Culture vulture

24th October 2003 at 01:00
Ballet and blues are the stuff of inspiration for Pamela Dunsdon

Preparing for Bootcamp

When I was a fine art student I became disillusioned with the idea that you could say everything in one visual image. Lighting is so adventurous: with the flick of a switch you can completely change an atmosphere. That's why I wanted to do lighting with the RSC in its annual Bootcamp production for amateur performers and technicians backed by professionals.

Best on stage

I love Ballet Rambert and see them whenever I can. I write for performance, and one group I work with is a community theatre group called Sez-U in Leamington Spa, whose most recent production was fun: very physical, very musical, very moving. No matter how scripted or choreographed a performance is, it can only ever happen in that moment.

Best films

I liked Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction. I loved Being John Malkovich. I enjoy being taken along a journey emotionally as well as intellectually, and visually stimulating films such as Peter Greenaway's The Pillow Book with Ewan McGregor and The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover.

Favourite listening

I love the blues - Peggy Lee (pictured) and Aretha Franklin. I tend to seek out female performers, to get a balance. Otherwise you tend to look at all your books and films and CDs and think, "Hang on, I'm looking at all men here".


I'm reading Bruce Dessau's book on comedians Reeves and Mortimer (Orion). I tend to read non-fiction for relaxation, otherwise I'm always thinking about whether something is worth performing. I'm usually also reading something connected with teaching. At the moment I'm leafing through Art at the Turn of the Millennium Grosenick (Taschen), looking for ideas.

Pamela Dunsdon, 30, teaches AS-level art and design at Warwickshire College, Leamington Spa. She will be working the lights for the Royal Shakespeare Company's Bootcamp production of Seneca's Thyestes at The Other Place, Stratford-upon-Avon, November 2-5. Bookings on 01789 403439. She was talking to Karen Gold

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today