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Michael Northen Bursary 2013

Michael Northen Bursary 2013

Alex Fernandes, a student at the University of Edinburgh, has won this year’s Michael Northen Bursary (MNB), picking up a £500 cash award at a special presentation at PLASA London.

The Bursary is awarded annually to a student or recent graduate who has demonstrated strong, imaginative and creative lighting designs. It is organised by the Association of Lighting Designers, a professional body representing lighting designers in the live performance industry.

Northen was both a former Chairman and President of the ALD and the first credited Lighting Designer in the UK.

Each year an award of £500 is presented to a young lighting designer who has shown excellence in the field of lighting design. The project must be a performance-based lighting design in or out of the college environment. Two runner-up prizes of £250 each are also presented: an ETC sponsored award, and the ALD-sponsored Francis Reid Award.


£500 Michael Northen Bursary

The Michael Northen Bursary of £500, went to Alex Fernandes, a student at the University of Edinburgh, who also picked up a year’s premium membership to Stage Jobs Pro, and a copy of Michael Northen's autobiography. The judges commented: "Alex’s truly innovative approach to lighting design clearly stood out, and his detailed inspiration-led research and experimentation displayed a very encouraging attitude and future potential.

Alex’s discussion about the importance of his approach and how his decisions clearly do have an affect on audiences’ perceptions, appreciation and ultimately their enjoyment really demonstrated his wider creative approach and attitudes."


£250 ETC Award for runner up

This was awarded to Jamie Platt, who recently graduated from the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama. The judges said: "This was a great demonstration of a well presented and concise entry, with great images and notation, and impressive realisation of his work. The entry really did show a good sense of development, and insight into his process behind each of the designs demonstrated.

It was particularly Jamie’s passion and his own hands-on approach to learning that stood out to the panel. Through his clear and concise lighting plans, and cue synopsis, Jamie displayed exactly what was used, and how his desired results were achieved.

Jamie’s photos clearly demonstrated a clean and particularly stylistic approach, and in particular, he reacted cleverly with the scenic elements he was working with, in order to create some fantastic results."


£250 Francis Reid Award for runner up

This was awarded to Nic Farman, a recent graduate from Rose Bruford. The judges said: "Nic’s portfolio thoroughly demonstrated his great creativity and collaborative attitude to the design process. His sketches, paperwork and photos all demonstrated his clear and concise approach towards his work.

Nic’s use of light, particularly on a bare and empty stage, and with an emphasis on colour and angle, proved most promising for the judges, and demonstrated great sculptural work."

The judges also commended his enthusiasm and great work ethic, demonstrating a good solid CV, with clear professional development and progression since graduating from Rose Bruford last year.

Taking part in the Michael Northen Bursary brings the student’s work to the attention of the experienced lighting designers and other industry professionals on the judging panel.

All the winning portfolios are available to view on the ALD stand.

The award was established in 2000 after Michael received an MBE for his contribution to theatre and lighting design. His work on The Mousetrap can still be seen in the West End today.

The Mousetrap Foundation, a theatre education charity dedicated to providing opportunities for young people to attend West End productions, administers the Bursary fund.

8th October 2013

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