‘Zappa Plays Zappa’ (CMP), ‘Rumours of Fleetwood Mac’ (CMP/Virtually Pop) and supporting festivals including Leeds/Reading Festival, V Festival and Hardwick Live.

As a North East based business we are proud to work with clients across the region. We were honoured to be recognised as Northern Stage’s preferred transport supplier this year, touring with ‘Blue Remembered Hills’ and moving the theatre company to their Edinburgh venue for the fringe festival. Although we work on many events across the region the highlight for 2013 was definitely transporting installations for the nationally renowned Durham Lumiere (Artichoke), including the show’s most popular feature; ‘Crown of Light’ at Durham Cathedral.

Wicked’s corporate client work continued to expand this year. We worked with Pickard Events Services, Out There Events, The Freeman Group and Transmitta Ltd providing a range of services. The equipment hire and sales element of the business also saw growth with the introduction of a new service providing consumable touring cases. Wicked also continued to develop our work with other production and transport companies including; Stage Truck, KB Events, Stage Hire Scotland, McGuiness For- warding, The R&B Group and NiteLites.

Wicked provided a complete production package for ‘Cage Warriors Fighting Championships’ touring 6 arenas across the UK & Ireland providing transport, crew, staging, rigging, lighting, sound and project management services. We worked on the National Youth Music Theatre production of West Side Story (Snap to Black) providing specialist technical crew and plant operators to create a specular production in a warehouse in Manchester. We also relocated the Blue Peter set from the prestigious BBC Television Studios in London to Sunderland University.

2014 brought major changes to Wicked. To celebrate our 10th anniversary we rebranded as The Wicked Company, updating our logo to give us a fresh new look ready for the next decade. Our clients took us far and wide across the year with many exciting projects in our busiest year yet.

Our touring work has taken us to venues across the UK & Ireland from Aberdeen Music Hall to Theatre Royal Plymouth, from local arts centres to internationally renowned venues such as the London Palladium and Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to local treasures such as Durham Cathedral, Metro Radio Arena and Stockton Riverside.

In 2014 our national theatre tours included; ‘Avenue Q UK Tour’, Sell a Door Theatre Company; ‘RENT in Concert’, JP Productions; ‘Hot Flush’, Jamie Wilson Productions; ‘Immortal Chi’, World on Stage Ltd; ‘April in Paris’, The Booking Office; ‘Copacabana’, Dancing Fool Theatrical Ltd; ‘Rat Pack Christmas Tour’, Flying Music Ltd.

Wicked were honoured to work on a variety of festivals and music concerts. Regional examples include providing plant operators, crew and transport to events such as the Great North Run Million Opening Ceremony on the Newcastle/Gateshead quayside and trucking for up and coming musician, Frank Turner to several UK festivals including Kendal Calling in Cumbria. Our corporate work also saw us support conferences, exhibitions and live events from the UK Wedding Show to Motor Sport International at the NEC Birmingham.

2015 boasts a vibrant array of new projects and tours already confirmed including; ‘Avenue Q UK Tour’ and ‘History Boys’, Sell a Door Theatre Company; ‘Godspell in Concert’, Russell Scott; ‘The Meat Loaf Story’, Steve Steinman.

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