Lighting Design


Over the last five years I have designed the lighting for over 40 shows.  This page has information about some of these with a few examples of my experiments with photographing theatrical lighting (note, most of these photos have been taken live during a dress or a technical rehearsal and thus the sets or lighting are not quite in their final state).


Serious Money

A whodunnit that loses its way in the frantic pace of 1980's City life.  Alex Eales's set for the Cambridge Arts Theatre consisting of multiple seemlingly floating platforms led to swift scene changes between all the places City life pervades.

"the set was truly excellent" - Varsity


Sinbad the Sailor - Cambridge Footlights Pantomime

Fun pantomime action from Cambridge Footlights in the ADC Theatre.

photos to come


Crop Circles - World Premiere

Salt rising up the water table causes tensions to rise in this verse play set in the arid outback of Australia.  This was the premiere John Kinsella's first play at Churchill's Wolfson Auditorium.

"Kinsella's characters fan out against the skillfully represented vistas of Australia.  Honey gold lighting filters into variations of rose, ochre and a barren, icy blue, echoing the electric metaphors and violently explosive imagery" - Prompt

"This play's seccess begins with its set ... when lit with blue and lavender the stage transformed into the protean fields that dominate the play.  Making economical use of their materials, Philip Clarke and Edward Ratzer (set and lighting designers, repsectively) constructed a set unfeatured enough to accomodate the shifting locations of the scenes and yet consistently suggestive of the central subject: the land" - Varsity


Henry VI - Part 3

Performed in Trinity Great Hall. Lighting had to balance between the trees of the set and the ornate woodwork of the Hall.

"the staging had much to recommend it" - Varsity


The Trial

A flexible set, made of 6 moveable door frames, and rapidly changing moods led to a flexible lighting design for this in-the-round production. Under the technical constraints of the venue, colour scrollers came into their own.

"a production that will move you to delighted applause" - The Cambridge Student
"exceptionally good production" - Varsity



Copyright Varsity Publications Ltd
Copyright Varsity Publications Ltd


Last two photographs are courtesy of Varsity Publications Ltd.


Sherlock Holmes - The Pantomime

Sherlock Holmes has to save the world from the dastardly schemes of Professor Moriarty! Oh yes he can ... oh no he can't... DHA generously sponsored the production with the provision of Digital Light Curtains.

"Sherlock Holmes ... is a success. The show displays ... brilliant lighting and well-designed scenery." - Varsity


Ticklebang

The barren snow covered wastelands of an alien planet form the basis for this surprising love story between an accidental visitor from Earth and an alien from a culture that lives on debris and the scraps of radio and TV that leak out from Earth every day.  CToo venue was transformed from a black-box to a white-box during the short Edinburgh turn-around!






Something Blue

A show set in the dark warm atmosphere of a brothel.  A dominant pinkish hue to the set and lighting contrasted with odd beams of dark blue light to turn the small Little C venue in Edinburgh into the dingy front-room of the establishment (the air conditioning was turned off for good measure too)!

"stylish even in the smallest room on the Fringe" - Scotsman


Another Country

A tale set in a public school earlier this century required a naturalistic approach to lighting while at the same time emphasising the emotions of the play.  This was set in a variety of indoor locations and out on the school's playing fields.

"a classy production" - Cherwell
"a plain white sheet [a most interesting way of describing a cyc!] was used to great effect" - Prompt




The Chairs

A set of all white walls and floor presents many technical challenges to a lighting designer - but also provides an amazing canvas on which colour and contrast can be used for maximum effect.  In this production the lighting follows the tension building through the show as more and more imaginary characters fill the stage.

"Dramatic lighting projected dark shadows onto the white walls as the couple ... climbed step-ladders in preparation for their dramatic finale" - The Cambridge Student









Riders to The Sea (World Premiere) &
The Diary of One Who Disappeared
Opera Double Bill

Riders to the Sea and The Diary of One Who Disappeared provided contrasting atmospheres which needed to be created with the same lighting rig in the Mumford Theatre.  Riders to The Sea was set under the dull gloom of a Northern Isles sky with occasional illumination from peat fires and oil lamps in comparison to The Diary of One Who Disappeared which was a two singer intimate tale of love and passion.

"suitably moody" - Varsity on Riders to the Sea
"maximal use of minimal stage effects completed a production as powerful as the love it portrayed" - Varsity on The Diary of One Who Disappeared


King John

This production of Shakespeare's history became a son et lumiere extravaganza.  A set of a white wall with a rubbish heap in front of it started as a disco (with the ultimately cheesy YMCA being played) and became various locations including throne rooms, a battle ground and a prison through a range of strongly coloured lighting and a soundtrack composed by Paul Walmsley.

"brought to life with a very original and funky set of costumes, slick lighting and the inpsired use of cartoons on the cyclorama" - Varsity


Lux In Tenebris

This was a design with Andrew Murphy for Clare Cellars.  The alcoves along the walls were turned into brothel entrances by stark illumination with red lightbulbs which contrasted with the oppressing blue of the night sky.

"the real star of the show was the atmosphere; the red-lit gloom ... created a perfectly fitting air of seediness" - Varsity


Other photos

Cambridge American Stage Tour - Hamlet

The Jungle Book: A 20-light challenge






Edward Ratzer ear23@cam.ac.uk