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Science Museum hosts Breast Cancer Now catwalk show


The Science Museum in South Kensington, London hosted its first catwalk show in Illuminate for leading UK breast cancer charity, Breast Cancer Now, on Thursday 20th April. As host venue for its annual event, The Show by Breast Cancer, the Science Museum and the Breast Cancer Now team worked closely with in-house production service partner, technical solutions specialist White Light who were integral to the overall design of the event.

The Show celebrates the strength and courage of 23 models, living with or beyond breast cancer, taking to the catwalk for the first time. The purpose of the flagship special event is to raise awareness and engage with new and existing supporters to showcase Breast Cancer Now’s world-class research and life-changing support for those affected by breast cancer.


Photos by Matt Chung Photo

The Science Museum a perfect venue to host the catwalk show

The Show’s organisers were looking for a venue that would provide the ‘wow’ factor for guests, as well as being able to accommodate the main catwalk and the requirement for a backstage area for a hair/make up station, quick-change and chillout area for models. Accessibility was also a key aspect to consider as one of the models is a wheelchair user.

Illuminate’s fully accessible Level 4 was used for the backstage area, and the floor to ceiling windows on Level 5 with panoramic views of the London skyline provided the ‘wow’ factor the client was looking for and had the capacity needed for main catwalk show. The blank canvas nature of the space and its versatility meant the organisers could create the layout for the runway that they wanted.

To maximise the space on Level 5, White Light worked with the client to design a bespoke floor-based catwalk solution using an array of battery-operated lighting equipment. This innovative approach placed guests right on the edge of the action, maximising the front row experience and creating an intimate environment for both the models and in-person audience.

A comprehensive lighting package further heightened the runway presentations, with accompanying audio, designed to emanate from the centre of the catwalk, immersing the audience. A scenic wall, incorporating a 3D neon sign of the charity’s logo was used as a photo opportunity for guests. This also provided a discreet backdrop for the models as they exited the catwalk between rotations.

Making The Show hybrid for a wider audience

The event was live streamed on Facebook with White Light working closely with Breast Cancer Now’s digital team and suppling four pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) cameras. This helped create as many different shots as possible for the stream, enabling online viewers to feel like they were at the show.

Bryony Mitchison, Group Sales Manager at the Science Museum, commented: “It was a privilege for us to host The Show by Breast Cancer Now in Illuminate. It was an incredibly moving event, and we’re pleased to have been able to help create the inspirational and intimate experience the client was looking for. Illuminate is an incredibly versatile event space, and it was fantastic to see both levels work so well for our first fashion show and catwalk.”

Ellie Barnes, Senior Special Events Manager at Breast Cancer Now, commented: “We had a positive experience working with the Science Museum, White Light, and Moving Venue. The communication leading up to the event was brilliant and the teams were ever so accommodating to help bring everything together. The on the day teams also made everything run so smoothly and worked well with the Breast Cancer Now team. Our guests were blown away with how the venue looked, the catering and our incredible models.”

White Light’s Senior Account Manager, Mark Sutcliffe, added: “This event really maximised the full potential of Illuminate as a venue. With the event being so personal to so many people, the brief was to get the viewers right onto the catwalk. Lighting was key to the design creating a defined space versatile enough to accommodate both the show and guest reception. We explored several designs and solutions that allowed for optimum utilisation of the space and production elements for all factors needed and were delighted with the success of our unique catwalk concept.”


The Science Museum has recently become the first unique venue to join isla, the event industry’s first universal best practice framework.