Richard Pilbrow

Lighting Designer

Richard Pilbrow is one of the world’s leading theatre design consultants, a theatre, film and television producer, and an author and stage lighting designer. He founded Theatre Projects in London in 1957, and was a pioneer of modern stage lighting in Britain. He was the first British lighting designer to design the lighting for a Broadway musical, Zorba. On Broadway he was lighting designer for Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, The Rothschilds, Four Baboons Adoring The Sun, the Hal Prince revival of Show Boat on Broadway, in Toronto and London, and the Cy Coleman musical The Life. He was lighting designer for Our Town on Broadway with Paul Newman, Sir Peter Hall’s The Magic Flute for the Los Angeles, Seattle and Washington Operas and the 1999 Shakespeare Season at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles. In 2007/8 Richard was lighting designer, with Dawn Chiang, for American Ballet Theatre’s Sleeping Beauty at the Metropolitan Opera, and A Tale of Two Cities at the Hirschfeld Theatre. In 2010 for the Irish Repertory Theatre, Richard lit Candida, and in 2011, with Michael Gottlieb, Brian Friel’s Molly Sweeney and Dancing at Lughnasa.

Under his leadership, Theatre Projects Consultants has become the pre-eminent theatre consulting organization in the world, with over 1200 projects in 70 countries to its credit. Pilbrow was chosen by Laurence Olivier to be lighting designer and then theatre consultant to the National Theatre of Great Britain. He was also consultant to the Royal Shakespeare Company at the Barbican Theatre, the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, and many other significant arts buildings in North America, Europe, Hong Kong, China and the Middle East.

In 1970 his book, Stage Lighting, became a standard international text that has also been published in China. A second book, Stage Lighting Design – the Art, the Craft, the Life, was published in 1997. In 2011, Richard completed A Theatre Project – A Backstage Adventure, in both print and e-book formats, about which UK theatre critic Michael Coveney wrote, “Huge and superbly illustrated. It is an absolute joy to read . . . a history of theatre from an entirely new and fresh perspective.”

Image © AL HIRSCHFELD, reproduced by arrangement with Hirschfeld’s exclusive representative, the MARGO FEIDEN GALLERIES LTD, NEW YORK.