After studying engineering at Glasgow University, John started work as Assistant Stage Manager, later to become Technical Manager, at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre, where he worked for eight years. He went on to collaborate on many projects with Theatreplan’s founder, Richard Brett, for many years, and became a Partner in the early days of the consultancy.
John is a pragmatic and practical consultant whose advice draws from his considerable onsite and design experience, developing stage and working light systems and co-ordinating wiring for audio-visual services. John worked on Theatreplan’s flagship venue, Copenhagen Opera House and he considers London’s St James Theatre (now known as The Other Palace) and the Wolverhampton Grand Theatre, as highlights of his consultancy career. Other projects include the Derngate in Northampton; the Dome, Brighton; School of the Arts and Genexis Theatre, Singapore and a wide range of flexible theatre spaces including Channing School Performing Arts Centre; Quarry Theatre at Bedford School and the Michael Croft Theatre at Alleyns School in Dulwich.
Most recently John worked on the refurbishment of Battersea Town Hall, following the fire there, where his clever solution to fitting technical installations in the old roof space, has been much admired, as it works brilliantly for the client whilst being hidden within the architect’s beautifully designed lattice ceiling.
John is a self-confessed theatre obsessive, seeing over 100 shows a year for the last decade! First attending Glyndebourne when he was 13, John describes the venue as his all-time favourite, and he returns there at least once, if not twice every year. As well as enjoying every type of production, John always makes a point of noting the relationship between staging, design and technical set-up at all the performances he attends.
John is particularly enjoying passing on his knowledge, garnered from over 40 years’ experience, to younger members of the team.