Showsec praised for crowd management operation at Royal Variety Performance 2016

The Royal Variety Performance 2016. Photograph: Matt Frost. Image courtesy of ITV Studios

The Royal Variety Performance 2016. Photograph: Matt Frost. Image courtesy of ITV Studios

Showsec has received recognition for helping to make the Royal Variety Performance’s eagerly-awaited return to the Eventim Apollo in West London a memorable occasion.

The crowd management and event security specialist played a key role in the staging of this traditional pre-Christmas event for charity at the Hammersmith venue, which was attended by Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.

The show, which raises vital funds for the Royal Variety Charity, was hosted this year by comedian, actor and children’s author David Walliams and featured performances by a star-studded line-up of entertainers including Robbie Williams, Sting, Lady Gaga, Diversity, Gary Barlow and Britain’s Got Talent winner Lance Corporal Richard Jones.

The cast of The Beatles Cirque Du Soleil’s LOVE show flew in from Las Vegas for a special anniversary performance, and there was also a sneak preview from the cast of Gershwin’s classic musical ‘An American in Paris’.

Comedy was provided by Joe Lycett, Alan Davies and Rob Beckett. Show-stopping numbers came courtesy of Amber Riley, star of the Tony Awards-winning musical Dreamgirls, One Republic, DNCE, ABC and McFly’s Tom Fletcher, who premiered his new book ‘The Christmasaurus’.

Planning and preparation 

Such a prestigious occasion required a considerable amount of planning and preparation on Showsec’s part.

“The Royal Variety Performance last ran at the Apollo eight years ago now, so it was good to have the event return after a long time away,” said Showsec’s operations executive Simon Howard.

“This was a one-off special show which put both ourselves and the venue in the spotlight because it was being filmed for broadcast a few days later on ITV. Due to the high profile of the event and the Royal attendees, a high level of security was required throughout. On that basis, stakeholder meetings with ITV, the Metropolitan Police Service, local authorities and Royal Protection specialists began early in the year.”

Howard added: “It was important to ensure all aspects of the event were carefully planned for. There were three load-in days and two rehearsal days, which is more than for any other show we have project-managed at the Apollo. Our 24-hour operation worked well in conjunction with production to guarantee the tight time schedule was met in the run-up to the event.”

Praise from the client

Lorraine Crowther, events co-ordinator for the Royal Variety Charity’s events team, informed Risk UK: “The Royal Variety Performance 2016 was a great success and we’re receiving a lot of really wonderful feedback from our guests and supporters.”

Crowther continued: “Thank You to Showsec for all of the company’s help in the run-up to and on the night of the show itself. Showsec’s facilitation of the Interval Reception was particularly helpful. Having the extra security presence on the door was a huge assistance. The team handled everything brilliantly well.”

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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