Richard Pilbrow book cover

Quotes - Books

Quotes - Production

Quotes - Lighting Design

Quotes - Theatre Design

"You have made a major contribution to the world of theater design, adroitly shaping and enhancing the entire experience of performance."

Hugh Hardy, FAIA Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer Associates December 1997

"We have a good thing going with Theatre Projects. They are bright and knowledgeable, and they mesh with us very well"

Cesar Pelli, FAIA Cesar Pelli Associates

Jack Singer Concert Hall, Calgary

“The best music hall in the Western Hemisphere.”

Harold Charles Schonberg. New York Times

Seiji Ozawa Concert Hall, Tanglewood, Lenox, MA

"Theatre Projects gave us wonderful ideas about how to make the space very intimate by making the balconies tight and low as possible, by making the building as snug as we could."

William Rawn, Architect

Kimmel Center, Philadelphia

“Conceiving and executing this universally acclaimed building has been your work. You have been the Center's brains, heart and guts. Bravo for your vision. Bravo for your courage. Bravo for your excellence.”

Leslie Anne Miller, President

"Your belief in what a center like ours ought to be helped us carry the day when a less visionary approach seemed to be the most expedient. Because of your willingness to stand by your ideal, we Philadelphians are in your debt. I simply cannot thank you enough"

Donald L. Haskin, V.P. External Affairs, Regional Performing Arts Center

Chicago Shakespeare Theatre

"I do love the intimacy that blends with that universal cosmic landscape.  It is simply perfect for Shakespeare."

Barbara Gaines, Artistic Director, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre. November 1999

"One of the best, if not the best Shakespeare space in the world."

Sir Peter Hall, The Peter Hall Company

January 2000

Winnenstad Theater - Portland Center for the Performing Arts

"My favorite place in town to see a show. You immediately become a less an observer and more part of the process. It's like a jolt of energy that connects you to what's onstage. Theater should be an active art."

Bob Hicks The Oregonian Feb 19th 1992

Actors Theatre Louisville, KY

"Theatre Projects has been receptive to our needs.  They made it a point to design for us.  What we're going to have is a 21st Century arena theatre - an intimate space that focuses primarily on the relationship of actor and audience.”

Chris Wineman, Theatre Development Director Actors Theatre Louisville, KY

University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music

"This wonderful theater will serve us in so many ways in the future.  Thank you."

Robert J. Werner

Dean, University of Cincinnati

College-Conservatory of Music

February 2000

The Fine Arts Center at St. George’s School

"Once again, Theatre Projects has exceeded my expectations."

Norris Strawbridge Principal Sasaki Associates, Inc. December 1999

Moores School of Music, University of Houston

"You have designed an absolutely beautiful theatre/concert hall space for us.  It has exactly the intimacy you described as your objective when you met with out committee.  We are thrilled.  Thank you!"

David Tomatz, Director, Moores School of Music, University of Houston. February 1997

Geary Theatre, San Francisco

"The Geary is a superb piece of work, a 1910 theatre confidently ready to face the next century."

Lighting & Sound International on the Geary Theatre, San Francisco

Belk Theatre, North Carolina Blumenthal Performing Arts Center, Charlotte, NC

"When you sit in the audience and close your eyes, you might as well be sitting on the stage with the musicians."

Leo Driehuys, Music Director, Charlotte Symphony

"The Blumenthal gave up 600 extra seats, but the quality of the total experience – the better acoustics, more comfortable seats, easier parking, more attractive theater – is worth it. "

Tony Brown, Theater critic, The Charlotte Observer, May 13, 1998

The Booth Theatre, 400-seat theatre North Carolina Blumenthal PAC

"I think back to those planning meetings in 1984, and getting my feelings known.  They fulfilled almost every one of those wants."

Mark Woods, Artistic Director, Charlotte Rep

Steppenwolf Theatre, Chicago

"Extraordinarily intimate 500 seat mainstage is an unqualified hit."

Chicago Sun Times April 1991

"The spaces encourage the easy flow of energy between actor and audience.  The Steppenwolf ensemble was at long last home."

Dr. Frank Galati Professor of Performance Studies, Associate Director, Goodman Theatre, Member, Steppenwolf Ensemble, April 1991

“The hallmark of Theatre Projects' style is new or better solutions.”

The Stage, London, England

Olivier Theatre, Royal National Theatre, London

“The National is the most advanced package of technological wonders yet assembled under one roof.”

Jack Kroll, Newsweek

“A marvel of sophisticated technology and congenial amenity for actors and audience alike”

Time Magazine

"There are few theatres in the world that lift the heart and challenge the spirit in quite the way that the Olivier does."

