Award-winning lighting designer Paule is critically acclaimed across the world for her work
Award-winning lighting designer Paule Constable is critically acclaimed across the world for her work, and has raised awareness of women in technical roles in theatre. She received a Tony Award in 2011 for her work with War Horse, and she’s just been awarded her fourth Olivier Award, this one for her light design of the National Theatre’s production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.
It was her time at Goldsmiths that sparked the interest in lighting design. “I had done a little theatre at school but didn’t really understand it was an option as a career, and I had absolutely no idea what lighting design was. It was Goldsmiths that led me to discover it, and realise how much it was the perfect career for me. The George Wood was a fabulous space to make work in – it forced you to be rigorous but was also small enough that you could make changes and follow your nose. And the were great at encouraging you to look outwards, to see what was going on outside college as well as inside. My course gave me an ability to debate and unpick and collaborate, which has been vital in my career. I loved the way the staff didn’t spoon feed you but encouraged and steered.”
As well as working with National Theatre, Paule has designed for the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Donmar Warehouse and the Royal Court. She has also worked on many opera productions including the Royal Opera, English National Opera, Glyndebourne, Opera North, Scottish Opera and Welsh National Opera.
As one of the few female lighting designers in the industry, Paule has been something of a trailblazer. “I am proud to have raised awareness of women in technical roles in theatre, although we remain woefully under represented.”
It’s a job which clearly gives Paule immense satisfaction as she says: “The thing I enjoy most about my job is the collaboration. I love making live work that really tells a story. That visually supports the piece. And where the sum of the parts is so much greater than the individual contributions, it can be thrilling. I love theatre and opera, and trying to make the air between the viewer and the performer resonate.”