Phantom of the Opera

GSP transformed Kensington Olympia into one of the most spectacular party builds for the World movie premiere party of Phantom of the Opera.

What was the party? The world movie-premiere party to launch the big-screen version of revered musical The Phantom of the Opera. Held in Kensington Olympia's National Hall, the event was attended by 1,500 guests including the cast and crew of the movie and a host of A-list pop stars and celebrities.

How was the party themed? The transformation of this large exhibition space was amazing. With red and black theatre drapes encasing the whole space, the scene was set to recreate the passion and excitement of the Phantom stage show. Three beautifully hand-crafted sections of the party were built from a mixture of props from the movie and bespoke set designs. At one end was a purpose-built stage complete with well-trodden boards and theatrical backdrop.

Gold-plated figurines were positioned on either side, while golden shell-shaped lights adorned the front of the stage itself and a life-size model of an Indian elephant was positioned in the middle. The centrepiece was a grand pavilion complete with six-metre-high statues, plus silver, frozen-style plants and numerous food and drink stations.

Suspended above the set was a £1m chandelier designed by crystal specialist Swarovski, purpose built for the movie set. 1,000 red roses hung from lights above the pavilion, which doubled as a dancefloor.

A VIP section was also created in the style of an extravagant Roman lounge, complete with gold central bar and nine-metre-high statues. Guests were entertained by opera singers, flamenco and masquerade dancers from the film.

Who was behind the party?
GSP founder Emma Gold – a movie premiere party guru – put together the impressive event with the help of event designer Sonja Claus, after being inspired by an early screening of the movie. Gold also employed Event Lighting and Design, sound engineers Canegreen, caterers Rhubarb Food Design, draping experts Blackout and florist Jayne Copperwaite.

What were the highlights?
The party set was one of the most impressive builds of 2004, while the lighting of candles moments before guests arrived provided the passionate setting that has become synonymous with the famous musical. The array of celebrities ranged from Shirley Bassey and pop band Blue to Andrew Lloyd Webber and movie director Joel Schumacher.

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