(2016 March) Ant McCarthy will be lighting up Oliver! in April.
What was your first experience of theatre?
Longfellow’s “Song of Hiawatha” at a school open evening. I was 7 years old and really proud that I was allowed to change the slides on the overhead projector. It seems that I was born a techie.
Your website with all the shows you have worked on is a joy to look through! You clearly have a passion for lighting! How did you become interested in lighting and what is it that you enjoy about it?
Although I dabbled a bit in London, it was helping John Brigg with the lighting for “Showbitz” that got me hooked. Since then I have had too much fun creating spaces for
characters to inhabit. A surreal bedroom or a 1930’s Jazz Club, an imagined beach or a London underground train, they are all possible with a bit of “light” thought. I would be delighted if anyone would send photos they have from shows I have lit so I can add them to the website (https://aomccarthy.wordpress.com) – I’ll include a photo credit naturally!
Who/what has inspired you?
Everyone who has the guts to stand on stage in front of a paying audience. You are all awesome!
What is the process you work through to light a show such as Oliver!?
The process is amazing, fascinating and frustrating in equal measure. I start by talking with the Director and reading the script thoroughly to find out what needs to be done. Then I move on to the design. What equipment is needed and where to put it in the theatre. Setting this out on paper helps to fine tune any bits that don’t quite work on the first pass. Then it’s into the theatre space for a day of rigging lights and connecting cables. Programming the cues into the lighting board and testing everything ready for the technical rehearsal. And finally, run the performance. This involves cue sheets, a script, some intuition, and quite a bit of nervous excitement.
What are the challenges facing you for lighting Oliver!?
The Kinneksbond is a relatively new and well-equipped space, so the only challenge will be getting the design off of the plan and into the air. It’s a good thing that I have a plan!
Is there a particular type of show you would really like to work on?
I’m a big fan of musicals, so “Oliver!” is exactly the kind of show for me. And pantomime. I’m already looking forward to lighting two different shows in January 2017: one is “Cinderella” which will be performed in the Auderghem Cultural Centre, Brussels by the English Comedy Club in Brussels (book to avoid disappointment! - https://ecc.theatreinbrussels.com) and the other in the pipeline is with Two Shades of Blue Productions in the Chateau de Bettembourg.