Richard Eyre, Director RNT

Cottesloe Theatre, RNT, London

"Beyond argument that the Cottesloe is the most successful space of the NT's three auditorium. It combines the characteristics most sought by actors and directors: intimacy, good acoustics, lack of pretension, and flexibility of staging. Everything about the space is in proportion to the human scale. Nothing distracts, and everything allows the imagination to breathe: a black box made for magic. It came through exemplary collaboration."

Richard Eyre, Director RNT

"Undoubtedly one of the great spaces among contemporary theatres."

Nick Omerod, Director

"The Cottesloe is the beating heart of the National Theatre"

Ronnie Mulryne & Margaret Shewring, The Cottesloe at the National

Derngate Centre Northampton

'The dawn of a new age of entertainment architecture'

Architects Journal, England

Wilde Theatre, Bracknell, England

'Theatre that is a pointer to the twenty-first century'

Architects Journal, England

Glyndebourne Opera House

'The triumph of the auditorium is that it does provide an intense feeling of contact between the stage and tiered wall of expectant faces that make up the audience.'

Colin Amery, Perspectives April 1994

Winspear Opera House, Dallas

The international consultants, Theatre Projects, were key to the whole scheme, having recommended the creation of Dallas's arts district. They imagined an American opera house designed for the needs of 21st-century performance, but inspired by the European horseshoe form. The result is a steeply raked auditorium, with audience and performers unusually close together; the acoustics are said to be superb.

The Independant 10.23.09

“London has the best theatre, and Broadway used to have the best theatre technicians. Now I suspect we have the best of both worlds, and much of this reputation is down to one of our truly great unsung heroes: the prodigious Pilbrow.

Michael Coveney -

Lionel Bart’s BLITZ!

"A miracle of theatrical craft"

Illustrated London News 1962

AS YOU LIKE IT. RSC Vanessa Redgrave

"Delicate, accurate lighting"

Daily Express 1962


"Ingeniously lit and projected"

Financial Times, 1961


"Immeasurably enhanced by the ingenious lighting. Mr Pilbrow now seems to light every play in London, and this is the moment to say that he is doing a brilliant job"

Felix Barker, Evening News, 1963

BRAND, 59 Theatre Company

"Wonderfully suggested by the lighting"

Sunday Telegraph, 1959

RICHARD II Old Vic Theatre

"Lighting beyond praise"

John O’London, 1959

LOVE’S LABOUR’S LOST. Regent’s Park 1962

“The beauty of Richard Pilbrow’s lighting . . .”

Bamber Gasgoine, Spectator


“Robin Wagner and lighting designer Richard Pilbrow create a New York City of expressionistic urban beauty”

Washington Post 4.28.1997

CANDIDA The Irish Rep. 2010

Richard Pilbrow's exquisite lighting design.

Theatremania, 2010

BUSKER ALLEY Fair Park Dallas

"Pilbrow, as always, has lit the show to perfection."

Charles Marowitz


Richard Pilbrow's lush lighting design is apropos and vivid.

Seattle Post Intelligencer 1999


Drenched by Richard Pilbrow in the gold of candlelight and the silvery white of moonbeams.

New York Times 1991

HEARTBREAK HOUSE. National Theatre at the Old Vic. 1975

“A feat of lighting by Richard Pilbrow which is in itself an act of creative art.”

Harold Hobson. Sunday Times.

MOLLY SWEENEY The Irish Rep. 2011

“Lit with discreet perfection by Richard Pilbrow and Michael Gottlieb”

Wall Street Journal

THE LIFE Belasco Theatre NYC 2011

“Richard Pilbrow’s lighting is beautifully unnoticeable except when you look at it, and then it’s always just being beautifully appropriate”

Clive Barnes, New York Post


“If there is a standout performance it’s that of lighting designer Richard Pilbrow.His blue-green silvery riches make the Athenian woods appear fresh. And his ashen palette in “Measure” beautifully heightens a morally complex play”

Michael Philips, LA Times

Design is the one field in which the West End proper still hobbles after the subsidised arm of the theatre. There are, of course, notable exceptions: Richard Pilbrow for one, (whose company are lighting consultants to the National Theatre)—remember his frost-nipped hunting scene, all done with lights,on an otherwise undistinguished set for JORROCKS,; and his mellow afternoons, his stray shafts of sunlight, which did as much as anything else to conjure up the heady sexuality of a girls’ school in MISS JEAN BRODIE.”

Hilary Spurling, Spectator 1967.

OH! CALCUTTA! Roundhouse. 1970

“Brilliant lighting by Richard Pilbrow”

Peter Lewis. Daily Mail

“Exquisitely lit by Richard Pilbrow”

Harold Hobson, Sunday Times.


“Richard Pilbrow’s lighting can turn a coin into an asteroid and an idea into an apparition.”

