The Society of British Theatre Designers

Staging Places: We Are The Storytellers Now - open until March 13, 2020 at V&A London

Gallery Images

  • Pwy S
  • O Law i Law
  • The Days of the Commune


Martin trained at Wimbledon School of Art: 1963-1966. He first worked as a design assistant at the Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh. While there, designed three productions, including "Juno and the Paycock" and "The Ha-Ha".

From 1969-72 Martin was Head of Design at the Liverpool Playhouse, designing a wide range of plays from Shakespeare to Bond. There followed a lengthy period as designer for Cwmni Theatr Cymru (1973-84). With them he learnt the skills of designing touring productions for a wide range venues. The repertoire was mainly Welsh and ranged from contemporary writing to translations of European classics. It was a very stimulating period.

In 1985 Martin went freelance and also branched out into TV design which dominated his output until retirement in 2010 - notably "Hedd Wyn" (BAFTA Cymru 1993 with Jane Roberts for Best Design) and a string of drama series for S4C. During this period he designed several productions for the now demolished Theatr Gwynedd, Bangor, including "Pwy Sy'n Sal" (a Molière double bill) directed by Graham Laker and Firenza Guidi (exhibited in Time+Space), and "Dyn Hysbys" ("Faith Healer") by Brian Friel directed by Sian Summers (exhibited in Time+Space and the 1999 Prague Quadrennial), and in 1999 "Amadeus" directed by Graham Laker. This was exhibited in the 2D>3D exhibition in Sheffield. Martin designed both the first and last productions for Theatr Gwynedd. A theatre building should last longer than one professional life.

"Hen Rebel" was his first production for the new Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru. (The Welsh Language National Theatre) produced in 2005, and exhibited at the Collaborators exhibition. This was followed in 2007 with "Cysgod y Cryman" by Islwyn Ffowc Elis, adapted for the stage by Sion Eirean and directed by Cefin Roberts.
In 2008 he designed the set for 'Llyfr Mawr y Plant', a joint production between Theatr Bara Caws, Theatr Gwynedd and Galeri. It was the final production staged at Theatr Gwynedd before it's premature closure. He retired in 2008