“Knight of Illumination” Lighting Design Awards

Clay Paky are pleased to announce the nominations for the ‘Knight of Illumination’ Lighting Design Awards that are to be awarded in association with the ALD and the STLD at the annual ABTT dinner on June 11th 2008.

These awards are being suppored by Clay Paky to recognise the outstanding contribution to live performance and television that is created in the UK and they are unique in honouring work across such a wide range of Rock, theatre, opera and dance and four categories of televised work. Also each distinct area is being judged in a way deemed appropriate by practitioners in their fields.

For the Theatre categories the ALD felt that photos, or even video could not adequately document opera, dance, musical, or drama lighting design. It must be seen in the performance context for which it was created. There is also no way that a group of lighting designers could find time to see enough of the excellent work being produced to be able to fairly judge so we decided to contract a group of professional critics who were seeing performances on a regular basis.

The work that they saw was what determined what was eligible, and as they are roughly seeing at least three or more performances a week we knew that there would be a wide range of possible nominees. The one stipulation was that the lighting designers had to be UK based so those LDs who are not based in the UK along with some others are credited below as favourably mentioned.

THEATRE nominations (in Alphabetical order):

–> for DANCE are:

Lucy Carter for Chroma at the ROH and her work with Random Dance. Her work was remarkable for the quality of light that added so much to the staging.

Tim Mitchell for Hamlet for the Northern Ballet Theatre whose work was cited for its taste and restraint when so much was going on in the piece.

Katharine Williams for I am Falling at the Gate theatre for creating many dramatic spaces in a tiny theatre.

Favourable mention for Jean Kalman for the new Kim Brandstrup piece at the ROH and Jim Ingalls for Mozart Dances for Mark Morris Dance Co. (both not eligible as they are not UK based.)

–> for OPERA are:

Paule Constable for Satyagraha where the lighting gave a dynamic flow that took you from one scene to the other and the light seemed to be emanating from the performers.

Matthew Haskins for his work on ETO’s House on the Moon, which was a community work where the lighting helped bridge the audience and the stage performers and The Sofa/The Departure where the lighting created many different worlds.

Paul Pyant for Minotaur at the ROH ( also just as easily nominated for Lord of the Rings, musical and Speed the Plow and Major Barbara, plays).

Favourable mention for Wayne Dowdeswell for Scottish opera Go Round and Jean Kalman for Death in Venice at the ENO.

–> for DRAMA are:

Paule Constable for Saint Joan at the NT where her work was painterly and apropos and helped to liberate the play with its design. The lighting re-imagined to startling effect how the Olivier could be used. There were also very favourable mentions of her work on War Horse at the NT and Othello at the Donmar Hartley TA Kemp for Artifacts at the Bush where just a simple set of just a Persian carpet was beautifully lit and scenes that were exterior or interior were created with no sense of awkwardness.

Peter Mumford for The Hothouse where he created a strange creepy mood with a tonal palette of sickly green.

Favourable mention to Neil Austin for his Emperor Jones and Phillistines NT and Howard Harrison for Macbeth Chichester and Gielgud and Jean Kalman for Happy Days and The Year of Magical Thinking at the NT.

–> for MUSICALS are:

Neil Austin for Parade at the Donmar. Where he delineated space on a unit set creating different tone and atmosphere for each setting. (also just as easily awarded for Emperor Jones and Philistines, plays).

James Farncombe for The Dysfunctionalz at the Bush, which moved from story-based scenes to concert format in an amazing way for that pub theatre.

Paul Pyant for Lord of the Rings, where he created spectacularly good punctuation that made a complex show look seamless.

Favourable mention to Howell Binkley for Jersey Boys and Ken Posner for Hairspray (both US based).

The panel of critics were Louise Levene, dance critic for the Sunday Telegraph; Ash Khandekar, editor of Opera Now: Michael Coveney, writing for Whatsonstage.com; and convened by David Benedict, UK correspondent for Variety. Rick Fisher observed and advised on behalf of the ALD and reports…

“It was thrilling for me to hear how eloquently the panel spoke of how lighting affected and enriched their appreciation of productions. Having them judge this award as well as having them contribute to the Focus critics column has also had the added benefit of making these critics more thoughtful of lighting’s contribution to performance. This is a great benefit for the future appreciation and recognition of the work of Lighting Designers and the ALD wants to warmly thank Clay Paky for their sponsorship of the Knights of Illumination.”

ROCK nominations (in Alphabetical order):

–> for STAGE are:

Chris Bushell for Amy Winehouse
The Judges said “A nice compact, modern take on a classic pros-arch theatrical, almost Vegas-style, look with the lampshades and glittery drape adding warmth and personality; meets the need for scalability by filling the theatre stages whilst maintaining intimacy when rigged in larger venues. The ‘big band’ look also allows the slick band and BVs to contribute visually as well as musically!”