Jack Kroll, Newsweek

THE ROTHSHILDS. New York. 1970

Richard Pilbrow’s lighting is good to the last beam.”

John Simon.

SHOW BOAT London 1998

Lighting designer Richard Pilbrow works sheer magic. His evocation of water is stunning and the night sky he creates for romance on the upper deck of the Cotton Blossom is perfection.

Justin Somper. What'


"Oh yes, it’s a big booming hit"

Herbert Kretzmer, Daily Express, 1963


"A work of art"

B.A.Young, Financial Times, 1968


"Brilliant . . . pivotal play . . . you can feel the theatre changing direction"

Ronald Bryden, The Observer, 1969


"One of the most exciting dramatists we have"

Irving Wardle, The Times, 1970


"A radiant Musical"

Herbert Kretzmer, Daily Express, 1966

RICHARD II with Ian McKellen

"One of the great performances of our time"

B.A.Young, Financial Times

"Deserves the rapture"

Harold Hobson, The Sunday Times, 1970

EDWARDII with Ian McKellen

"Do not miss it on any account"

Philip hope-Wallace, Guardian, 1970


"The most exciting theatre London has seen since the Globe"

Ronald Bryden, The Observer, 1970


"A ray of light on the lunar landscape of the West End"

Frank Marcus, Sunday Telegraph, 1969


"Rare event . . . brilliant play brilliantly acted"

Herbert Kretzmer, Daily Express, 1964


"A rollicking, razzmatazz new musical"

Northern Daily Telegraph, 1970

The prime thing about Richard Pilbrow is that he’s a marvellous encourager - I have rarely seen him with a low expression, or a very depressed look - he’s a giver, and he’s marvellous at making one think that things are all right, even perhaps when they’re not.”

Judi Dench 1975 Radio Times

'A Lively Theatre' American Theatre Magazine

“Learn from the design/consulting guru how theater spaces have steadily evolved from largely impersonal auditoriums to intimate venues that capitalize heavily on the actor/audience dynamic.”

Stage Directions 8.1.2002

STAGE LIGHTING - 1970/1979/1991

“This publication is mandatory and indeed enjoyable reading.”

Play and Players

“One of the truly outstanding books on theatrical lighting”

Choice, USA


“Richard Pilbrow is one of the world’s leading lighting designers and has probably had a greater influence on the design of post-war theatre buildings than any other individual. A modern and wide-ranging approach to stage lighting. This is the cutting edge book on theatre lighting no theatre technician should be without.”

Geoffrey Joyce, The Stage

“Both useful and inspirational. Highly recommended.”

Stage Directions

'If you believe in learning from pioneers with pedigree, Richard Pilbrow is your man. For the aspiring lighting designer, the wealth of knowledge and the insight into this strange profession are invaluable'


“Overall triumph. If you are involved in lighting in any way, buy it. If you are thinking lighting might be for you, buy it and get some idea of hoew, and why, from a  master who has inspired many.”

Rob Halliday, Light and Sound International

“You’ll never find a richer repository of lighting techniques, plots, forms, anecdotes, philosophy and history. Very current, without losing sight of the artistry of lighting. A must if you’re at all serious about becoming a better designer.”

The Lighting Network

“The best book on theatre lighting anywhere. One of my favorite books of all time. This is a must, not only for lighting people, but also directors and producers. This book endeavors to emphasize the 'art' of lighting, and not just the craft.”

Amazon customer

“You will never find a more comprehensive single source of those lighting ideas and techniques. Don't read the book because you have to. Read the book because it will make you a better designer.”

Amazon customer

“It’s truly wonderful. I think the New York Times Book Review should do a piece on “The Life”. Thank you for giving the industry this wonderful gift.”

Steve Terry, Production Arts.


“This book helped me make the decision to go for lighting design as a career. Its the only lighting book I have found that one can enjoy reading again and again.”

Paul, an Amazon Customer

If you are in lighting you must read this book.. I would easily say this is one of the top 5 books on Theatrical and Concert Lighting Design.”

Amazon customer

“The new ‘Bible’ of stage lighting. This hugely comprehensive book by one of the most respected lighting designers in the world.”

Plasa Technical Book Service

A seriously big book. This utterly comprehensive treatise on the world of stage lighting. It’s good to have a book that speaks like Richard’s daughter Daisy, in a “wondrous mid-Atlantic tongue.” Superb color pictures of great lighting . . . like the author, stands for the best in stage lighting.”

Jim Laws, Focus, the magazine for the Association of Lighting Designers.

'Comprehensive, readable and inspiring... Pilbrow's great knowledge and practical experience shine out from every page'

“The best stage lighting book on the market.”

Robert Bryan, TCI


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