2016 Winner  Rory Beaton

Michael Northen Bursary

The Michael Northen Bursary is awarded annually to a student or recent graduate who has studied in the UK and demonstrated strong, imaginative and creative Lighting Design. It is organised by the Association of Lighting Designers - a professional body representing lighting designers in the live performance industry.

Michael Northen was the first credited Lighting Designer in the UK and his work on 'The Mousetrap' can still be seen in the West End today.

In addition to the Michael Northen Bursary awards, we are also excited to offer the opportunity for submissions of Video Designs to be considered for our ‘Excellence in Video within Live Performance’ award category. The worlds of lighting and video design are often crossing paths and in some cases merging. This new category gives students and graduates the opportunity to submit their video designs for consideration.

Both the Michael Northen Bursary competition and the ‘Excellence in Video within Live Performance’ is open to all students studying in the UK (not just those on vocational theatre courses) and to those who have recently graduated from UK courses in 2015 or 2016.


  • Taking part in the Michael Northen Bursary brings you and your work directly to the attention of the experienced lighting designers, video designers and other industry professionals on the judging panel.
  • Winning the Michael Northen Bursary provides a public showcase for your work. It will be seen by a wide range of industry professionals including members of the ALD and those attending the ABTT Theatre Show.
  • Michael Northern Bursary winners and our Excellence in Video Design award winner will be featured in Focus – the bi-monthly journal of the ALD. Recognition through this award will give you real help as you start your professional career!
  • The winner will be presented with a cheque for £500, a copy of Michael Northen’s autobiography ‘Northen Lights’, as well as a one-year Premium Membership to Stage Jobs Pro.
  • Two runner-up prizes of £250 each, one sponsored by ETC and the Francis Reid Award, sponsored by the ALD, will also be presented.
  • One additional winner, will also be recognised for ‘Excellence in Video within Live Performance’


Full details on how to submit an entry for the 2016 competition can be downloaded from this link


The judging will take place in early June, and the names of the winners will be announced at the ABTT Theatre Show (22nd & 23rd June at London’s Alexandra Palace) where selections from the winning portfolios will also be displayed. ALD members receive free entry to this event which is attended by major Manufacturers and many designers.


Submissions must be received no later than Wednesday 1st June 2016 and should either be submitted digitally, following the requirements below or posted to: ALD Michael Northen Bursary, PO Box 955, Southsea, Hampshire PO1 9NF


Submissions must adhere to the submission requirements. Failure to do this will result in exclusion from the competition. Any additional digital footage may be submitted on a CD/ DVD where you feel this to be more appropriate.


If you have any questions, then please do not hesitate to contact us directly:mnb@ald.org.uk

or via the ALD Student Page on Facebook: www.facebook.com/ALDStudents