As the sun set over Waterloo Bridge on Wednesday evening, the stars came out in force at the Old Vic and the BA London Eye glowed a glorious orange. Two separate events linked by one lighting supplier: The Moving Light Company.
At the Old Vic theatre, Elton John played a concert to raise funds to repair the theatre’s leaking roof – and also to welcome the theatre’s new artistic director, Oscar-winning actor Kevin Spacey. As well as Elton John, the concert included appearances from Sting, Sinead O’Connor, Lulu, Elvis Costello and Courtney Love.
The lighting designer for the event was Nick Richings. Basing his design around the rig for The Tempest, currently playing at the Old Vic and also using equipment from The Moving Light Company (including DHA Digital Light Curtains and Digital Beamlights, Strand Pirouettes and High End Studiocolors), Richings also brought in extra equipment, including Martin Mac500s, Mac300s, Mac250s and Mac2000s and additional StudioColors). The entire rig was controlled by a Whole Hog 2 programmed by Jim Beagley, supplemented by a Jands 408 to provide additional DMX submasters. The show’s production electrician was Keith Johnson.
The Elton John continues The Moving Light Company’s long association with the Old Vic, which provided the venue from which the company launched itself on the world in 1993. Since then a wide range of productions, including the Peter Hall seasons, have made use of equipment from The Moving Light Company.
At the same time, and not very far away, more of The Moving Light Company’s equipment was lighting another London landmark – the BA London Eye. This project, for the launch of Nokia’s new N-Gage handheld gaming device, was designed by Bruno Poet for Nokia’s marketing company, Contra. Poet is also currently using Moving Light Company equipment on Midnight’s Children at the Barbican Theatre.
To light the Eye itself, Poet specified twenty-four VL2000 Wash units, which were positioned on the pier at the base of the Eye. The Eye was lit primarily in orange and red to follow the colour of the N-Gage logo. The Moving Light Company also provided Mac250s and Mac300s, used to light the walk-in to the Eye, two Space Canons used to draw attention to the event, and eight High End Technobeams which were rigged on board the MV Symphony Thames cruiser, on which the corporate presentations took place. The on-shore lighting was run from a Strand 550i programmed by Rob Halliday, while The Moving Light Company’s Alex Murphy ran the Technobeams from a Jands Hog. Additional on-shore effects were provided by Airstars positioned around the Eye, and an MDG Touring Fogger low-smoke machine.
The Moving Light Company and White Light also managed all of the crewing and logistics for the Eye lighting, with Jon Coventry running a crew that included Lee Threlfall, Stuart Crane, Simon Jones, Paul Colwell and Roger Hennigan.
By the end of the night both events had proved successes, with the Old Vic concert raising £500,000, and the Eye event both successfully launching N-Gage and providing those working in London with an evening of free spectacle. The equipment is now back at The Moving Light Company being prepared for more shows, including the Mountbatten Festival of Music at the Albert Hall next week.