Hartley T A Kemp lighting design



American Buffalo | Gate, Dublin

‘Hartley T A Kemp's lighting subtly focuses the action and shifts it credibly from day to night.’
Karen Fricker, Variety, 16 February 2007

Artefacts | Bush, London/Nabokov | tour to UK and New York

Nominated for the Knight of Illumination Award 2008
‘A simple set of just a Persian carpet was beautifully lit and scenes that were exterior or interior were created with no sense of awkwardness.’ Knight of Illumination Awards Panel, 2008

‘Good lighting by Hartley T A Kemp.’ Michael Coveney, What’sOnStage.com, 26 February 2008

‘Hartley T A Kemp smartly keeps escalating the darkness until there is a single stage lamp showing the actors’ faces. It is all that is needed.’ Michael Lazan, TheatreScene.net, New York, 28 June 2008

As You Like It | Sheffield Crucible | transfer to Lyric Hammersmith, London

‘The drama of carefully controlled colour and texture, enhanced by Kemp’s shafts of light sharply cutting through an atmospheric haze.’ David Benedict, The Independent, 2 February 2000

‘Lit impressively by Hartley T A Kemp.’ Dave Windass, What’sOnStage.com, 14 February 2000

Cordelia | Little Dove Theatre Art/Motherboard Productions, The Street, Canberra

‘Lighting designer Hartley T A Kemp adds macabre insinuation, while allowing everyone their place in the spotlight.’ Helen Musa, CityNews Canberra, 4 November 2011

Coriolanus | RSC Swan, Stratford-upon-Avon | transfer to Old Vic, London, UK and USA tour

‘Lighting designer Hartley T A Kemp repeatedly creates the right atmosphere with colour, shading and unusual angles.’ Philip Fisher, The British Theatre Guide, 2003

‘Set, props, costumes, lighting, sound and special effects add to the play’s detailed intricacy. The lights alter the stage from the soft red haze of the indoors, to the bluish tint of the night sky. A fog blows on stage to portray the dustiness of the streets, and the mist of the battlefield.’ Sarah Petersen, The Michigan Daily 2003

Crave | Sheffield Crucible Studio

‘Hartley T A Kemp's lighting and Christopher Shutt's sound are minimal, yet effective, culminating in a particularly effective climax to the piece.’ Sophie Bush, WhatsOnStage.com, 13 March 2015

Dreams in White | Griffin Theatre Company, Sydney

‘Hartley Kemp’s magnificent lighting design is sometimes lyrical, sometimes harsh and bleak.’ Lynne Lancaster, ArtsHub.com.au, 18 February 2013

‘A cool pale grey, glass and steel emptiness… suggests the thinly disguised sterility of the Devine household and the absence of imagination in the Andersons' lives.’ Diana Simmonds, StageNoise.com, 15 February 2013

‘Deft lighting by Hartley T A Kemp.’ Kevin Jackson's Theatre Diary, 18 February 2013

‘Artful lighting by Hartley T A Kemp.’ Veronica Hannon, Gay News Network, 12 March 2013

‘Tanya Goldberg’s production is expertly framed and coolly managed, played in a stylishly anonymous space (designed by Teresa Negroponte) indicative of the emotional emptiness in all these people’s lives. Her cast change gear in a heartbeat, supported by composer Kelly Ryall’s chilling score and Hartley T A Kemp’s adroit lighting plot.’ Jason Blake, Eight Nights a Week, 17 February 2013

The Duchess of Malfi | Bell Shakespeare, Playhouse, Sydney Opera House

‘Hartley T A Kemp’s design is simple and effective, to suit Bell’s laudable less-is-more penchant, as well as the rawness and intensity intrinsic to this work.’ Lloyd Bradford Syke, Crikey.com.au/CurtainCall, 16 July 2012

‘Lighting designer Hartley T A Kemp uses a staggering 400 lighting changes to subtly alter the mood as the story unfolds… in in this story of love, greed and abuse of power.’ Pam Walker, MegaphoneOz.com, 15 July 2012 

4.48 Psychosis | Sheffield Crucible Studio

‘Hartley T A Kemp’s “stark light” (a quality referenced within the lines of the play) sets a subtly suitable tone.’ Sophie Bush, WhatsOnStage.com, 13 March 2015

‘The abstract blue scar that encircles the playing space tingles and convulses like an electric shock.’ Lyn Gardner, The Guardian, 15 March 2015

Gaslight | Old Vic, London

‘Hartley T A Kemp’s lighting is really beautiful.’ Peter Lathan, The British Theatre Guide 2007

‘Old Vic’s Gaslight shines so brightly. Luminous beauty is one of those phrases I have never really understood before. But seeing Rosamund Pike in the faint glow of stage gaslights, it finally made sense.’ Quentin Letts, Mail, 15 June 2007

