Michael Atkinson

Executive Director

Michael is Theatreplan's
Executive Director International

Michael Atkinson, Queen Elizabeth Hall
Michael Atkinson

Michael leads on several projects in Hong Kong and south east Asia, including at East Kowloon Cultural Centre and Esplanade Theatres of the Bay in Singapore. He was the project leader on the Shaw Auditorium at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

Michael's first project with Theatreplan was designing the lighting systems for Copenhagen Opera House, which he worked on whilst still Head of Resources at London’s National Theatre. After his work in Copenhagen, Michael was invited to become a Partner (later Director) of Theatreplan in 2013.

Michael was at the National Theatre for 25 years, initially working as a Lighting Technician and finally taking a senior role within the Lighting department and working on capital projects. During this period, he undertook the design of new dimmer systems and control networks for the three theatres at the National, and managed the complete rewiring and installation works, whilst keeping the theatres in use. He was instrumental in significantly reducing the NT's power consumption, extending lamp life by changing operational procedures and in cutting the external lighting load by 90%. Michael was central to the design and installation of the Philips Vidiwall screen, visible from across the Thames, on the facade of Denys Lasdun’s landmark building.

Originally coming from a background in contemporary dance, Michael quickly decided he was more interested in the technical aspects of theatre. He trained in Theatre Electrical Engineering and went on to work in the West End of London, lighting major shows such as The Sound of Music and then touring with The Muppet Show. This led to him being invited to New York to work on lighting control systems and eventually develop some of the first animatronics for Jim Henson. He continues to do set electronics and special effects for theatre and tv and has built several set pieces for Doctor Who, and recently assisted with the lighting design of the musical SIX, helping create and engineer the LED towers for the first London production.

Michael really enjoys the challenge of working in Asia and the enthusiasm for new theatre projects there.

Current Position
Executive Director

Joined Theatreplan
2013

Professional Association
Member of the Society of Theatre Research

Relevant Projects

Shaw Auditorium Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
Shaw Auditorium, HKUST
View Project
East Kowloon Cultural Centre Exterior Night Render
East Kowloon Cultural Centre
View Project
Operaen Copenhagen
Operaen, Copenhagen
View Project
Esplanade Singapore
Esplanade Theatres on the Bay, Singapore
View Project

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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