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LIPA grad wins top lighting award

Wednesday 01 February 2023

LIPA grad wins top lighting award

A Theatre & Performance Technology graduate at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA) has won one of the lighting industry’s top awards for student work.

Charly Dunford (2021) has received the Michael Northen Award, which is presented to emerging lighting designers by the Association of Lighting Production and Design (ALPD). Charly says. “I’m thrilled to have won the Michael Northen Award.

“I have had some fantastic and constructive feedback from my application which has made me very excited for my future projects. It will help me to improve my workflow and to reflect on how I view lighting design creatively. Ultimately, it’s a great step in progressing my career.”

The Michael Northen Award is presented annually to a recent student who has demonstrated strong, imaginative and creative lighting design. The winner receives a £500 cash prize, a package from lighting company Electronic Theatre Controls (ETC), a 12-month licence for design software Vectorworks and six months of mentoring with an industry professional.

Charly Dunford is the sixth LIPA graduate to win the Michael Northen Award, while a seventh graduate, Tracey Gibbs, received the ALPD Excellence in Video and Lighting Award in 2020.

Charly says the training at LIPA has set her up for working in the industry. “At LIPA there were a lot of opportunities to learn in a very hands-on way which boosted my confidence and knowledge as a lighting designer. Being able to design shows at LIPA allowed me to gain practical knowledge, as well as make mistakes which has given me a good foundation for the work I now find myself doing.”

Charly’s upcoming projects include How Not to Drown UK Tour (ThickSkin Theatre), Good Grief UK Tour and Vaults Festival (Ugly Bucket Theatre), and Vortex UK Tour and Saddlers Wells (Russell Maliphant Dance Company).

Image: Charly receiving the Michael Northen Award. L-to-r Emma Chapman (ALPD), Charly Dunford, Tom White (Vectorworks), Matt Cowles (ETC), Stuart Porter (ALPD)