Tomàs FitzGerald is a Lighting Designer and Co-owner of Stage Lighting Centre. Originally from Dublin, Tomàs’ love for stage lighting sparked at an early age when he helped out backstage at his father’s shows – who was an extremely talented musician.
He is the Lighting Coordinator for The Ogham Grove at this year’s Culture Night, helping to create the audio-visual experience accompanying the monumental installation at Writer’s Square.
The Ogham Grove installation will be held at Writer’s Square from September 17th – September 19th, ensuring a unique and cultural experience.
What would you be best known for?
Always being approachable and in good form. From a lighting point of view, there have been many shows where my work is seen and uncommented on, for a theatre show, if the lighting isn’t noticed, then it’s a successful show.
What would you consider your biggest achievement?
When I worked with Doyles Irish Cabaret we toured the USA. I was a Tour Stage Manager and we delivered 28 shows in 31 nights across 16 states which was quite an achievement.
What would you consider to be the biggest lesson you’ve learned in your industry?
The show will go on – learning the meaning of that. The day you realise you are part of a team who will do everything in their power to ensure the performance happens. When something happens to a member of a stage crew, seeing how others react and covering for each other can be a magical experience and very empowering.
What has been your biggest challenge to date?
I presented on Christmas FM radio in 2019 which really challenged me. It was hugely enjoyable, proving that sometimes moving out of your comfort zone can be a worthwhile experience.
Tell us a little about your personal life, are you married, kids, hobbies etc?
I have three amazing sons, Sean (25), Kyle (22) and Theo (8) and I live with my partner Louise, and our cats Mr. Burgess and GG’s.
Tell us about your most recent work?
I recently worked in a production of Sister Act in Naas, Co. Kildare. After that, I was involved with building illuminations in Dublin for Christmas and St. Patrick’s Day.
What would you like us to tell people about?
I work for Stage Lighting Centre, based in Dublin and we have a large range of lighting equipment for hire. We also make stage curtains and drapes – almost every theatrical space in Ireland has a curtain made or repaired by the Stage Lighting Centre. We are also about to launch a new website www.slc.ie which will make ordering consumables for events a lot easier for our customers.
What’s the funniest experience you’ve had in your business?
There is no one experience that stands out, but I did persuade someone in a pantomime to swap lines with another actor, but not to tell them – the surprise on the faces on stage when the “wrong” person said the line was priceless.
The audience realised something was wrong and laughed along. The reaction was so good, the gag was kept and used on each show for the rest of the run.
What would your advice be to young people hoping to pursue the same industry?
First and foremost, be on time and be reliable. If you are asked to be at the venue for 8am, be there at 7:45. After that listen and learn, watch closely and offer to assist.
Anything else you want to tell people about yourself or your work?
Lighting started as a hobby for me, I am lucky enough to have been able to make this hobby and passion a career.
Who do you look up to and why?
I look up to my younger brother Liam. The achievements that he has made in his career are outstanding, and he is also very well respected.
For more information about CNB21 Presents The Ogham Grove, go to culturenightbelfast.com.