On Tuesday November 4th, cancer support charity Macmillan delighted almost 300 guests at its flagship event The Enchanted Ball which raised £230,000. Technical production company Metro Broadcast was appointed to help create a beguiling wonderland in The Savoy’s Ballroom for the magical event. Entertainment included aerial artist Katie Hardwick and tribute act The Valli Boys; top of the bill was Britain’s Got Talent runner-up and number one global recording artist - classical singer Lucy Kay.
Macmillan’s Event Manager Andi Hall said, “This event works best when we can create the right experience; it needs to be charming in every detail. It’s all about enchantment and we try to create that with every tool in the event producer’s box – entertainment, the setting and lighting all come together to create the spirit of the event.”
Guests were welcomed with champagne in a secret garden-type setting created by Event Prop Hire where they could preview the auction lots and the Grand Prize which was to be drawn at the end of the night. When called to dinner, the Savoy’s beautiful Ballroom had been further enhanced with lighting, topiary and flowers to create a magical scene. Details included beautiful, individually-crafted table decorations featuring handmade birds which could be purchased by guests as mementos. Each table was named with literary references such as Camelot, Rivendell, Sleepy Hollow and the Cave of Wonders.
As soon as guests were seated, aerial artist Katie Hardwick gave a captivating performance before Channel 5 newsreader Emma Crosby formally opened the evening and welcomed Macmillan’s Chief Executive Lynda Thomas to the stage.
When the main course had been cleared, Lucy Kay was revealed as the main act; the room was spellbound during her performance of ‘Nella Fantasia’ – the title track from her number one album following her overnight success after appearing on Britain’s Got Talent earlier this year.
It was Metro Broadcast’s Project Manager, Joe Beecham, who had the task of overseeing the sound, lighting and filming of the performance and relaying it live to large screens which had been flown from either side of the stage. He said, “We ran a sound-check with Lucy earlier in the day and worked closely with her team to ensure we matched the technical specification for the production exactly as they wished. We used three cameras to film the performance and shots were also rehearsed with the artist in advance. Using the Director Rack of our Portable Production Unit, we were able to seamlessly cut from one shot to another to create a dynamic live broadcast within the room, relaying it to large screens either side of the stage.”
Andi Hall said, “This is our signature event. In order for it to build on its own reputation year-on-year, it is crucial that the technical production is as professional as possible and delivered flawlessly.”
After dessert, the lighting and pace changed again as antiques expert and presenter of BBC’s Bargain Hunt Charles Hanson introduced the all-important auction lot. Items included; dinner for 12 cooked in your own home by Chef-Director of Caprice Holdings (The Ivy, Scott’s and Daphne’s) Tim Hughes; a South African adventure; a treasure chest of Roger Moore’s favourite things; a holiday to Sri Lanka; Stig doing the school run; and a cookery session with Anton Mosimann. Guests were encouraged to bid by silent auction using iPads and bids were projected onto the screens.
After the auction, tribute act The Valli Boys took to the stage followed by the London Function Band who played until the Grand Prize Draw took place at the stroke of midnight, bringing the evening to a close.