(Imogen Russell Williams's Q&A with Mark Henderson appeared in the Guardian on June 16.)

Theatre masterclass: Lighting designer Mark Henderson

Actors and sets might steal the show – but only if they're well lit. Award-winner Mark Henderson shares some illuminating thoughts on his craft

When did you decide to be a lighting designer?

I sort of fell into it. I started out as a lighting technician, was asked to do a little bit of design, and carried on from there.

Where did you learn your profession?

The design part of it? As I went along – on the job. I started as a technician in my home town in Nottinghamshire, and then I moved to Opera North, where I made the transition from technician to designer.

What was your breakthrough production?

Probably one of the first ones that I did. It was at the Royal Exchange in Manchester, a play called Lady from the Sea, and that was my first real, serious, piece of design. Then I realised that design was probably actually quite a good thing to do.

Favourite part of the job?

I like the creative process, working with clever and talented people. I like the camaraderie. My favourite and most hated time is the technical rehearsal, when it's all frantically put together – that's the most creative time, but also the most painful, because it's so pressurised. Either it all comes together or it completely falls apart.

(Read more)

http://www.guardian.co.uk/stage/2009/jun/16/theatre-lighting-designer-mark-henderson

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