Cory Pattak, New York City-based lighting designer and host of in 1: the podcast, sat down with lighting wizard Neil Austin the weekend Harry Potter and the Cursed Child opened on Broadway. Nominated for a Tony Award for his work on Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Austin shares how it has felt to be working on such a cultural phenomenon and when he realized this was to be no ordinary show. He’s also telling us about squeezing light into Christopher Oram’s beautiful yet boxed in set for Hughie and how he created both the sun and the moon in the Park Avenue Armory for Macbeth. Cory and Neil also spend a great deal of time discussing the design industry in the UK and how social programs like the NHS make it easier for younger designers to develop careers as well as the difference between United Scenic Artists, the Association of Lighting Designers, and British Equity. There’s talk about strong British backlight, why good haze is so important, and an important discussion about the #savestagelighting campaign and how the new EU 2020 Lighting Regulations could have a devastating impact on theatrical lighting.
Neil Austin is a lighting designer working internationally on plays, musicals, opera, and dance, and is a Fellow of the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. In 2017, Austin was awarded his second Olivier Award for Best Lighting Design, for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, after winning in 2011 for The White Guard. In 2010, he was awarded the Tony Award for Red, as well as being nominated for Hamlet that same year. He’s been nominated for two Outer Critics awards and four Drama Desk Awards, having won the Drama Desk for Red in 2010. Austin was named one of the 25 Pacesetters on the London Arts Scene by Variety in 2007.