Leading UK breast cancer charity, Breast Cancer Now chose Illuminate at the Science Museum as the host venue for its annual event, The Show by Breast Cancer Now. As Illuminate’s in-house production service partner, technical solutions specialist White Light (WL) delivered the 360°event production services to transform the multi-purpose venue for a unique fashion show concept.
The Show celebrates the strength and courage of 23 models, living with or beyond breast cancer, taking to the catwalk for the first time. The purpose of the flagship special event is to raise awareness and engage with new and existing supporters to showcase Breast Cancer Now’s world-class research and life-changing support for those affected by breast cancer.
The organisers were looking for a venue that would provide the ‘wow’ factor for guests, as well as being able to accommodate the main catwalk and the requirement for a backstage area for a hair/make up station, quick-change and chillout area for models. Accessibility was also a key aspect to consider as one of the models is a wheelchair user.
Illuminate’s fully accessible Level 4 was used for the backstage area, and the floor to ceiling windows on Level 5 with panoramic views of the London skyline provided the ‘wow’ factor the client was looking for and had the capacity needed for the main catwalk show. The blank canvas nature of the space and its versatility meant the organisers could create the layout for the runway that they wanted.
To maximise space in Level 5, WL designed a bespoke floor-based catwalk solution using an array of LED lighting, including Astera AX2 PixelBars, ETC Source Four LED Series 2 Lustrs and Arri SkyPanel S60-Cs. This innovative approach placed guests right on the edge of the action, heightening the front row experience and creating an intimate environment for both the models and in-person audience. With minimal cabling required, this also ensured a sleek aesthetic in keeping with the creative vision. Image magnification (iMAG) was used to display close-up shots of the models throughout the show, on four high-definition edgeless floating projection screens.
A comprehensive lighting package further heightened the runway presentations, utilising Martin Mac Viper Performance fixtures and Chauvet Well Fits. Everything was controlled via an Avolites Tiger Touch II console.
Accompanying audio, delivered via Illuminate’s in-house d&b audiotechnik system installed by WL, was designed to emanate from the centre of the catwalk to immerse the audience. A scenic wall, incorporating a 3D neon sign of the charity’s logo was used as a photo opportunity for guests. This also provided a discreet backdrop for the models as they exited the catwalk between rotations.
The event was live streamed on Facebook. To facilitate this, WL worked closely with Breast Cancer Now’s Digital team and supplied four pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) cameras. This helped create as many different shots as possible for the stream, enabling online viewers to feel like they were at the show.
WL’s Senior Account Manager, Mark Sutcliffe says: “This event really maximised the full potential of Illuminate as a venue. With the event being so personal to so many people, the brief was to get the viewers right onto the catwalk. Lighting was key to the design creating a defined space versatile enough to accommodate both the show and guest reception. We explored several designs and solutions that allowed for optimum utilisation of the space and production elements for all factors needed and were delighted with the success of our unique catwalk concept.
Breast Cancer Now’s Senior Special Events Manager, Ellie Barnes adds: “Our aim was for the venue to have the ‘wow’ factor for our models and guests, and this was definitely achieved. The White Light team were brilliant to work with and helped us plan the best way to utilise the space, create an incredible guest experience and ensured our models were the stars of the show.”