PRG worked in partnership with Shorty Productions on the 64th annual London Evening Standard Theatre Awards in November.
The project began back in the summer, when our team first started talking to Tom Shaw of Shorty Productions. Tom chose us for the project as we already had a strong working relationship with the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, which would be hosting the event. We’ve also been involved in some of the production for this event in the past.
The brief was to work with Tom and Owen Pritchard-Smith of Spirit Design, to elevate the production of the event and provide options which would enhance the look and feel of the lighting, video and scenic layout at the theatre.
This presented two main challenges. Firstly, we needed to raise and refine the presence of the red carpet and building frontage for event attendees. We also required upgrades to the internal staging with scenic LED and lighting, to allow for more flexibility and greater potential to transform the space during the event.
PRG’s video and lighting services provided the solution. For the gala dinner, the entire stalls area and first half of the stage had been transformed into table seating, with the performance area for the event moved far upstage. We provided a Martin Viper Performance rig to replicate the over stage theatre house rig out into the auditorium, and create a consistent lighting cover for the dining area.
For the new stage position, a combination of PRG Icon beams together with GLP X4 Bars worked to provide both a soft theatrical wash to the stage drapery for the awards and dinner, whilst allowing a transformation of the stage with sharp dynamic lighting beams for the awards stings, performances and party.
Our video offering was designed to fulfil two main roles. It served as a communication tool for playing back event stings, and videos on the central Lighthouse X3 3.9mm LED screen, and with the ROE MC18mm Hybrid to create video banners to brand and transform the scenic layout of the stage.
Playback was provided by both a Catalyst Media server for the structured awards ceremony and an MBox Media server linked to the lighting console for the performances and party, to ensure the video content linked seamlessly with the lighting. Using the ROE MC18mm Hybrid also gave us an opportunity to transform the stage area into a dance floor, using the blinder pixels to change the banners into a unique glimmer effect for the after party.
For the red carpet, P5's were used to lift the building frontage with a generic 2K Fresnel lighting rig within the red carpet structure, providing both heat and lighting for the attendees. PRG Icon beams were then used to help lift the front of the red carpet and create a sense of event in the outdoor space.
Cameron Bannister was the Account Manager on this project, whilst Dana Read and Ben Hornshaw provided on-site project consistency over the 36 hour install, show and de-rig in their roles as the onsite managers. Sam Healey headed up the lighting team and Nathan Avery took charge of the video team.
Leon Dickens worked as the Catalyst programmer, liaising with the end client and content maker during pre-production, and on-site for the rehearsal and show. Stephen Price and Dhyaan Parikh provided fantastic asset and logistical support throughout the project, from pre-production and demo builds right up to the final event install and reconciliation.
Bannister told us that this project stood out for its collaborative approach to pre production and prep, which was key to making the awards ceremony a success. He said, “it was imperative that a clear, open communication chain was created with the theatre and the client from the outset. A thorough approach to pre-production and scheduling meant that the whole team were pulling in the same direction, in a controlled and properly resourced environment. This positive culture cascaded throughout the team, making the event a pleasure to work on.”
Bannister added, “working with Tom and his team at Shorty productions has been an absolute pleasure. His energy and passion to push design and creativity and raise the event in a collaborative and well communicated environment with his suppliers filtered throughout the team. It’s been a pleasure to play a part in the events success. I look forward to working with Tom and his team again soon in the near future.”