On Sunday 13th May, the Old Vic held its Bicentennial Gala which closed a weekend’s worth of the venue’s 200th birthday celebrations. The evening was hosted by Tim Minchin and attended by some of the biggest names in theatre, including Daniel Radcliffe, Mark Rylance, Damien Lewis and Imelda Staunton. Having a long-standing relationship with the Old Vic, White Light was called upon to supply the lighting for the event.
The evening was overseen by WL’s Senior Account Manager Dominic Yates. He comments: “The Gala was an extremely high-profile event and we wanted to ensure that we supplied technical support to match this. As a result, WL’s Senior Project Manager Martin Strods and I worked closely with the Lighting Designer Howard Hudson and Production Manager Matt Ockenden”.
For the Gala, the auditorium chairs in the stalls had been replaced by round tables at which the guests were seated. Dominic explains: “The evening was filled with vibrant musical performances on the iconic Old Vic stage. Working with Howard’s design, we supplied lighting equipment to supplement the current in-house rig. This included 22 x Martin MAC Aura XBs, 17 x Martin MAC III Performances and 17 x Clay Paky Sharpy Spots. We also supplied 50 x CORE Lighting ColourPoint Uplighters that were positioned throughout the theatre, along with followspots, smoke and haze machines”.
Along with the in-house lighting, WL supplied a package for the red carpet which the A list celebrities walked down. Dominic explains: “The package we supplied for the red carpet included lighting for the photographers along with SGM G-Spots which we positioned on the roof of the theatre to give a spectacle effect. We also supplied a mains power distribution for all additional areas across the event”.
Due to the event having to work on top of the Old Vic’s current in-house production, the WL team had to worked around this which meant a tight load in schedule. Dominic explains: “We had an extremely early load in at 3am! We had to get everything into place for 9am rehearsals, with the actual event starting at 7pm that evening”.
Throughout the evening, WL also had a team of five technicians on site.
Photos courtesy of David M. Benett.