I didn’t think much of Rachael first time I laid eyes on her, as Morgan Freeman almost said. This is because she was late. I mention this now as it is so out-of-character and its always worth remembering when your first impressions were so hopelessly wrong.
Rachael had been recommended to visit us by, I think, Kirsty Cox. It was the Spring of 2010 and we were still finding our feet. She lit Still, our second production and stage managed it too. She’s incredibly efficient as a stage manager. Punctual, too (see above). But underneath the ruthless efficiency and punctuality, lurks a quirky creative. She’s got one of the most fantastic eyes for detail, making minuscule adjustments right up to opening night.
I love her calmness in the rehearsal room. I heard last week that in the rather drawn out technical rehearsals for Edgar and the Land of Lost, an issue was taking a little longer than normal to resolve. One of the directors was getting a little stressed. Saying nothing, Rachael reached out a hand and placed it on his knee.
Perhaps surprisingly for a lighting designer, she’s also great improviser. This makes her a joy to work with – someone who rolls with the punches, firing back ideas, finding the most creative solution. Everything is achievable, however impossible it sounds. Moreover, Rachael can interpret your ideas in ways more articulate than you can express.
I hope to work with Rachael again soon. I hope her lighting is the same shade of blue as it is in my dreams. I hope.