As the sun set over London's Waterloo Bridge on the evening of Wednesday, February 5, the stars came out at the Old Vic and the British Airways London Eye glowed a glorious orange. These two separate events were 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. The concert included appearances by Sting, Sinead O'Connor, Lulu, Elvis Costello, and Courtney Love.
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 Systems Studio Colors), Richings also brought in extra equipment, including Martin MAC 500s, MAC 300s, MAC 250s, and MAC 2000s and additional Studio Colors. The entire rig was controlled by a Flying Pig Systems Wholehog II programmed by Jim Beagley, supplemented by a Jands 408 to provide additional DMX submasters. The show's production electrician was Keith Johnson.
At the same time, not very far away, The Moving Light Company was lighting another landmark, the London Eye. This project, for the launch of Nokia's new N-Gage handheld gaming device, was designed by Bruno Poet. Poet is also currently LD for Midnight's Children at the Barbican Theatre.
To light the Eye, Poet specified 24 Vari*Lite 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 color of the N-Gage logo. The Moving Light Company also provided MAC 250s and MAC 300s to light the walk-in to the Eye and two Space Canons were used to draw attention to the event. In addition, eight High End Technobeams 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 Airstar balloons 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, and the Old Vic concert raised £500,000. The Moving Light Company is preparing for more shows, including the Mountbatten Festival of Music at Royal Albert Hall.