Lumos Maxima! It’s opening weekend for ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ on Broadway so we’re sitting down with a true lighting wizard, Neil Austin! He’s tight lipped about the secrets of the show but he does share with us how it has felt to be working on such a cultural phenomenon and when he realized this was to be no ordinary show. He’s also telling us about squeezing light into Christopher Oram’s beautiful yet boxed in set for ‘Hughie’ and how he created both the Sun and the Moon in the Park Avenue Armory for ‘Macbeth.’ Cory and Neil also spend a great deal of time discussing the design industry in the UK and how social programs like the NHS make it easier for younger designers to develop careers as well as the difference between United Scenic Artists, the Association of Lighting Designers, and British Equity. There’s talk about strong British backlight, why good haze is so important, and an important discussion about the #savestagelighting campaign and how the new EU 2020 Lighting Regulations could have a devastating impact on theatrical lighting. Grab a pint of butterbeer and enjoy this brand new episode!
Neil Austin is a Lighting Designer working internationally on plays, musicals, opera and dance and is a Fellow of the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. His Broadway credits include Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Travesties, Hughie, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Evita, The Seafarer, Red, Hamlet, and Frost Nixon. His extensive UK design credits include Photograph 51 (Coward Theatre, West End), Medea (Almeida Theatre), The Winter’s Tale (Garrick Theatre), Bend it like Beckham (Phoenix Theatre, West End), Macbeth (Young Vic), Shakespeare in Love (Coward Theatre, West End), Assassins (Menier Chocolate Factory), Julius Caesar, The Weir & The Night Alive (Donmar Warehouse), Henry V (Coward Theatre, West End), The Weir (Wyndhams Theatre), Le Corsaire & The Sleeping Beauty (English National Ballet) and many shows at the National Theatre including Three Days in the Country, Our Country’s Good, Rules for Living, The Silver Tassie, The Doctor’s Dilemma, She Stoops to Conquer, The Cherry Orchard, and The White Guard.
Neil’s other US credits include Carousel (Lyric Opera of Chicago), Macbeth (Park Avenue Armory), Josephine and I (Public Theatre), Julius Caesar (St Ann’s Warehouse), The Night Alive (Atlantic Theatre), and The Sunshine Boys (Ahmanson Theatre)
In 2017, Neil was awarded his second Olivier Award for Best Lighting Design, for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, after winning in 2011 for The White Guard. In 2010 he was awarded the Tony Award for Red, as well as being nominated for Hamlet that same year. He’s been nominated for 2 Outer Critics awards and 4 Drama Desk Awards, having won the Drama Desk for Red in 2010. Neil was named as one of the 25 Pacesetters on the London Arts Scene by Variety in 2007.