Event of the month - The Bat Out of Hell opening party
When the West End’s biggest new musical wanted to celebrate its first performance, the producers decided they would need to hire an appropriate party venue for such a grand occasion…
The opening night for Bat Out of Hell was always going to be a major event in Theatreland.
After all, this is a musical based on the songs of Jim Steinman and Meat Loaf who created the classic album of the same name that has sold over 40m copies worldwide. Furthermore, the show was being staged at the London Coliseum - the largest theatre in the West End.
So, when it came to the opening night party, it was decided that the venue should be equally grandiose.
Mark Green is Associate General Manager at MPSI LTD, which manages and produces Bat Out of Hell. Here, Mark reveals the planning behind the event and why they chose 116 Pall Mall…
Finding the right party venue for hire
“We had known for several months that Bat Out of Hell would be opening at the London Coliseum in the summer of 2017, but it wasn’t until the show completed its Manchester engagement earlier that year that we really started to explore options for our opening night. Our show is one the biggest musicals in London’s West End and we immediately realised we needed a large venue to cater for our extensive guest list.
“We also needed a venue that was close to the theatre to enable all guests to get there by foot as supplying transport for all guests is a mammoth undertaking. 116 Pall Mall ticked both these boxes. It wasn’t until we visited that we realised how magnificent a venue it would make for our party.”
Why we chose 116 Pall Mall
“The size of the venue was most appealing. It’s grand and imposing stature leant itself brilliantly to our large and epic show! Coupled with its proximity to the London Coliseum, 116 Pall Mall was a perfect choice. With its opulent rooms, we were able to recreate elements of the show, whilst also allowing space for press interviews, VIP rooms and a dance floor. Plus, we also knew that the venue could accommodate 1000 people comfortably across its multiple rooms.”
Opening night party planners
“While the initial planning of everything happening at the theatre, which included ticketing, opening night gifts and hospitality was taking place, simultaneously we were already planning the party. This involved a number of recces for our technical, marketing and press teams to ensure all their various needs were catered for, as well as booking various entertainments for the evening, sampling and choosing the food and beverages, along with organising artwork and dressing to adorn the walls and spaces of 116 Pall Mall.
“When the venue is as large and magnificent as this one it takes some very creative thinking and planning. Other simple things that demanded attention such as timing the arrival of guests with canapes being circulated, managing VIP guestlists and ensuring the smooth running of the photobooth.
“We were ably assisted by Serge, Aiste, and their team from 116 who were instrumental in getting the evening on its feet. The team were extremely hands-on and wanted to ensure the evening went smoothly – they even wore Bat Out of Hell T-shirts! They were incredibly helpful in advising and supplying on aspects like table, seats, table clothes…”
Bringing a touch of theatre to 116
“Our technical departments brought in a significant amount of equipment to relight the venue to our specifications, colonies of bats flew across the walls of the Grand Staircase and the front of the building was bathed in red and orange light to welcome our guests to the party, as our specially printed flag proudly displaying our logo flew from the flagpole at 116.
“Our Press department took over the Directors Room which was made appropriate for interviews and photographs of our cast and guests. Painted performers dressed in red and black with devil’s horns roamed the party, while life-size photos of the cast decorated each corner. Meanwhile, upstairs in the Nash Room, a dancefloor was laid out and our live band rocked the night away against an enormous backdrop of a graveyard!”
From hell to heaven
“The party was superbly organised, and we believe our guests thoroughly enjoyed themselves. The care and attention to detail we received from all staff at the venue was just perfect. It was a vast undertaking, and one of the West End’s biggest opening night parties to date. 116 Pall Mall proved to be the perfect setting for the opening of this epic rock musical now playing at the Dominion Theatre.”
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Book your event at 116 Pall Mall
One of the most prestigious addresses in London, 116 Pall Mall is situated in the heart of the West End and offers a range of flexible spaces across five floors, perfect for any kind of event for up to 1,500 people.
You can even hire our whole building exclusively on weekends.