(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.