Good | Donmar Warehouse, London

‘The emotional logic of the play’s restless structure is as lucid as the shifting shafts of radiance and colour in Hartley T A Kemp’s fine lighting design.’ Paul Taylor, The Independent, 25 March 1999

The Ham Funeral | Siren Theatre Company/Griffin Theatre Company, Sydney

‘Hartley T A Kemp lights the space so that everything seems to float in an abyss of subconsciousness.’ SuzyGoesSee.com, 19 May 2017

  ‘An effective, sparsely-clad set by Jasmine Christie with lighting by Hartley T A Kemp reminding us we’re in a windowless basement a wall away from the coal hole.’ Diana Simmonds, StageNoise.com.au, 20 May 2017

  ‘Hartley T A Kemp's lighting throws a dreamlike pall over the action.’ Jason Blake, Sydney Morning Herald, 21 May 2017

  ‘[Kate] Gaul’s use of the Griffin space, with the help of Hartley T A Kemp’s lighting, is ingenious… the spaces of the boarding house seem perfectly defined.’ DailyReview.com.au, 22 May 2017

  ‘Hartley T A Kemp‘s lighting is intense and eerily atmospheric.’ Lynne Lancaster, ArtsHub.com.au, May 2016

In the Next Room, or the Vibrator Play | Sydney Theatre Company (Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House, Sumner Theatre, Melbourne and tour)

‘Thoughtful and effective lighting design by Hartley T A Kemp.Diana Simmonds, StageNoise.com, 14 February 2011

‘Tracy Grant Lord’s stage design, Hartley T A Kemp’s lighting, Iain Grandage’s sound and music: all brilliant.’ Gareth Beal, ArtsHub.com.au, 15 February 2011

‘The set, costumes and lighting can only be described as gorgeous. Designer Tracy Grant Lord and lighting designer Hartley T A Kemp have created an authentic, beautiful rendition of a Victorian-era American house.Sandra Bowden, OzBabyBoomers.com.au, 16 February 2011

‘Contraptions, set, lighting and costumes were, and are, all quite superb.’ Lloyd Bradford Syke, blogs.crikey.com.au/CurtainCall, 17 February 2011

‘Tracy Grant Lord’s gorgeous costumes… add to the production’s many pleasures, as does her lavish set, beautifully lit by Hartley T A Kemp.Jo Litson, Sunday Telegraph, Australia, 20 February 2011

Kiss of the Spider Woman | Donmar Warehouse, London (UK tour)

‘The production is another impeccable Donmar presentation, with Ben Stones designing a prison of deceptively transparent walls where we catch glimpses of the guards and where Hartley T A Kemp’s lighting and John Leonard’s sound design conspire to convey a sense of both political danger and forbidden sensuality.Michael Coveney, What’sOnStage.com, 26 April 2007

Land of Our Fathers | Theatre503, London

Nominated for Best Lighting Design, London Off West End Theatre Awards

‘Designer Signe Beckmann’s lowered ceiling and coal walls make for a claustrophobic cage where small intimacies become fierce confrontations. Simon Slater’s ethereal sound design and Hartley T A Kemp’s expressionistic lighting add colour to this dark canvas.Honour Bayes, The Stage, 23 September 2013

‘The mood of the play is superbly created by designer Signe Beckmann and lighting designer Hartley T A Kemp. Viewing the dramatic action in the glittering black cavern makes me feel as if I am looking at a giant dirty pore of a living organism… The audience comes to appreciate that it is the place from where the men draw their motivation to return each day to the punishing work underground.Josey de Rossi, OneStopArts.com, 24 September 2013

‘Lit (sometimes unlit) by Hartley T A Kemp... evokes perfectly the claustrophobic atmosphere of the underground cavern in which all of the action place.Stephen Bates, The Public Reviews, 21 September 2013

‘Turbulent lighting… atmospheric.Stephen Bates, William More, London Evening Standard, 27 September 2013

‘Paul Robinson's atmospheric production benefits from an excellent cast, an authentic set designed by Signe Beckmann and clever lighting by Hartley T A Kemp… one of the best productions I have seen this year.Carolin Kopplin, UK Theatre Network, September 2013

  ‘Makes the very best of [Trafalgar 2’s] cramped depths by effectively transforming it into claustrophobic coal-lined cavern [and] plunging us all into pitch darkness.’ Lyn Gardner, The Guardian, 9 September 2014

  ‘Paul Robinson's atmospheric production benefits from an excellent cast, an authentic set designed by Signe Beckmann and clever lighting by Hartley T A Kemp… one of the best productions I have seen this year.Carole Gordon, WhatsOnStage.com, 10 September 2014

  ‘Signe Beckman’s design and Hartley Kemp’s lighting together create a potent setting with utter conviction.’ Adam Somerset, Theatre-Wales.co.uk, 29 November 2015

