The Society of British Theatre Designers

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

Paul Burgess

Gallery Images

  • Selfish
  • A Midsummer Night
  • Every Brilliant Thing


Paul Burgess is a scenographer working across set, costume and audio-visual practices, sometimes crossing into installation and other visual art forms. He trained at Motley following a a degree in English at Oxford.

Since then he has designed numerous shows for venues including in the UK: The Arcola, The Albany, Hampstead, The Bush, Shakespeare’s Globe, Soho, Theatre 503, Hackney Empire, The Pleasance, Southwark Playhouse (all London), The Watermill (Newbury), The Royal Exchange (Manchester), Glasgow Citizens, Colchester Mercury, The Lemon Tree (Aberdeen) and Birmingham Rep. Work abroad includes designs for: Teatro LATEA, Here (both New York), Pakistan National Council of Arts (Islamabad), The Black Box (Hanoi), and WUK (Vienna), as well as touring to Prithvi in Mumbai, Choice in Cochin, Epicentre in Delhi. UK touring projects including shows for Apples and Snakes, Touched Theatre and Shams Theatre.

As a director-designer, with a particular interest in the role design can play at the heart of the theatre-making process, he led devising three pieces for Daedalus Theatre Company, of which he is also artistic director: A Place at The Table at Camden People’s Theatre, Southwark Cathedral and Amnesty International, Selfish at The Arches (Glasgow) and Camden People’s Theatre, and Out of Nothing at The Junction, Cambridge. He also led the creation of Rang (National College of Arts, Pakistan) and co-led projects in the UK and Siberia for Scale Project, including a residency in a nuclear bunker in Novosibirsk.

He has taught at National College of Arts, Pakistan, as well as various UK universities, including Goldsmiths, Queen Mary, St Marys, Central School of Speech and Drama (all London) and Edge Hill (Ormskirk). He has worked extensively in youth arts, including five years with the Hertfordshire-based mixed ability arts group Youth CREATE.

As a producer he has run many projects for Daedalus and also worked as a freelance projects producer for Apples and Snakes, where his biggest project was SPOKE, an ambitious programme of spoken word performances, workshops and other events for East London as part of the London 2012 Olympic Legacy. He is also on the committee of The Society of British Theatre Designers.

He has also written and arranged music for theatre but his main musical focus is now The Black Smock Band, with which he plays the fiddle and, occasionally, the saw.