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White Light does it for the Phantom fans

'The Phantom of the Opera' has grossed more than $5.6 billion and been seen by 130 million people. It recently celebrated its 25th birthday, with White Light illuminating the event.

Entertainment lighting specialist White Light helped mark the 25th anniversary of the smash-hit musical The Phantom Of The Opera, supplying the lighting to a spectacular party held at London’s Natural History Museum after the sell-out anniversary concerts at the nearby Royal Albert Hall.

The concerts – produced by Cameron Mackintosh and the show’s composer, Andrew Lloyd Webber – were organised to celebrate the phenomenal quarter-century success of the show. Phantom has played over 10,000 performances at its original London home, Her Majesty’s Theatre, has played in 27 countries around the world, has been seen by more than 130 million people, and has a total worldwide gross in excess of $5.6 billion – making it the most successful entertainment of all time in any media. The show is still playing in London, New York, Las Vegas, Budapest, South Africa and touring in the Asia-Pacific region. The three concerts featured an all-star cast, and were sold out both at the Albert Hall and at the many cinemas worldwide where the event was also shown.

The post-show party was organised by Sue Uings, who was the past head of marketing for Cameron Mackintosh Ltd, working now as an independent event planner. Uings chose to work once again with lighting designer Cy Dodimead to transform the party venue into a dramatic, enchanting space. As on many other projects, including the recent first night party for the Dirty Dancing tour which he also designed for Uings, Dodimead turned to White Light.

White Light’s Live Event team carried out all of the work to bring Dodimead’s ideas to life, from attending production meetings to risk assessments and setting up the show on the night itself. According to White Light’s Richard Stirzaker “the load in for Phantom was more relaxed than for many of the other events we’ve been involved with at the Natural History Museum, since the show at the Albert Hall didn’t finish until 10pm. We had a team of six who transformed the venue, in particular using our new Martin Mac III Profiles to create dramatic projections of the Phantom logo both outside and inside the Museum. It was fantastic to bring a theatrical show and feel to the Museum once again.”

“Sue Uings and all involved with the show were over the moon with the lighting,” said Cy Dodimead, “and I certainly can’t take all of the credit for it since it is a real team effort when working with White Light – the work they do behind the scenes to enable me to walk in on the day and make things look pretty is greatly appreciated, and Richard Stirzaker’s knowledge and experience of working in the Museum was a huge help. The result was a great evening, where everyone was talking about the lighting.”

“A huge thank you to all involved for creating such a wonderful atmosphere and fantastically dramatic lighting,” said Sue Uings. “Cameron and Andrew were delighted with the effect, and we have received endless comments about the front of the building and the mask over the staircase inside which really caused quite a stir!”

Photo by Dan Wooller