The Royal Institution Christmas Lectures
The Christmas lectures are recorded annually at the Royal Institution of Great Britain and are recorded as an Outside Broadcast. Andy has been the lighting director since 2010.
The Christmas Lectures started in 1825 and have been held every year since (apart from 1939 – 1942 because of the blitz). They were first televised in 1936! Michael Faraday gave his first lecture in 1827 and his last in 1861 and the theatre at the Royal Institution is called the Faraday Theatre.
The whole idea of the lectures is to excite and inspire children to learn and enjoy science. I work closely with the set designer and the production team to create a different feeling each year. In the past its been bright and colourful, we have had a medieval castle and a space style mission control.
A crew of 3 rigs and runs the lighting for the lectures. We bring our own lighting equipment and integrate this with the in-house fixed lighting system. We have to comply with BS7909 because we create a temporary installation. There is no loading bay at the RI – everything has to be carried through the front door and then up 2 flights of stairs! We also have to be very careful not to damage the decoration in the building.