Richard Stuart - Theatre Consultant


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Richard commenced his professional career in theatre in New Zealand touring as electrician with J C Williamsons on numerous plays and musicals including Godspell, Hair, and Jesus Christ Superstar. He toured New Zealand with Michael Edgley’s tours of 35 Stars of the Kirov Ballet, The Kwang Chow Acrobats and The Scottish Ballet with Ivan Nagy and Dame Margot Fonteyn.

He transferred to Melbourne in 1974 to the Firm’s Comedy Theatre, working on all productions which played the JCW theatres and was production electrician for the productions of A Chorus Line, The Day After The Fair with Deborah Kerr, The Bear and The Human Voice with Liv Ulman, The Two Ronnies, Annie, Peter Allen’s Up in One, Dracula and numerous other JCW shows.

steel girders In 1976 he joined Ballet Victoria as Technical Director for their Panov Petrouchka tour recreating lighting by William Akers throughout Australia and New Zealand. He then spent two years in Perth at His Majesty’s Theatre where he lit many operas, ballets and musical productions for local companies followed by three years touring as Head Electrician with The Australian Ballet .

The Australian Ballet

With The Australian Ballet, Richard devised special lighting effects for new productions including The Nutcracker, The Tales of Hoffmann, The Sentimental Bloke, Equus and The Sleeping Beauty which opened the company’s new Melbourne home, the State Theatre of the Victorian Arts Centre in 1984, for which he designed the company’s standard lighting rig which is still in use today. He worked on television productions of ballets including Swan Lake and The Sleeping Beauty and recreated lighting for the outdoor staging of Swan Lake at the Melbourne Myer Music Bowl and in Sydney at the Domain for over 100,000 people. On tour for the Dancers Company, the Australian Ballet’s second company, he recreated lighting for Giselle, Swan Lake and contemporary works throughout regional Australia.

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The Melbourne Festival

In 1986 Richard joined the Melbourne International Festival of the Arts as Technical Manager, responsible for the technical staging of seven festivals showcasing the worlds best opera, music, dance and drama together with a large outdoor events programme and dramatic outdoor lighting displays and was Technical Director for the Melbourne Festival productions and tours of Porgy and Bess and The Fall of Singapore.

His lighting designs include the national tour of Aren’t We All? with Rex Harrison and Claudette Colbert, Barry Creyton’s play Double Act, the national tour of Boswell for the Defence starring Leo McKern, Twilight at Mitchelton with Dame Kiri Te Kanawa for the Victoria State Opera, opening and closing outdoor events at Parliament House for the 1988 Canberra Festival, Neil Simon’s Rumors, the national tour of A Song to Sing O starring Dennis Olsen and was lighting supervisor for the 1991/92 tour of The Wizard of Oz as well as numerous large indoor and outdoor special events.

Queensland Performing Arts Centre

He took up the position as Executive Manager, Production Services with the Queensland Performing Arts Centre in 1992 and worked closely with the state government’s architectural team on the design and construction of Stage V, the 850 seat Playhouse Theatre opened in 1998 to complete the original design vision for the Queensland Performing Arts Centre.

For the Queensland Performing Arts Centre Richard supervised the staging of all productions at the Centre, produced the Contemporary Dance Program for the inaugural 1996 and 1998 Brisbane Festivals, was Technical Director for the national tour of The Secret Garden, recreated Tharon Musser’s Tony award lighting design for the 1994 national tour of A Chorus Line and has lit numerous concerts and special events including spectacular outdoor lighting displays on the walls of the Performing Arts Centre. In 1999 he lit the touring arena production of the English National Ballet’s Swan Lake in Hong Kong and Australia for Edgley International.

In 2004 Richard was appointed to the position of Technical Director at the iconic Sydney Opera House where he was closely involved in the conceptual design development scheme for refurbishment of the Opera Theatre.

As well as lighting designs for theatre and special events, Richard now undertakes independent theatre consultancy and project assignments.