A smooth-talking, high-kicking secret agent is the star of a thrilling new live show at Abu Dhabi's Ferrari World.
Channelling equal parts 007 and Mission: Impossible, the suave Italian spy is called upon to save the day in a dramatic martial-arts spectacle – performed horizontally on a 16-metre-tall video wall.
The eight-minute Mission Ferrari show features an invasion of Ferrari's (presumably fictitious) top-secret spy base by masked baddies out to steal a prototype car, with our fearless hero agent attempting to defeat them amid a haze of death-defying leaps and stunts.
"I save the car, the world, and everyone, four times a day,” laughs Viktor Franyo, the performance artist who brings the "super spy” to life. The multi--talented 31-year-old Hungarian has a background in movie stunt work, acrobatics, the circus, boxing and martial arts.
"My whole life I've loved superheroes and now I get to be one,” he says.
The entire performance takes place with the cast dangling daringly in front of the huge video screen, onto which are projected thrilling background scenes as the story develops.
Boasting state-of-the-art technology, the show's climax sees a real Ferrari flipped onto the wall, appearing to drive as the screen moves, and culminates in a dramatic car chase with three figures battling to gain control of the prototype spy car.
Aaron Bonventre, a 41-year-old American, formerly of the esteemed Cirque-tacular Entertainment company, plays the main bad guy.
"I love it,” he says. "Every time we do it, we get a little bit better. We make little changes as we go along which only we will notice.
"For example, I will scare Viktor by saying: ‘I'm going to get you' – which no one else can hear but it gets the intensity up. The performance gets more fun as we go along.”
Mission Ferrari is one of two new shows at the world's largest indoor theme park.
The other is Viva Ferrari, a dazzling dance show in which two artists perform an interactive routine in front of a huge screen.
Shadows, rooms and lights are projected behind the dancers, requiring the performers to be inch-perfect every time, or risk looking incredibly amateur.
"It's very unique to find a dance-based show using 2-D and 3-D screens – there are not many dancers who get the chance to be involved in something like this,” says Danielle Hern, the 22-year-old British dancer who is the female lead.
"We're dancing along with an animated screen which explains the characters and actually tells a story.”
That tale is a love story, in which a mysterious bachelor tries to find the elusive object of his affections, who is lost in his vast home.
"My character is all Italian bravado,” says the 27-year-old Briton Matthew Chambers, who plays the role. "He's got everything – a Ferrari, a mansion...”
"But there's something missing,” Danielle interrupts, "and that's when he discoveries the love of his life – me.”
In addition to the new shows, two popular existing live attractions – the dramatic dance and stunt favourite Red, and the comedy duo Tyre Change – have been rebooted with fresh action and laughs for the new season.
There are up to four performances of the new shows each day. Check www.ferrariworldabudhabi.com for the latest times. Park entry costs from Dh250 for adults and Dh205 for children under 1.3 metres tall.
Source: The National