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National Theatre lights up London


Philips and National Theatre announces ’green switch’ initiative

London, United Kingdom (AEX, PHI, NYSE:PHG) – Royal Philips Electronics and the National Theatre today announced a five year Simplicity lighting partnership programme to replace the landmark London venue’s lighting scheme. Announced on the eve of opening of the Philips Simplicity Event at Earls Court 2, the partnership will replace and enhance the National Theatre’s familiar external and internal lighting scheme with a state of the art, dynamic energy efficient design.

Architectural sensitivity and audience enhancement coupled with energy efficiency is the overall aim of the programme. Londoners will experience the first, dramatic results of the scheme on the ‘switching on’ ceremony of the first, external lighting phase by Mayor of London Ken Livingstone and actress Zoë Wanamaker CBE at 1815 hrs GMT on Monday October 22nd 2007.

Londoners and tourists alike will see a dramatic enhancement of the exterior of the iconic Thames-side building. The LED lighting solution provided by Philips will give the National Theatre an endless colour palette with which to paint the building, illuminating new areas and creating a spectacular and welcoming aura. New, smaller light fittings will help retain the architectural integrity of the Grade 2* listed building.

In addition to the immediate visual enhancements, on completion of the project Philips lighting technology will deliver a 70% reduction in the energy needed to illuminate the building’s iconic ‘flytowers’; the partnership will also deliver an estimated £100,000 per annum saving for the National Theatre. Londoners will also experience a new ‘video wall’ installation on the roof of the building in Spring 2008, replacing the old dot ‘Seefact’ bulb system with a full colour LED panel which will display crystal clear messages.

After this initial phase concentrating on the exterior lighting of the building, the focus will switch to the interior and backstage areas of the theatre. The public areas of the interior will be fitted with lower energy, higher efficiency fittings as will the vast corridors, workshops and rehearsal rooms.

Nick Starr, Executive Director of the National Theatre, comments “This partnership will enable us to spend more on putting on plays and performances and less on electricity and maintenance. It’s an investment that would be justified on economic grounds, but it’s hard for arts organisations to find the money. Thanks to this partnership we can do so. This is proving to be the catalyst for a host of energy-saving initiatives at the National Theatre. We are immensely grateful for Philips’ far-sighted approach.”

Rowena Priess, Innovations Manager for Philips Lighting said “We are delighted to be partnering with the National Theatre, bringing a simple solution to a complex challenge. The versatility of the state of the art system we have designed for this iconic London landmark will enable the National Theatre to deliver an energizing, exciting, fun experience to Londoners and visitors to the capital for years to come.”

The Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone said: “Tackling climate change doesn’t mean we have to stop enjoying ourselves, but it does mean that every sector of London life has to consider its impact on global warming. The work the National Theatre and Philips are doing is the perfect example of the kind of leadership we need right across London, continuing to offer Londoners and visitors the chance to see world class theatre, whilst lowering its carbon impact.

“’The National Theatre is also demonstrating that tackling climate change makes good business sense, cutting costs as well as emissions. And I am today able to announce that the National Theatre, along with other key players from across the theatre sector, have signed up to work in partnership with my office to produce the first ever Climate Change Action Plan for London Theatre, so that theatres across the capital go green. The partnership between the National and Philips is a brilliant flagship example of that initiative.”

The National Theatre project is the latest in a portfolio of some of the best loved and most important structures in London and around the world to which Philips has worked in co operation with to deliver energy efficient lighting solutions. Buckingham Palace, London’s O2 arena, the Acropolis in Athens and the Eiffel Tower are all major Philips lighting projects.

The partnership between Philips and the National Theatre is not a ‘fit and forget’ operation. As Philips introduces new lighting technology, improvements will be installed to deliver ever greater energy savings and further enhancing the environment for everyone coming into contact with one of London’s most recognizable buildings.


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