Paule Constable And Mark Henderson Discuss The Role Of Lighting Designers Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Nighttime, lighting by Paule Constable (Photo by Joan Marcus)

Paule Constable And Mark Henderson Discuss The Role Of Lighting Designers

Two award-winning British designers—Paule Constable and Mark Henderson—shed light as it were, on the profession of lighting design in an article that appeared in The Guardian the other day, "From War Horse to Wolf Hall: the secret alchemy of stage lighting," as written by Andrew Dickson. The article reminded me how much I like the work of both of these designers, both of whom are eloquent about their work.

“I’m helping control the look of the show, but also telling the story. You create rhythm, pace, move the audience’s focus, control the frame, cut between long shots and close-ups," explains Constable in The Guardian. She has been acclaimed for her outstanding work on such productions as War HorseWolf Hall, and The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Nighttime.

Check out some of Live Design's coverage of Constable's notable work, on Broadway with War Horse and Wolf Hall, and at the opera: Triple Play At The Met.

Les Liaisons Dangereuses, lighting by Mark Henderson (photo by Travis McHale)

I haven't covered Henderson's work in a while it seems, and am remiss for not doing so, as he is a wonderful designer, but way back in 2000, I took a look at some of his transatlantic transfers. He notes in The Guardian article, about the pace of change in terms of technology: “When I started, you had a console with some faders and perhaps a couple of channels. Now you’re free to animate, create amazing patterns, incredible colour variations. It’s almost infinite.”

Read the full article in The Guardian. It's nice to see lighting designers in the spotlight, even though Dickson wonders if it bothers either of them that, despite all their efforts, many people won’t notice what they do. Constable, in the article, insists not: “It’s almost subversive. You can make a show feel different simply by adjusting how it looks, and barely anyone will realise why.”

Henderson seems even more relaxed. “It doesn’t bother me in the slightest.” He laughs. “It’s ironic, really – your job is to be invisible, in a way.”

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