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White Light

Wednesday, April 29, 2015 - 21:15

White Light transforms National Theatre in LED for Fast Forward fundraiser

Last month we had our first opportunity to light the way for Fast Forward, a unique fundraising gala evening at the National Theatre. Featuring an auction for once-in-a-lifetime experiences and excerpts from forthcoming productions, the event raised proceeds for NT Future – a transformative project providing new facilities for audiences, artists and young people.

Fast Forward took place on March 4, 2015 and attracted a glittering guest list including: Simon Callow, Olivia Colman, Frances de la Tour, Anne-Marie Duff, Sir David Hare, Ian Hislop, Patricia Hodge, Tom Hollander, Jeremy Irons, Lesley Manville, Andrew Scott, Fiona Shaw and Anna Wintour.

Held in the iconic Olivier Theatre, innovative event design saw the stage utilised for dinner service, keeping the vast auditorium space free for the plethora of entertainment. Performances included: Damon Albarn showcasing a song from his forthcoming musical and pieces from James Graham and Patrick Marber, as well as Southbank Sinfonia and the London Community Gospel Choir.

White Light worked closely alongside the National Theatre’s team, including: Head of Lighting – Matt Drury;  Lighting Director – James Farncombe; Prod LX - Breandan Andsell  and the in-house LX team to facilitate the installation. Full kit provision from White Light incorporated new LED equipment which had previously never been used at the National Theatre. This included: sought-after CORE Pinpoints – used for the first time ever in the UK, Mac Auras, Pixelines, VLXs and Sharpy washes/profiles to transform the space. The National Theatre’s Lighting Resources’ Huw Llewellyn designed the lighting for the underground walkthrough experience. Finally, Blueprint provided additional SGM LT-200 vertical tubes and SGM ILDs, used for a circular truss which flew in and out above the audience for a captivating circus performance.

Farncombe comments: “We have received excellent feedback about the lighting for this event. Our LX team enjoyed delivering something a bit different to their usual projects and we were really impressed with the speed and intensity of the new Sharpys. We are grateful to White Light for helping to deliver the goods.”

Richard Saunders, Project Manager at White Light, comments:  “This fundraiser was a prestigious addition to White Light’s events calendar and we relished the creative challenge of transforming the Olivier Theatre for a more bespoke set-up. It was also an exciting opportunity to fully demonstrate the capabilities with some of our new LED kit, for the first time ever in the National Theatre.”

Photo courtesy of Victoria Erdelevskaya or Cameron Slater


The National Theatre is grateful to the following companies and individuals who have contributed to Fast Forward:



American Airlines

American Express

Ascot Racecourse

Atelier Ten

Bank of America Merrill Lynch


Berry Bros. & Rudd

British Airways


Buro Four




Eon Productions

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer


Goldman Sachs

Harkness Roses

Intercontinental Hotels


Loews Regency Hotel

McKinsey & Company


Macfarlanes LLP

Mount Nelson Hotel


National Theatre of China

Neptune Investment Management


Oberon Books Ltd



Rise Contracts

Santander UK plc


Slaughter and May


Stage Technologies

The Wolseley



White Light

David Yarrow Photography



American Associates of the National


Sir Martin Broughton

Graham and Joanna Barker

Alan Bennett

Simon Berry

Joan Burstein, CBE

Lady Chinn

Rebecca Clouston

Ricki & Robert Conway

Kate and Arne Groes

James Hogan and Charles Glanville

Neil MacGregor

John Makinson

Sam Mendes

Ian Mill

Kate Mosse

Elizabeth Offord

The Pigott Family

Kevin Richardson

Joy and Max Ulfane

Mr Galen Weston

Anna Wintour

and those who wish to remain anonymous