New audio technology and venue flexibility came to the fore when Troxy hosted two of the most influential speakers of the 21st Century

Date: Tuesday, 3 September
Venue: Troxy, Limehouse, East London
Event: Richard Dawkins and Ricky Gervais in Conversation

Scientist and author Richard Dawkins and comedian and award show host Ricky Gervais appeared on stage together and treated a sold-out audience to some inspiring conversation and challenging debate in the art-deco setting of Troxy, which was laid out in its theatre configuration to allow as many people as possible to attend.

Demand for tickets was high, so the standing area was cleared for extra seating. Every spot was sold, meaning there were more than 2,000 people present to hear the two passionate atheists take on controversial topics in an unscripted conversation which showcased their individual abilities to ruffle feathers.

The Troxy team are familiar with hosting ‘evening with’-style events having welcomed Sir Richard Branson and Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson in the past two years.

To allow the focus to be on Richard and Ricky, the stage set was kept simple with the venue’s giant main screen ensuring everyone in both tiers had a great view of the participants.

Sensitive lighting was used to illuminate the art deco pillars which frame the stage and Troxy’s new JBL VTX A12 sound system offered crystal clear sound. When the line array system was installed in March 2019, Troxy became the first UK venue to make the most of the technology. The system minimises the minor distortion which can often plague speaking events at larger venues, as well as being streamlined enough to be discreet.

Troxy’s Wi-Fi came into its own on the night, as people were able to share their favourite moments from the conversation quickly and easily on social media.

Ricky was presented with the Richard Dawkins Award during the evening, an annual honour given to someone in recognition of their work promoting atheism. Ricky joined previous winners including British author and actor Stephen Fry, US talk show host Bill Maher and author and journalist Christopher Hitchens.

To help illustrate the history of the award, Troxy’s multiple presentation screens were used to display quotes from previous winners.

The whole occasion was recorded so that people who had not been able to get their hands on the much-in-demand tickets were able to watch it in full later.

The event, held on Tuesday 3 September, was hosted by psychologist and author Richard Wiseman and presented by the Center for Inquiry, a global organisation which promotes science and reason.