Archive: Nick Schlieper

Date posted: 5 Aug 2013Author: STC Production: The Harp in the South: Part One & Part Two, The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, Chimerica, Three Sisters, All My Sons, Speed-the-Plow, A Flea in Her Ear, Death and the Maiden, Endgame, King Lear, The Present, Macbeth, Travelling North

Nick Schlieper. Photo by Lisa Tomasetti
Nick Schlieper

With his trademark Cuban heels and stovepipe jeans, Nick Schlieper always cuts a distinctive figure in the corridors of The Wharf. Including tours and remounts, he's easily clocked up well over 100 productions with STC.

When Nick's not here, you might find him lighting stages in Europe and the USA, working across theatre, opera, musicals and ballet. He is one of Australia’s most highly awarded designers, having received six Melbourne Green Room Awards, four Sydney Critics Awards, the inaugural 2013 Australian Production Designers Guild Best Lighting Design Award, as well as Helpmann Awards in 2004, 2009, 2011 and 2014 (some of which are featured below).

It's high time we turned a spotlight on one of this country's truly legendary lighting designers.

So, here are some of his previous productions with STC…



HEDDA GABLER (1986 & 2004)

Let's begin in 1986 with Ibsen's Hedda Gabler, directed by Richard Wherrett, featuring Drew Forsythe as Tesman and Judy Davis in the title role. (Photo: Branco Gaica)

STC_Hedda Gabler ,1986_01 (c )BGaica

Fast forward almost two decades and Nick lights another Hedda Gabler. This time it's Robyn Nevin directing with Cate Blanchett in the title role, pictured here with Aden Young playing Lövborg. (Photo: Heidrun Löhr)

STC_Hedda Gabler ,2004_0005 (c )HLohr



In fact, Nick has lit Cate on a number of occasions. In 2009, there was A Streetcar Named Desire, also featuring Tim Richards. (Photo: Lisa Tomasetti)

STC_AStreetcar Named Desire ,2009_ 5795 (c )LTomasetti



In the same year came the epic The War of the Roses directed by Benedict Andrews. (Photo: Tania Kelley)

STC_The War Of The Roses ,2009©Tania Kelley



The gang of Nick, Cate and Benedict was reunited for Gross und Klein in 2011... (Photo: Lisa Tomasetti)

STC_Grossund Klein ,2011_4786 (c )LTomasetti


THE MAIDS (2013)

... and for The Maids in 2013, with Isabelle Huppert joining in. (Photo: Lisa Tomasetti)

STC_The Maids ,2013_6699 (c )LTomasetti



Nick and Benedict also worked on Patrick White's The Season at Sarsaparilla in 2007, featuring Dan Spielman and Hayley McElhinney. (Photo: Tania Kelley)

STC_The Seasonat Sarsaparilla ,2007_8275 (c )TKelley


BAAL (2011)

Working with director Simon Stone, Nick added set design to his portfolio. He contributed both set and lighting for Baal (a 2011 co-production with Malthouse Theatre), which starred Thomas M Wright in the title role. (Photo: Jeff Busby)

Malthouse -STC_-Baal ,2011_0154-(c )JBusby



Nick did the same for Simon Stone's production of Face to Face, an adaptation of Ingmar Bergman's movie, which starred Kerry Fox. (Photo: Brett Boardman)

STC_Face To Face , 2012_11043 (c )BBoardman  



Nick designed the lighting for this 1996 production of Shakespeare's comedy, with a set by Michael Scott-Mitchell. (Photo: Philip le Masurier)

STC_As You LIke It ,1996_s 01 (c )Ple Masurier



Mother Courage and Her Children was the first production featuring the STC Actors Company in 2006. (Photo: Heidrun Löhr)
STC_Mother Courage ...,2006_104-0013 (c )HLohr



Richard Brinsley Sheridan's comedy of manners was directed by Judy Davis in 2001, featuring Toby Schmitz, Ronald Falk and Denis Moore. (Photo: Tracey Schramm)

STC_The Schoolfor Scandal ,2001_06-13 (c )TSchramm



Nick designed the lighting for STC's 2010 production of Uncle Vanya, which toured to Washington and New York over the following two years. Andrew Upton's adaptation of Anton Chekhov's play was directed by Hungarian director Tamás Ascher, with a cast featuring Richard Roxburgh and Hugo Weaving (pictured below) along with Cate Blanchett. (Photo: Lisa Tomasetti)

STC_Uncle Vanya ,2010_8585 (c )LTomasetti



Director Simon Phillips has often worked with Nick at STC and they teamed up for Tom Stoppard's ingenious comedy, featuring Tim Minchin and Toby Schmitz in the eponymous roles. Nick won his fourth Helpmann award for the lighting in this porduction. (Photo: Heidrun Löhr)

Toby Schmitz and Tim Minchin in STC's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. Photo by Heidrun Löhr



In something of a follow-up to Uncle Vanya, Andrew Upton adapted Chekhov's untitled first play as The Present. This time, Irish director John Crowley brought it to the stage, with Cate Blanchett and Richard Roxburgh leading the cast. (Photo: Lisa Tomasetti)

Cate Blanchett and Richard Roxburgh in STC's The Present. Photo by Lisa Tomasetti


KING LEAR (2015)

Later that same year, Nick lit Geoffrey Rush in Neil Armfield's production of Shakespeare's King Lear. (Photo: Heidrun Löhr)


ALL MY SONS (2016)

In Kip Williams' production of this Arthur Miller classic, Nick's lighting moved from warm dayligh to the chilled moonlight in which Chris Ryan's character confronts his father, played by John Howard. (Photo: Zan Wimberley)



Lucy Kirkwood's epic play Chimerica, directed by Kip Williams, gave Nick plenty of different environments and atmospheres to create, from Tiananmen Square to New York and back again. (Photo: Brett Boardman)


Truth be told, this article barely scratches the surface of Nick's work with STC. To see more, the best way is to see his lighting in the theatre.



The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, 21 Mar – 28 Apr 2018, Roslyn Packer Theatre

The Harp in the South: Part One and Part Two, 16 Aug – 6 Oct 2018, Roslyn Packer Theatre

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