Lighting Design for Theatre

Rule 35’
Community Arts Northwest

Created and performed by women who have experienced the inhumanity of the asylum system, the theme of the play was the impact of detention on women’s emotional and physical well-being.  The play aimed to give the audience an insight into some of the arbitrary practices that take place in immigration and removal centres across Britain.  Audience members were shouted at in foreign languages, led to their seats blindfolded, separated from their friends and instructed to take part in some of the scenes by guards played by former detainees, alongside fellow detainees played by the women. 
The play was widely reported in the press, gaining feature articles in The Guardian Online, The Observer and Manchester Evening News, radio interviews on BBC Radio 4’s PM show, and a feature and interviews on Russia Today TV.

Director: Cheryl Martin
Artists: Magdalen Bartlett, Mahboobeh Rajabi, Nikki Mailer, Yvonne Shelton

‘4 Thoughts’
Northumberland Theatre Company

Four new half-hour plays which toured to rural locations in the North East.

Director: Gillian Hambleton
Designer: Michelle Huitson
Written by: Alison Dobie, Patrick Hughes, Alan Bell and Beccy Smith
Cast: Stewart Howson, Sandra Hunt, Louis Roberts, Sam Gannon, Helen Vinten, Laura Ayres

Photos: Keith Pattison

Northumberland Theatre Company

This dark and magical show toured to community venues across the country, including a week’s residency in Stratford-on-Avon.

Directed by: Gillian Hambleton
Designer: Michelle Huitson
Written by: Mike Kenny
Cast: Nigel Collins, Eleanor Dennison, Umar Ahmed, Sam Gannon, Helen Cooper

Photos: Keith Pattison

Becs Andrews Company

Transmission’ was a design-led interactive installation and contemporary dance piece that explored infectious networks (disease, memes) and how changes at a molecular level can have global consequences. Sound and video was triggered by specific movements (eg: proximity) and displayed immune system information (ie: spine lights) through sensor-embedded costumes.

Lead Artist & Producer: Becs Andrews
Choreography: Simon Birch
Music Composed by: Jon Hughes
Visual Programmer: Phill Tew
Dancers: Polly Motley, Debbi Purtill, James Southward, Isabel Slingerland
Costume Designer: Becs Andrews
Sound Programmer: Dr Tom Mitchell
Electronic Engineering: Seb Madgwick
Lead Scientist: Prof. Mike Brockhurst

“It’s brilliant. Never seen anything like this fusion of light, sound and movement before.” Audience member

A documentary about the making of the production and the full performance is available at

Photos: Chris Nash

Awkward City

Devised by the company, ‘Dissolve’ was inspired by several true accounts of memory loss. The character’s memories were constructed live with the use of sound effects and props, and framed with real-time projected footage. The audience were able to watch her world being constructed and deconstructed around her.  Lighting, staging and props were moved around the actor and the camera.  The design was extremely flexible and all at floor level so it could be adjusted and refocused during the performance.  Both myself and the cameraman were on stage during the performance, visible to the audience and responsible for all the scenic and props movements.  The production was subsequently redeveloped as part of an emerging theatre festival.

Original Production:
Directed by: Amy Lewis
Camera: Jon Plimmer
Performed by: Carla Lewis

Restaged Production:
Directed by: Amy Lewis
Camera: Dilesh Patel
Performed by: Carla Lewis


“Lighting Designer Louise Gregory operates all of her kit at stage level, and provides some beautiful visual effects for both the live and filmed elements.” Katherine Kavanagh



A political and sensual love story told through a dynamic cocktail of physical theatre and performance poetry. The lighting design was inspired by film noir.

Director: Nazli Tabatabai-Khatambakhsh 
Writer: Steven Gaythorpe
Dramaturg: Ben Ayrton
Choreographer: Katie Armstrong
Sound / Music: Ed Carter
Designer: Hannah Roche
Cast: Serena Manteghi, Tarrick Benham, Matt Jamie

“illuminated by Louise Gregory’s tantalising and exotic lighting”


FLOCK is a magical piece that crosses borders of time and place, inspired by the Arab Uprisings of 2011 and the ancient Persian poem The Conference of the Birds. As well as lighting the production I created the illuminated birdcage and the pomegranate, which contained 750 individual red LEDs.

Director: Nazli Tabatabai-Khatambakhsh
Associate Director: Rosie Kellagher
Writer: Steven Gaythorpe
Composer/Musical Director: Mariam Rezaei
Set Designer: Yvette Hawkins
Costume Designer: Emily Stuart
Cast: Christina Berriman Dawson, Ruth Johnson, Carl Kennedy, Rosa Stourac McCreery, Nazli Tabatabai-Khatambakhsh

Leyl el Raqassa’
Claire Barnfather

‘Leyl el Raqassa is a project comprising a carefully crafted programme of workshops, group choreographies and private lessons designed to help belly dancers of all level of experience to improve, or embark upon their very first, solo performance. The course culminates in a small, intimate theatre show, where the participants demonstrate all their new found skills. As well as lighting the show I run a short workshop designed to give an insight into the way that theatrical lighting could enhance the performances. The project has run in 2012 and 2014, and is planned to run again in 2016.  Further information is available from Claire’s website:


This was a cross art form production including elements of aerial and dance.  In order to achieve a specific effect at one moment during the production, I created the new colour “Oubliette Blue” by blending three different gels.

"Reminiscent in some ways of the work of Pina Bausch and of some European (particularly Eastern European) physical theatre, it uses text, dance, music, digital projection, soundscape and mise-en-scene to communicate with the audience, producing some beautiful visual and auditory moments."
British Theatre Guide

Director: Nazli Tabatabai-Khatambakhsh
Writer: Steven Gaythorpe
Choreographer: Nadia Iftkhar
Performers: Nadia Iftkhar, Philippa Vafadari

Rihla: The Journey of Bellydance’
Tarab Dance Company

‘Rihla’ toured theatres across the UK. The show followed a group of dancers developing a new piece, exploring what ‘Belly Dance’ really means, how it is perceived in both Middle-Eastern and Western cultures, and how the interplay of these cultures has helped develop the dance into what it is today. I lit the production and toured with it.

Performers: Claire Barnfather, Heather Charlton, Anna Bisco, Sabrina Hall, Vanessa Clipsham, Nisha Lall, Joanne Miller, Stephanie Jagger, Naomi Howard, Sarah Pulman.

To Freedom’s Cause’
Greater Morpeth Development Trust/Kate Willoughby

Written to commemorate the centenary of the death of Emily Wilding Davison, the suffragette who famously died beneath the hooves of the King’s Horse in 1913, this play toured to a variety of community venues and theatres. 

Director: Jemma Gross
Writer: Kate Willoughby
Designer: Mike Lees
Musical Director: Laurel Swift
Cast: Kate Willoughby, Tim Bennett, Eleanor Dennison, Kay Renner, Sabina Arthur, Hannah Emanuel


Credits include:

I specialise in new writing and contemporary dance in non-traditional venues, including small- and medium-scale touring.  I regularly design for ZENDEH and Northumberland Theatre Company.  I am a Professional Member of the Association of Lighting Designers.

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