The design for The Winter's Tale was one of the simplest I've done, both for artistic reasons, and due to the fact that the particular venue the production was in was extremely limited on lantern stock. The director wanted to create a very extreme impression of a cold, barren landscape throughout the piece to really oversell the winter in Bohemia setting. Two fresnels in LEE202 provided a very dim frontlight for visibility throughout, whilst most of the atmospheric lighting came from four LED Par64s in a primary blue providing backlight. The result was an exceptionally bleak landscape, with the blue LEDs creating some gorgeous silhouettes around characters. This version of Shakespeare's play was condensed to include a narrator, who by contrast was lit by a single spotlight in LEE764 to establish a warm, homely feeling to the narrator's chair, as if sat by a fireside telling the story to an audience gathered around his feet. This was all topped off by  a blend of white and blue LEDs focussed onto a black cloth covered in glitter which hung from the back wall. The reflections from the glitter allowed for a magical starry night backdrop, as well as some beautiful transition scenes.


'Clever moments of lighting [...] marked key emotional crises'

Daily Info


'Warm lighting for most of the play contributed to that story-time atmosphere, and a switch to cold lighting helped to demarcate Leontes’ jealous asides'

Oxford Opening Night


Production by Cosmic Arts


Director - Agnes Pethers

Set Design - Niamh Calway

Costume Design - Issy Davies


Photographs by Ben Darwent


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