The Association of British Theatre Technicians

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ABTT Members Visit to the Savoy Theatre

ABTT  presents a visit to

“The Savoy Theatre

Tuesday 24th November 2015

                                       Venue: Savoy Theatre, Strand, London WC2

Time: 12 noon – 3:30pm


The schedule for the afternoon will be:
12 noon – 1:00pm: arrival, networking and refreshments
1.00pm – 2:30pm: presentations
2:30pm – 3:30pm: networking in the foyer bars and venue tours

This event has been generously supported by four ABTT ISG Members; White Light, GDS, ETC and Howard Eaton Lighting.

White Light Logo CMYK (2015) GDS_MASTER_LOGO_OL_HR 125597921_etc-logo_4c_hires 183879403_howard-eaton-lighting-ltd

The story to be told is of the bold decision by a charismatic theatrical entrepreneur in 1881 to use an untried electric lighting technology – the incandescent lamp – to make theatrical history.

The Savoy Theatre, in London’s West End, has a seating capacity of 1,158. Built by impresario Richard D’Oyly Carte (1844 – 1901) on the site of the old Savoy Palace as a showcase for the works of Gilbert & Sullivan (later becoming known as the Savoy Operas as a result), it was designed by C. I. Phipps and decorated by Collinson & Locke.

Widely regarded as the most beautifully fitted theatre in Europe, it opened its doors on 10 October 1881, with a transfer of Opera Comique’s production of Gilbert & Sullivan’s opera Patience, and is famed for being the first public building in the world to be lit by Incandescent electric lights.

By 1889, the theatre and the opera productions were so successful D’Oyly Carte used the considerable profits generated to build the luxury Savoy Hotel next door.

The presentation will review the original incandescent installation, its problems, its failure and its triumphs and how it changed the course of drama to inspire an entire new style of action, design, and playwriting.

The lecture, led by lighting artist and designer Dorian Kelly (Illuminati Arts), will be followed by a presentation by ABTT Silver ISG members GDS and White Light, on the latest installations and LED houselighting technology.

Also, there will be a short presentation on the aims and achievements of the UNESCO International Year of Light project so far.



RSVP to the office by Friday 20th November.


Savoy Theatre, Strand, London WC2