Interview with Lighting Designer Patrick Woodroffe

Lighting Designer Patrick Woodroffe, who have worked with the Rolling Stones, AC/DC, Phil Collins, Sarah Brightman and many others, talks about lighting.

How did you get started in the lighting business?
“I started as a technician and slowly progressed to becoming an LD. In those days you never had proper LD’s, just a guy who “did the lights” so it was a subtle progression and then I was just doing it!! My big break was with Rod Stewart who fired his LD the day before the tour started. They looked around the room and picked me.”

What is lighting design for you?
“It’s my job, and my living and my passion.”

What do you try to accomplice with the lighting design for a concert, theater, show and more? Are there different styles?
“I create the lighting for different types of performance and spectacle. I also try to see the much bigger picture and work out what the director or the performer needs to make their actions more striking. I use the lighting to exaggerate the performance.”

Do you think moving lights have changes lighting design since you started working with lighting?
“Moving lights have changed the whole way of lighting shows completely. there is so much more freedom to wait and see how a production looks and then to be able to immediately give it a look or style when you reach the rehearsal stage.”

What lighting projects have you worked on – in concerts, theaters and more?
“ABBA, The Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, Bee Gees, Pepsi Cola, Cirque de Soleil, Bob Dylan, Cher, Yo! Sushi, Simply Red, Van Morrison, Sarah Brightman, Pet Shop Boys, President Vaclav Havel, Spandau Ballet, Michael Flatley, AC/DC, The Millennium Dome, Genesis, Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Phil Collins, Vanity Fair, Scorpions, the Rolling Stones and others.”

What are you best memories from your lighting career?
“ABBA tours were great – exciting and intersting and great people. The opening night of a Stones tour is always a thrill. And then any show where you think you’ve really got it righ. Doesn’t happen all the timer but when it does you know it. Everything comes together – music, technolgy, timing, audience.”

You can read about many of Patricks projects on his website at

Roger Malmer

Photo: Roger Malmer