Genre: Nonfiction/Memoir

Title:  A Theatre Project: A Backstage Adventure

Author: Richard Pilbrow          

“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players. They have their exits and their entrances...” William Shakespeare’s famous monologue from As You Like It certainly defines the life of one man who made the theatre his life. This man’s life was indeed one big dramatic production, as Shakespeare inferred. He made his mark on theatre production, lighting, dramatic effects and much more, stamping his name on the big Broadway productions, as well as productions around the world, the blockbusters of theatre that marked the last half of the twentieth century. He is a man who represents what theatre really is. After all, there is one thing that all theatre people have in common: they’re very dramatic, they live for the moment and they live for the community, the theatre community. Shakespeare’s world as a stage cannot and does not exist without the complexities of the backstage production. That is the real heart and soul of theatre and that is where one will find Richard Pilbrow.

A Theatre Project: A Backstage Adventure, is a memoir of one man’s life as well as the lives and achievements of people who worked with him over the years. As we read through the ups and downs of theatre lighting, theatre sound, theatre production and even branch into the realm of movies, we read more than just Pilbrow’s story. We read the stories of those who contributed to an ideal of theatre at its best. As Pilbrow wrote in his conclusion: “People lie at the heart of everything ... theatre and life.” (p. 448) It is only fitting that the stories in this book are not just Pilbrow’s, but also those who worked with him. He was not, after all, a one-man wonder, rather a community of wonders that sparked a shining light on stage design that will definitely influence live theatre for many years to come.

This book goes beyond memoir and leads the reader into the workings of theatre as well as the development of a company, A Theatre Project, that was created to improve and enhance the light and sound effects on stage. It can be read as a memoir; but it is also a useful tool for those people who work in theatre and want to learn more about special effects and the man, the company, that worked for half a century to improve it.


A Theatre Project: A Backstage Adventure, is highly recommended by award-winning author and Allbooks reviewer, Emily-Jane Hills Orford, Allbooks Reviews,


Available at: Barnes and Noble

Title: A Theatre Project: A Backstage Adventure

Author: Richard Pilbrow

Publisher: Plasa Media, Inc.

ISBN: 978-0-9834796-0-4

Pages: 467 pages

Price: $49.99 US

Date: Nov. 2011

All Books Interview with Richard Pilbrow

Please state your name and location. (city and State or Province, Country)

Richard Pilbrow. Ridgefield CT. USA

Tell us the title and publisher of your book:


Tell us about yourself:

I am a stage lighting designer and theatre design consultant. In 1957 I founded a small company, initially involved in stage lighting design, named Theatre Projects, in London, England. Theatre Projects expanded into stage sound design and equipment, theatre consulting, (The National Theatre of Great Britain), theatrical, film and TV production. Business reverses in the 1980’s led to a reorganization of the company. Today Theatre Projects Consultants is one of the leading theatre design consulting organizations in the world, having been responsible for over 1200 projects in 70 countries. 

I am also the author of STAGE LIGHTING (1970-1995) and STAGE LIGHTING DESIGN – THE ART, THE CRAFT, THE LIFE (1997, 2000-2008) both of which have become classic teaching texts.

When was the book released?:

Paperback in June 2011. eBook available in November 2011.

Give us an overview of your book.

The book is an autobiographical story of my somewhat complex career and the company I founded, Theatre Projects. There is no other company that has successfully survived for over 50 years in the entertainment industry that has covered such a broad range of backstage, production and and other entrepreneurial activities.

What inspired you to write this book?

The story of Theatre Projects is the story of many exceptionally talented and dedicated individuals, who over many years created an enterprise that remains unique today. I wanted to write their story, and allow them to add their voices, telling their tales of how skill, dedication and determination led to success. I also wanted to provide insight into the backstage world, and the seldom-understood process of how to design new theatre buildings.

How is your book different from other books in this genre?

The book tells a unique backstage story of Broadway, the West End, and theatre internationally; of business struggles and set-backs; of success in the worlds of stage lighting, sound and theatre technology alongside some of the great names of theatre of the 20th century . . . such as Sir Laurence Olivier, Harold Prince, Josef Svoboda, Judi Dench, and Tony Walton. It traces the revolutionary developments in stage lighting and sound and in the design of theatre buildings that have occurred over the last 50 years.

Where can people buy your book?



Are you working on another book? If so when do you expect it to be published?

I am presently working on a new book entitled Theatre Architecture and Design, that I hope will be available in 2013.

If you self published, what advice can you give to fellow writers?

I co-published the book with PLASA MEDIA, who are principally publishers of magazines in the US and UK: “LIGHTING AND SOUND INTERNATIONAL and LIGHTING AND SOUND AMERICA. As such I was able to control design and marketing policy of the book

If published traditionally, tell us how you benefited:


Can you share one of your marketing successes with us?

Undoubtedly the association with PLASA and their magazines has been of great benefit.

How did you find Allbooks Reviews and what are you hoping for in your relationship with us?

Through your website and iFOGO Village, I’m interested in whether an audience beyond the theatre world might have any interest in the book.

Was the low cost a surprise? What other things would you like Allbooks Reviews to offer writers?

Modest cost was indeed a surprise. Thank you.

Thank you for this interview and best of luck with your book

© Richard Pilbrow   e:      E: lsi@PLASA.ORG       WWW.lightiing&