Jonny Gaskell for Groove Armada
The Judges said “Big, bouncy dance show, lots of VersaTUBEs, moving lights and high energy. Great use of colours and movement and a show totally appropriate to the artist… dynamic, classy, innovative design bounces off the energy of the music with a lot of joie de vivre and makes great use of a combination of video display modules with LED fixtures deployed as part-video, part-lighting backdrop – a non-stop multimedia projection show for the 21st century.”

Rob Sinclair for The Human League
The Judges said “For a medium, Concert Hall sized show, the seamless combination of video and lighting was a great integration and highly innovative, bringing a real additional dimension to the stage.…A completely different take on integrating those very contemporary tools of visual production, media servers, screens and moving-head digital projectors, with lighting –– a moody, retro celebration for the band’s long-time fans. And the content was created by Rob on a “non existent budget” – pretty good going!”

–> for ARENA are:

Baz Halpin for Joe Cocker
The Judges said “Really great example of making an expedient, well thought out rig go a long way, with a huge diversity of looks and ideas….fabulously flexible lighting rig that dealt with scalability for all venue sizes without compromising on the looks….Elegant, versatile, capable of retreating into the background for quieter or solo numbers. ‘Stained glass’ effect very subtle and doesn’t overpower the lighting but allows the focus to be on Joe or the band as a whole.”

Dan Hardiman for Mc Fly
The Judges said “Awesome classic rock largeness with some interesting contemporary twists including intelligent use and integration of video… Some stunning architectural looks which blend well with the video panels give the lighting a sharp, professional feel…Very much the model of the modern arena show, with lighting and video closely integrated to create wide variety of looks.”

Richard Larkum for Kaiser Chiefs
The Judges said “Another big rock style stage, crowned with 5 portrait screens of video giving it a completely different look and edge. Lots of energy, colour and excitement…This seems to have been a complex and well thought out piece of programming, the lighting just felt as though it really was all about the band – you could honestly feel the relationship dynamic between designer and client…. very much a show to jump about to!”

The judges for the Rock and Roll section were industry journalists Louise Stickland, Sarah Rushton-Read and Mike Lethby with Mick Kluczynski acting as chairman.

TELEVISION nominations (in Alphabetical order):

–> for DRAMA are:

Philip Burne for Heartbeat
Judges comments: The dramatic situations were created well while still maintaining the style of the period. Even in small and difficult locations the standards were high.

Ben Smithard for Cranford
Judges comments: A flawless period feel was never over dramatised. Excellent interpretation of candle-light and daylight interiors and night-time exteriors alike left this drama subtle and yet sculptured.

Adam Suschitzky for The Shadow in the North
Judges Comments: Dramatic and high-contrast lighting gave this drama a glossy Hollywood finish.


Dave Davey for Dancing on Ice
Judges comments: The lighting gave this huge production quality and style that changed effortlessly to suit each performance. The use of projection on the ice is nothing short of sensational.

Mark Kenyon for Strictly Come Dancing
Judges comments: A faultless example of attention to lighting faces accompanied by tasteful backdrops using every lighting tool available giving this production excitement and glamour.

Martin Kempton for Al Murray’s Happy Hour
Judges comments: This was a large set beautifully lit in a style that well-suited the programme content, with excellent attention to detail on both guests and audience shots.


Nigel Catmur for Mercury Music Prize
Judges comments: A beautifully crafted design that matched the mood to the range of music that made the viewer feel part of the event, and offered good camera shots wherever they looked.

Al Gurdon for The Brits
Judges comments: This hugely ambitious project succeeded equally in producing drama on an arena scale and moments of pure intimacy.

Chris Rigby for Jools’s Annual Hootenanny
Judges comments: The design suited the 360° nature of the performances and offered a spectacular party version of the well-known ‘Later’ product.

–> for EVENTS are:

Al Gurdon for Royal Variety Performance
Judges comments: The lighting demonstrated a strong collaboration with the design that produced an ambitious range of looks within a limited rehearsal period.

Mike Le Fevre for Newsnight Review Special
Judges comments: A skilled job of lighting that brought a regular studio feature out into a limiting location.

Steve Nolan for Orange Film BAFTAs
Judges comments: The lighting cleverly integrated the rich stage lighting with sumptuous auditorium lighting keeping the event grand yet intimate.

The judges for the Television categories were Martin Kisner – TV Lighting Director with many years of experience at the top of his profession, Jonathan Haswell – BBC director and producer with BBC Classical Music department, and Jon Driscoll – a theatre lighting designer who specialises in creating and realising video graphics in theatrical productions, with the panel being chaired by Bernie Davis – past chairman of the STLD.

‘It was the first time I have chaired a judging panel and I was delighted with the great effort the judges took to study and analyse the entries. Listening to the panel was like attending a master-class in lighting’ The STLD welcomes this initiative by Clay Paky to recognise lighting excellence over such a wide field, and we look forward to seeing this event develop in the future.

Clay Paky would also like to recognise the assistance and support of Durham and Jennie Marenghi on behalf of UK lighting designers across the complete range of disciplines recognised by the Awards and to congratulate Durham on his appointment as Lighting Designer for the London 2012 Handover at the Beijing Olympic Games.


Read other news tagged with:
Skip to toolbar