Evening Standard Theatre Awards: McQueens takes centre stage

Over the last 30 years or so,  McQueens have had the honour of creating jaw-dropping flowers for some truly show-stopping events. On Sunday 18 November, we had a feeling that we were about to be part of something particularly special, though. Our talented team of florists gathered at the entrance to the Theatre Royal Drury Lane to work their floral magic on the Evening Standard Theatre Awards 2018.

“Our talented team of florists gathered at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane to work their floral magic on the Evening Standard Theatre Awards.”

It’s been another bumper year for West End theatre. Not only has one of the most successful musicals of recent times – Hamilton – landed in London to standing ovations, but the West End was once again toasting a long list of A-List talent including Sophie Okonedo, Sir Ian McKellen and Ralph Fiennes. The 64th ESTA’s promised to celebrate the industry in style.

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The team working their own brand of theatre magic

With an occasion like this in such magnificent surroundings, McQueens events team was charged with designing opulent urns inspired by the rich still lives featured in Dutch Master’s paintings. Central to the display was the breathtaking marble statue of The Three Graces in the theatre foyer. Commissioned by the 6th Duke of Bedford, the Antonio Canova sculpture has long been revered in the art world. Flanking the statue, we installed four dramatic urns of spectacular stems including deep red hydrangea, seasonal rose hips, willow and the fluffiest of bright pink peonies.

The Three Graces immersed in sensational blooms (©Evening Standard. Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)

Meanwhile over in the auditorium, tables were being laid for what promised to be a memorable evening. With such an array of glittering stars in attendance, our floral table centres had to work hard to compete. We filled them with some late autumn gems such as jewel-like anemones and ranunculus to create maximum impact. We’re no strangers to interesting set-ups, but this was definitely one of our favourites – as we made preparations, we were privy to the incredible orchestra’s rehearsals!

Exquisite tables awaited the guests (©Evening Standard. Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)

Our Instagram moment came in the form of a gigantic flower wall which took pride of place on the red carpet. The magnitude of the project was an ‘all-hand-on-deck’ affair as the back drop was filled with deep red roses, berried ivy and wax flower to create a picture perfect backdrop for the evening’s stars. We were not disappointed on Monday morning when we spied the great and good of the entertainment industry in the nation’s press, including fashion guru Anna Wintour, man of the moment Idris Elba, and industry royalty Clare Foy, all posing in front of our floral display. We were particularly impressed with host Phoebe Waller-Bridge who managed to coordinate her gorgeous Stella McCartney gown with the blooms!

Final touches – the team ensures the flower wall is picture perfect

Bee Carrozzini and Dame Anna Wintour arrive at The 64th Evening Standard Theatre Awards (©Evening Standard Credit: Dave Benett)
 Ralph Fiennes arrives on the red carpet. (©Evening Standard. Pic Credit: Dave Benett)

After a fabulous floral day, we’d like to thank our friends at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards and Theatre Royal Drury Lane and congratulate all the nominees and worthy winners of the evening.  

To go behind the scenes, take a look at our gallery on Pinterest

Find our more about our incredible events team.