Show artwork for Lighting Storm Boy
John Batchelor, Tony Briggs and Conor Lowe. Photo by Jeff Busby.

Lighting Storm Boy

Lighting designer Matt Scott explains the concepts and process for his work on Storm Boy.

Award-winning lighting designer Matt Scott reunites with the team behind Jasper Jones to bring Storm Boy to life on stage. He tells us about the kinds of technology being used in his design, and how the lighting evokes a sense of place.

What is the world of this play that you’re creating through light? The big ideas/themes supported by the design?

I guess I am attempting to capture the light quality of the natural environment that is the setting for this play and juxtapose that with the artificial frame that contains that setting. This frame is there to suggest the infinite sense of space of the natural environment, so whilst the function of the light is to pick out the characters in space it should also help enhance this infinite effect. Some of the light sources are also partially visible to the audience which also contributes to the overall theatricality of the framing of the world on stage. 

What are some examples of lighting fixtures/technology you’re using in your design?

The set has a number of apertures built into the top of the side walls to allow light into the box. The fixtures I am using in these positions are ETC Source Four LED profiles that allow me to subtly change the tone and colour of the light throughout the piece. Each fixture contains a 7-colour LED engine as its light source giving me the ability to mix an infinite number of colours to sculpt the objects within the space – quite a revolutionary piece of kit really.

What does the rehearsal process look like for a lighting designer?

It is helpful for me to attend as many run throughs of the whole piece as possible. Often complete runs don’t occur till quite late in the rehearsal phase so I keep my eye on the schedule and attend whenever I can see sections run together. This will often happen at the end of a rehearsal session so I have become quite adept at quietly entering and exiting the rehearsal room so as to not disturb the workflow of others. Getting a sense of how the piece is choreographed in space as it comes together and hearing how the sound elements are being fed into rehearsals is really vital for the lighting designer for working the development of the piece into the lighting design. The rehearsal phase will follow on from months of discussion with other members of the creative and production team, but it is in rehearsal where all those discussions start to become a reality and this has a very big impact on the final execution of the lighting design.

MTC-STORM-BOY-photo-Jeff-Busby_3311.jpgConor Lowe on stage. Photo by Jeff Busby.

Storm Boy plays at Southbank Theatre from 17 June. Book now.

Published on 11 June 2019

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