Making The Sunlight played at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, directed by Simon Godwin. It was commissioned by the Leverhulme Trust to commemorate the life and works of Lord Leverhulme, in particular his contribution to arts and education. It was performed by RADA students, with dance contributions from other academies supported by the Leverhulme Trust, such as the London School of Contemporary Dance, the London Studio Centre and the Royal Ballet School.
Programme entry: The first half of this evening's performance deals with a few of the many events and achievements of Leverhulme’s rich and varied life - the phenomenal rise of Sunlight Soap; the creation of Britain’s most famous model village; the libel case which proved his reputation as spotless as his laundry. Despite the biographies, the character of Leverhulme himself seems enigmatic and contradictory, although many unusual details emerge about the enlightened entrepreneur– the roof he had specially constructed to leave his bed partly open to the elements; the battered and patched concertina bag which he insisted went with him around the world.
The second half focuses on the work of the Leverhulme Trust, which has supported all of the arts institutions contributing to the evening’s performance. We have tried to give an idea of the scope of the Trust, which funds arts and sciences, institutions and individuals, artists and academics alike. Again, all our examples are genuine - it has financed research into everything from children’s laughter to eclipsing stars and beneficiaries range from a Welsh miner investigating coal to Richard Attenborough for his RADA training.
‘Making The Sunlight’ was the expression used to describe the top secret manufacturing process, conducted in the steaming vats of the biggest soapery in the world. Our piece of Sunlight blends some very different ingredients – classical music and big band jazz; musical theatre and drama; ballet, contemporary dance and a film about a dog. No doubt Leverhulme himself, with his great diversity of interests, would have approved of such a bubbling melting-pot.