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White Light Supports Save the Children Winter Gala at Guildhall
UK – On Tuesday 22nd November 2016, Save the Children returned to Guildhall for its annual Winter Gala. In what was an unforgettable evening, guests were transported into the splendiferous world of Roald Dahl, in celebration of the much-loved author’s centenary. The event was produced by Private Drama and they approached White Light to provide the complete technical support on the evening.
The event was led by WL’s project manager Phil Gladman, who comments: “When speaking to Private Drama, we were told this would be an immersive experience in which characters and scenes from Roald Dahl’s most beloved works would be re-enacted for the guests. They wanted production support that would enhance the overall experience.”
To achieve this, Adam Blackwood, creative director of Private Drama, worked closely with WL’s creative producer Richard Stirzaker to create a technical set-up that would be suitable within the various spaces at Guildhall. This saw WL draw on its unparalleled range of lighting, audio, video and rigging equipment.
On the evening itself, the arriving guests walked through the Basinghall Street Entrance where they were greeted by the BFG. WL also lit a range of items in this space that were being auctioned later that evening. Following this, guests were led down to the Livery Hall where Private Drama’s design team had turned the room upside down – reflecting one of the most famous scenes from The Twits. Phil adds: “Within the Livery Hall, we were asked to construct a corridor made of truss. This not only helped navigate guests through the space but ensured they did so in a safe manner.”
The guests then made their way into the East Crypt where Private Drama had created a garage, reflecting that used in Danny, the Champion of the World. Following a walk through the West Crypt where further characters were present, the guests made their way into the Main Hall where there was a dinner and an auction.
Phil states: “The live auction was led by Oliver Barker, chairman of Sotheby’s Europe. Not only did we provide the complete PA system but we also supplied projectors and plasma screens which ran videos relating to both Roald Dahl and the charity. These were also used to capture and stream the live auction.”
WL also supplied the audio support for Letters Live – a post-dinner performance where remarkable letters were read aloud by Luke Evans, Miriam Margolyes, Noma Dumezweni and Toby Jones.
Phil adds: “On the day itself, we arrived on site at 8am to set up before the rehearsals at 3pm. Guests arrived at 7pm so the time on the day was extremely limited. This meant that preparation was absolutely critical.” To ensure that all of the various production elements worked alongside the various set pieces created by Private Drama, WL asked their 3D visualiser to create layouts of Guildhall in order to plan the perfect technical set-up.
The guests on the evening included Joely Richardson, Myleene Klass and Grayson Perry. The event raised over £850,000 which will help fund Save the Children’s vital work around the world.
Adam Blackwood states: “This really was a magical evening and helped support a great cause. We are extremely grateful to WL for supplying the entire production support and doing so to such a high standard.”
photos: Matt Crossick/Save the Children and Jeff Moore/Save the Children
18th January 2017
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