John Whitaker

Founder Consultant

John Whitaker, Roger Fox Channing School
John Whitaker

John was one of the founders of Theatreplan and a partner and director of the company for many years. After originally studying engineering at Glasgow University, John started work as Assistant Stage Manager, later to become Technical Manager, at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre. He went on to collaborate on many projects with Theatreplan’s founder, Richard Brett.

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 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.

John worked on the multi award-winning refurbishment of the Grade II* listed Grand Hall at Battersea Arts Centre, 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.

Current Position
Founder Consultant

Joined Theatreplan
1987

Professional Associations
IoTC, ABTT

Relevant Projects

Production Theatre Norwich University of the Arts
Production Theatre, NUA
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Grand Hall, Battersea Arts Centre, London
Battersea Arts Centre
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Operaen Copenhagen
Operaen, Copenhagen
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Hoxton Hall
Hoxton Hall
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London Hampstead Theatre
Hampstead Theatre
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Cobham Notre Dame School Montaigne Theatre
Montaigne Theatre
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About Us

Theatreplan is a specialist technical design consultancy, helping to create amazing spaces for performance, around the world.

What We Do

What We Do
We provide the complete range of venue and auditorium planning, and technical design services, including lighting, sound, stage engineering,
AV, digital and communications. We cover all stages of a project, from feasibility and concept design, right through to construction and opening night.

We help design new spaces for performance, wherever live or digital content is shown and created, from concert halls and school theatres, to cinemas and motion capture studios. We also help refurbish historic theatres, and work with some of the world’s largest and most complex performance venues to upgrade their technical facilities.

Our Approach
Your vision, for your performance space, provides the focus for our work. We will closely collaborate with you, and other specialists when working as part of a design team, so we understand what you really need from your space. We will be honest with you about what we think is achievable and the best ways to go about delivering your vision. We will suggest new ideas that may not have been considered before and discuss these ideas with you to ensure they meet your requirements.

Why Choose Theatreplan?
For over 35 years we have designed award winning performing arts venues, and re-imagined existing spaces, for clients around the world. Our specialist venue planners and auditorium designers help create beautiful, bespoke performance spaces, while our stage engineers, lighting, sound, AV and communications consultants, can provide cutting edge technical infrastructure design, having gained their knowledge and expertise through years of experience working in theatres.

We understand practitioners, and what creatives, directors, performers, and technicians need to make their performances thrill, excite and move audiences, with dynamic, flexible spaces that cater for the many and varied requirements for performance today.

We know what audiences want from a venue and how to make that a reality

We always factor in the needs of operators to ensure venues are sustainable for the future.

And we prioritise environmental sustainability throughout every stage of a project, to bring innovative solutions that support sustainable development.

We have an absolute commitment to ensuring client satisfaction and an engaging, fun, and genuinely collaborative approach to the creative process.

We can’t wait to hear about your project. Call us on +44 (0) 20 7841 0440 or get in touch via email: info@theatreplan.com

Our Team

All
Directors
Consultants
Architects/Technical
Operations
Associates
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Michael Atkinson
Michael Atkinson
Executive Director
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Dave Ludlam
Dave Ludlam
Executive Director
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Mathew Smethurst-Evans
Mathew Smethurst-Evans
Executive Director
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Matt Kingslake
Matt Kingslake
Consultant
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Chris Needle
Chris Needle
Consultant and BIM Manager
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Chris Pye
Chris Pye
Senior Associate
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John Whitaker
John Whitaker
Founder Consultant
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Roger Fox
Roger Fox
Founder Consultant
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Kit Lerman
Kit Lerman
Consultant and Head of Audio, Video, Broadcast
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Jibril Muhammad
Jibril Muhammad
Junior Consultant
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Bosco Tan
Bosco Tan
Senior Associate
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Peter Crockett
Peter Crockett
Stage Engineer
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Lara Kerrison
Lara Kerrison
Architect and Theatre Planner
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Barry Pritchard
Barry Pritchard
Senior Associate
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Paolo Ribichescu
Paolo Ribichesu
BIM Architect
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Andrea Sinigaglia
Andrea Sinigaglia
BIM Architect
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Anniek Wassser
Anniek Wasser
Senior Associate
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Amy Hickson
Amy Hickson
Practice Coordinator
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Helen Walker
Helen Walker MBE
Director of Operations

Our Partnerships

Theatreplan is proud to support the following sector organisations

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Theatres Trust 2023
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