The Knight of Illumination Awards (KOI), which celebrate international video and lighting designers for their creative work in the UK, has revealed the highly anticipated Theatre shortlist for 2018.

Its expert panel of judges, all of whom have years of experience reviewing theatre, opera and dance, have watched countless productions over the last year and distilled the best of the best into the shortlist. The panel is made up of The Dancing Times critic, Zoë Anderson; The Guardian’s leading theatre critic, Michael Billington; opera critic for The Stage and Opera Magazine George Hall; chief dance critic for The Stage, Neil Norman; co-founder of Exeunt, Natasha Tripney; and opera editor for Whatsonstage, Mark Valencia; led by broadcaster David Benedict, chair of the Theatre judging panel.

KOI Awards 2018 Theatre Shortlist:

The Knight of Illumination Award for Projection Design, sponsored by PRG XL Video:

  • CHOU Tung-yen for Formosa, Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan, Sadler’s Wells
  • Luke Halls for The Lehman Trilogy, National Theatre
  • Paulina Jurzec for Mamzer Bastard, Royal Opera at Hackney Empire

The Knight of Illumination Award for Dance, sponsored by ETC:

  • Jean Kalman for Life is a Dream, Rambert
  • David Plater for The Suit, Ballet Black
  • Jackie Shemesh for Goat, Rambert

The Knight of Illumination Award for Plays, sponsored by ADB:

  • Jon Clark for The Inheritance, Young Vic
  • Lee Curran for Summer and Smoke, Almeida Theatre
  • Jack Knowles for Barber Shop Chronicles, National Theatre

The Knight of Illumination Award for Operas, sponsored by Robert Juliat:

  • Rory Beaton for Cosí fan tutte, Opera Holland Park
  • Fabiana Piccioli for Eugene Onegin, Scottish Opera
  • Malcolm Rippeth for Falstaff, Garsington Opera

The Knight of Illumination Award for Musicals, sponsored by Hawthorn:

  • Paule Constable for Follies, National Theatre
  • Matt Daw for The Last Ship, Northern Stage
  • Mark Henderson for Girl from the North Country, The Old Vic

“As always, the Theatre awards for dance, musicals, operas and plays have been judged by specialist critics who have witnessed lighting designers’ work live on stage,” says David Benedict. 

“It’s incredibly encouraging that this year’s fierce judging session not only included pleas that the Awards be widened to accept more nominations – alas, not possible- but also that the decisions were so closely fought. The final list of nominees goes a long way to showing the depth of talent at work in lighting design in this country.”

The winning designers will be announced at the 2018 ceremony and gala dinner, held at the Eventim Apollo, on September 16.

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