The Strand has been lit up for the first time with the switching on of its Christmas lights this evening. The milestone event comes 137 years after Northbank became the first area in London to benefit from electric street lighting.
The lights were switched on by the cast of MAMMA MIA! at St Mary Le Strand Church this evening. With the ice rink at Somerset House opening on 18 November, The Snowman at The Peacock Theatre kicking off on 25 November and the Christmas Tree in Trafalgar Square going up on 3 December, Northbank is shaping up to be London’s ultimate Christmas venue this holiday season.
Ruth Duston, CEO of Northbank BID, commented: “This is a landmark event for the Northbank. The Strand is a street rich in history and it is a pleasure to be adding to its heritage with the first Christmas lights. We hope these lights will provide a focal point for Londoners in the run up to Christmas and create a real festive atmosphere in the area.”
The cast of MAMMA MIA! sang a medley at the event, led from the piano by Musical Director Marcus Savage. The London production of MAMMA MIA! is based at the Novello Theatre on the Northbank, and since its premiere in 1999 has been seen by over 8 million people in London.
Philip Effemey, the General Manager of MAMMA MIA!, commented: “We were delighted to be asked to switch on the Strand’s Christmas lights. Our production has been a part of Northbank since we moved to the Novello in 2012 and our audiences will be able to enjoy the festive atmosphere these lights will create as they head to MAMMA MIA!.”
The lights will be switched on daily at 4pm from today until the 5th January 2016.
The Northbank Business Improvement District (BID) is the largest BID in London, and includes Aldwych, Trafalgar Square, Covent Garden, the Strand and Embankment.