A Little Night Music | Walter Kerr Theatre, New York Broadway

‘An elegiac darkness infuses this production… Hartley T A Kemp’s crepuscular lighting evokes a world perpetually in the gloaming, a past remembered, fondly and regretfully, through a haze.’
Ben Brantley, The New York Times, 14 December 2009

‘Intimate and sharp, full of shadows, colour and light in all the right places.’
Scott Brown, New York Magazine, 12 December 2009

‘Half-light can be forgiving – to the aging, to the vain, to the furtive philanderer – but in Trevor Nunn’s stunning, twilit, devastatingly good production, it’s as punishing as the equatorial sun.’
Richard Patterson, MusicOMH.com, 15 December 2009

‘Hartley T A Kemp's lighting rises brilliantly to the occasion of 'Send in the Clowns' – that scene, in Desiree's bedroom, is stunning.’  Martin Denton, NYTheatre.com, 16 December 2009

‘Hartley T A Kemp’s lighting succeeds admirably... with the somber overall mood of the musical captured excellently.’ Judd Hollander, Epoch Times, 13 January 2010

A Little Night Music | Garrick Theatre, London

‘Trevor Nunn’s production confects that lost world out of a misty dream on designer David Farley’s moonlight-tinted set, enhanced by Hartley T A Kemp’s hazily nocturnal lighting.’ Timothy Ramsden, ReviewsGate.com, 8 April 2009

A Little Night Music | Menier Chocolate Factory, London

‘Hartley T A Kemp’s imaginative and utterly outstanding lighting design... for me Kemp’s lighting was the cornerstone of the visual element of the production.’ Dominic McHugh, MusicalCriticism.com, 24 November 2008

‘The lighting of Hartley T A Kemp plays its part... in evoking the steam and sultriness of the woodland retreat where only the valet and the sexually active maid Petra are honest to their desires.’ Michael Coveney, The Independent, 4 December 2008

‘David Farley’s design is simple and brilliant, the mirrored panels opening onto a forest of silver birches, lit to perfection by Hartley T A Kemp.’ Michael Coveney, What’sOnStage.com, December 2008

Les Liaisons Dangereuses | Sydney Theatre Company

‘Hartley T A Kemp's lighting is precise and painterly.’ Diana Simmonds, StageNoise.com, 8 April 2012

Love, Love, Love | Paines Plough, UK tour

‘Under Hartley T A Kemp’s vivarium-like lighting no nuance of the five actors’ brilliantly hyper-real performances is lost… Dazzling.’ Clare Brennan, The Observer, 31 October 2010

Lower Ninth | Donmar West End at Trafalgar Studios, London

‘Hartley T A Kemp’s lighting design shows a visionary interpretation of the moods of the Louisiana landscape, making me share the experience of horribly humid sunshine and eerily haunting moonlight with the cast.’ Lita Doolan, RemoteGoat.co.uk, 4 October 2010

‘Hartley T A Kemp’s lighting subtly suggests the passage of time and the star-lit night-time sequence was beautifully atmospheric.’ Ian Foster, ThereOughtToBeClowns.blogspot.com, 31 October 2010

Metamorphosis | Lyric Hammersmith, London/Vesturport | world tour to Iceland, Dublin, Hong Kong, Korea, Australia)

‘The music composed by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis and the lighting designed by Hartley T A Kemp enhance the dramatic tension between upstairs and downstairs.’ Rivka Jacobson, British Theatre Guide, 2008

‘Deliciously rank wallpaper cast in suitably mouldy light by Hartley T A Kemp. The lighting plays an important part in sustaining an atmosphere of unreality and otherworldliness, and strikes a good balance between horrific and comic tones.’ Harvey O’Brien, CultureVulture.net, 2008

‘Nick Cave and Warren Ellis... contribute brilliantly to the tension of Gregor’s story. Their rippling, plucking sounds combine gentleness with a sinister quality which is matched in Hartley T A Kemp’s lighting.’ Heather Neil, What’sOnStage.com, October 2006

A Midsummer Night’s Dream | Sheffield Crucible

‘Give me the moonlight. A glowing Midsummer Night’s Dream goes back to basics... Light and plunging darkness, monochrome and colour steer the action. In fact they’re part of the action, giving other dimensions to Shakespeare’s words... Hartley T A Kemp’s lighting spins dramatically. All the effects play together like a chord. As Puck turns to the audience at the end of the evening, and the fairies flee, music drums around him, as if marking out his path, and the light covering the stage narrows to a spotlight. All in one instant and all of a piece.’ Susannah Clapp, The Observer, 5 October 2003

