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Taylor Lynn Corporation creates high-profile charity dinner at the Natural History Museum

Ed Sheeran Gives First 2016 Performance for East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices

At East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) Inaugural Gala Dinner last month, organised by event management company the Taylor Lynn Corporation (TLC), 350 guests gathered at London’s Natural History Museum (NHM) to celebrate the charity’s work - and were treated to Ed Sheeran’s first official gig of 2016!

In front of Dippy the Diplodocus, the dinosaur skeleton replica, Ed performed a unique 40-minute set to a standing ovation including a rendition of Justin Bieber's Love Yourself - a song Sheeran co-wrote but said he had never played live before.

The event, which has raised more than £350,000, brought together a unique team of suppliers under the management of TLC’s managing director Liz Taylor, with catering from By Word of Mouth, floral design from Simon Lycett and a bespoke lighting production by TLC’s own lighting director Mike Nunn and technical suppliers Wise Productions.

“In planning the event I worked with the venue’s recommended supplier list, but my choice of team was relatively easy as two of the companies, Simon Lycett and By Word of Mouth, I work with extensively. I had also worked previously with Wise Productions and so knew that they would be the perfect company to design the lighting production with TLC’s own lighting director“ said TLC managing director Liz Taylor

She added: “EACH has a distinctive logo which was the colour base for the décor; purple and orange. My brief was to add WOW and warmth to the architecturally challenging building. Combined with a 1.5-hour turn-around time and access not available until 6pm (guest arriving at 7pm,), we had to put a water-tight plan in place to deliver this event on time.

“Purple and orange were the wonderful colour palette and Simon Lycett used masses of fresh flowers on the dark purple cloth to bring the room to life. Added to this was a theatrical, computer-controlled lighting production and concert quality sound, which added significantly into highlighting the unique details and architectural elegance within the magnificent backdrop of the Natural History Museum.”

Florist Simon Lycett added that: “When creating the decorations for any event within the NHM we need to be mindful that whatever we design needs to be able to be installed in about 30 minutes! For the EACH event our brief was to incorporate a palette of purples and oranges, the Charity’s colours, and to create low decorations so as not to obscure guests’ sight-lines to the amazing cabaret!

“The EACH team wished us to emphasis the ‘Making of Memories’ with our décor and so we used traditional Mason Jars amongst the flowers, entwined with twinkling butterflies and fairy lights to evoke the sense of capturing and creating happy memories.”  

Simon explained that: “A team of 10 installed the event, and three cleared the decorations after the evening. The flowers were then re-purposed by Floral Angels and distributed by them to an assortment of charities, hostels and hospices around South London, allowing the flowers to give further enjoyment!”

In terms of catering, By Word of Mouth director Rick Perry commented that: “The creative challenge was to inject a sense of fun and playfulness into the catering whilst ensuring that the charity’s brand was clearly referenced and the high-profile nature of the guests was taken-into-account.”

“A specially created range of canape presentation trays referenced the purple and orange brand colours of EACH with decorative touches such as glittered butterflies and purple/orange paint splashed trays creating a strong visual impact.”

He added that: “The menu for dinner was created in response to a request for the food to be ‘children’s food with an adult twist’. Particularly popular was the stunning pudding which was By Word of Mouth’s grown-up take on Jelly and Ice Cream – a black currant parfait lolly dipped in Valrhona chocolate and dusted with orange zest served alongside an orange and Solerno jelly, shortbread crumb and caramelised oranges.”

Douglas Wintle from Wise Productions added: “Our brief was to provide a warm, welcoming environment for guests, while using the lighting design to reference the charity’s colours and provide a stunning backdrop to Ed’s performance. The set up includes over 200 different light fixtures and over 3km of cable to transform the venue.”

“Every event we do at the NHM is completely bespoke, which allows us to be flexible in our approach to the design of each one.  For example, tonight’s event has a unique stage set up to allow for the different elements, from the auction, to an ‘in-conversation-with’ feature and headline performance.”

Ed Sheeran has been an ambassador for the charity - which has Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge as its Royal Patron - since 2014 and supported EACH's nook appeal which aims to raise £10 million to transform children's palliative care across Norfolk, including building a new hospice called the nook.

Graham Butland, EACH Chief Executive, said: “We are overwhelmed by the support and success of our first EACH Gala Dinner. It truly was a spectacular evening, hosted impeccably by Sir Martyn Lewis CBE. Special thanks must go to our Ambassador Ed Sheeran for his performance. Ed has been an EACH Ambassador since 2014 and has shown us tremendous support in that time. We are so very grateful for him to taking the time to make this evening such a huge success and for his continued support.”

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