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Theatres and cinemas – theatre lighting designers recognised at Knight of Illumination Awards

Andrew Brister 19 September 2012

The fifth Knight of Illumination Awards were announced at a glittering ceremony in London last week. TFA looks at some of the outstanding achievements in theatre lighting design. The Knight of Illumination Awards, organised by the Society of Television, Lighting and Design (STLD), the Association of Lighting Designers (ALD) and Clay Paky, provide public recognition for outstanding achievements in lighting design by designers working on productions in the UK, in a number of professional areas. At the same time, the Awards forge closer ties between the world of lighting design and the lighting industry as a whole. The STLD and the ALD regard the professional personality of the lighting sesigner as a “Knight of Illumination”, a slightly romantic and generous character, always ready to offer and defend values of integrity and professionalism in the world in which he, or she, operates. And the “Knights of Illumination” offer their values with their lighting sword in hand, a simple metaphor of the “automated light” tool put at their disposal by the lighting industry. The Awards for The Knight of the Illumination are nominated and judged by a panel of professional reviewers working in the specific categories, selected and coordinated entirely by STLD and ALD. These two British associations of lighting designers ensure that these Awards go to recipients showing professionalism and integrity of lighting design each year. The fifth Knight of Illumination Awards were announced at a glittering ceremony in London last week, which saw lighting designer Neil Austin win an award for his lighting of Sheffield Theatres’ Christmas production of Stephen Sondheim’s comedy musical Company, which took to the Crucible stage earlier this year (pictured, top). Up against Mark Henderson for Sweeney Todd at the Chichester Festival Theatre and Bruno Poet for Coram Boy at Bristol’s Colston Hall, Neil Austin won the Theatre Musicals lighting award for his atmospheric lighting of Company, which starred Sheffield Theatres’ artistic director and Olivier award-winner Daniel Evans in the lead role of Robert. Speaking about Neil’s success at the coveted awards, Daniel Evans said: “Neil is an extraordinary artist and we are extremely proud of this achievement. His lighting designs are always evocative, daring and exciting – and his work on Company was exemplary. The floor lighting alone made everyone want to dance in a 70s disco.”@page_break@
In the Theatre Dance section, David Finn was victorious for his lighting for the Royal Ballet’s production of Sweet Violets (above). He saw off stiff competition from Lucy Carter in another Royal Ballet production, Carbon Life, and Guy Hoare for his lighting design for Linbury Studios’ The Metamorphosis. Howard Harrison won the Theatre Drama award for his lighting design for The Donmar Warehouse’s production of Anna Christie. Also nominated were James Farncombe for The Duchess of Malfi at The Old Vic and David Plater for Richard II, again at the Donmar Warehouse.

DM Thomas was the winner in the Theatre Opera section for Suor Angelica at the Royal Opera House (left). Also nominated were Jean Kalman for the design for Eugene Onegin at the English National Opera and Adam Silverman for Opera’s North’s production of Norma.


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