Unusual rigs Dame Gillian Lynne celebration
Tuesday, 30 July 2019
full-cast-in-to-gillie-with-love-at-gillian-lynne-theatre-photo-credit-david-jensen-2To Gillie With at the Love Gillian Lynne Theatre (photo: David Jensen)
UK - The stars came out in force to celebrate the career of the late Dame Gillian Lynne, with Unusual Rigging brought on board to rig the event at the newly named Gillian Lynne Theatre in London's West End.
The evening also saw the launch of the Dame Gillian Lynne and Peter Land Foundation, set up to help young performers, with Jerry Donaldson, technical director at Cameron Mackintosh providing his experience and expertise to manage the production.
Lean Two Productions, the producer behind the event, comments in a statement: "It was Jerry who brought Unusual in to work on this project which made complete sense as they are not only the very best at what they do, but had themselves worked with Gillie on shows for many years."
Scenically, the show was kept very simple with a small band onstage and a 'moon' which had been designed and built for the re-naming of the venue in June 2018 was reused. Extra lights and projection was required, making the event complex in terms of working with and around what was already in place for the theatre's resident production, School of Rock. Meanwhile Adam Fisher and the sound department had over 70 people needing to be heard onstage, plus videos, speech clips and recorded track.
Lean Two Productions adds: "We started the load in directly after the show on the Monday evening and worked through the night in order for the stage to be ready for rehearsals on the Tuesday. There was another big event in the theatre the day after us, so we had to do the get-out immediately after the show and be out of the building as soon as possible . . . so the clock was ticking for Simon and the Unusual team."
While the rigging itself didn't pose any specific technical difficulties, working around the many performers who all gave their time and talent for free was a challenge in itself. The concert played on top of School of Rock, so Unusual was respectful of the show's infrastructure and very conscious that time was limited for the get in and out and so kept things as simple as possible.
"What at times in the planning felt like a slightly impossible task, in the end was a triumph thanks to a truly wonderful team. Working with Simon Stone and the Unusual team is always a pleasure - their expertise is second to none and you always know you'll be dealing with a really lovely team. The whole evening was incredible - Gillie would've been very proud," concluded Lean Two Productions.
(Jim Evans)

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