‘Grandage, utilising to full effect an almost totally black canvas, opens up the play to the expected high production values, for a magical interpretation. Grainy yet luminous lighting projects the cast from this backdrop with no shadows at all. Typically, the audience should not be prepared for the appearance of fairies, and Grandage’s lurch suddenly into view from the murk of off-stage with the full burst of colour and orchestration, and yet manage to lurk thereafter, like liminal tricksters in the half-light. These are not your averagely benign fairies. They replace the monochrome of the humans with startling technicolour, and are led by a blue Puck.’ Dawn Jessop, What’sOnStage.com, October 2003

Misterman | Siren Theatre Company/Red LIne Productions | Old Fitz, Sydney

Winner, Best Lighting Design of an indpendent production, Sydney Theatre Awards 2015

‘A terrific script and a masterful characterisation are aided and abetted to high degree by Hartley T A Kemp’s lighting design that is not afraid of the dark, and Nate Edmondson’s sound design, pivotal to the focus on the auditory that pervades the play.’ Richard Cotter, AustralianStage.com.au, 14 June 2015

‘Set by [Kate] Gaul, lights by Hartley T A Kemp, music and sound by Nate Edmondson contribute much more than atmosphere. The way we understand the protagonist’s environment and his psychology happens through the accomplishments of this formidable design crew, and their exhaustive exploration of space and fantasy.’ SuzyGoesSee.com, 12 June 2015

A Number | Sheffield Crucible Studio | Chichester Minerva Theatre | Fugard, Cape Town

‘Paul Wills’ set stripped the roof full of tubes… reflects the dazzling lighting design by Hartley T A Kemp.’ Marina Nel, Die Burger, 8 October 2011

‘Hartley T A Kemp’s lighting design – the display of glass test tubes above the stage is a sheer touch of brilliance – adds to the feast for the senses.’ Tyrone August, Cape Times, 10 October 2011

‘Brilliant sound and lighting design, with an ingenious set… dominated by the test-tube canopy that reminds of the origin of the cloning. The exceptional lighting design adds further impact with its splicing technique that cuts through the characters.’ Daniel Dercksen, www.WritingStudio.co.za, October 2011

‘Hartley T A Kemp’s evocative lighting and Olly Fox’s music do much to complement a production rich in intelligent detail and perfectly judged acting.’ Ron Simpson, What’sOnStage.com, 26 October 2006

Old Man | Belvoir Downstairs, Sydney

‘Lighting by Hartley T A Kemp [is] theatrically atmospheric.’ Kevin Jackson, TheBlurb.com.au, June 2012

‘Old Man doesn’t fall back on lighting, sound design or any other “tricks of the trade.” (Which isn’t to diminish, in any way, Stefan Gregory or Hartley Kemp’s considerable contributions.)’ Lloyd Bradford Syke, Crikey.com.au/curtaincall, 22 June 2012

Rapid Write: Hollywood Ending | Griffin Theatre, Sydney/Theatre503/Arts Radar

‘Arresting lighting by Hartley T A Kemp.’ Kevin Jackson, Kevin Jackson's Theatre Diary, 2 December 2012

The Story of Mary MacLane by Herself | Ride On Theatre | Beckett, Malthouse Theatre, Melbourne

‘Some exquisite shifts in the lighting, masterfully executed by Hartley T A Kemp.’ Ben Packer, Crikey.com.au/CurtainCall, 2 December 2011

The Tempest | Sheffield Crucible | transfer to Old Vic, London

‘Striking visual moments... Lighting designer Hartley T A Kemp has Oram’s island set appear in a haze of blues and golds.’ Amy Rosenthal, New Statesman, 3 March 2003

The Violent Outburst that Drew Me to You | Siren Theatre/Griffin Theatre Company, Sydney

‘A stylish play which makes maximum use of the Griffin theatre space… Lighting by Hartley T A Kemp is timely and succeeds in creating mood changes.’ Suzanne Rath, ArtsHub.com.au, 23 June 2014

    ‘Jasmine Christie’s circular curtain set… is drawn and opened as needed, becoming a shadow-screen and a clever framing device, allowing for a playful sense of theatricality and youthful exuberance. Hartley T A Kemp’s story-book lighting complete[s] the illusion.’ lenn Saunders, The Spell of Waking Houses, 24 June 2014

‘Lighting by Hartley T A Kemp… has individualistic presence, that brightens the stage pictures and tricks.’ Kevin Jackson, Kevin Jackson’s Theatre Diary, 25 June 2014

The White Devil | Menier Chocolate Factory, London

‘Philip Whitcomb's traverse setting of a runway-like stage with audiences seated along the sides vitally emphasizes the fast-moving nature of the action as actors enter through doors at either end and are immediately thrust into an unusually dynamic relation to other characters. Their confrontations are further heated by Hartley T A Kemp's hard, visible light beams.' David Benedict, Variety, 14 October 2008


Home   |   Design Credits   |   Reviews   |   Photos 1   |   Photos 2   |   Photos 3   |   Photos 4   |   Video   |   Links