The Society of British Theatre Designers

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

Peter Ruthven Hall

Gallery Images

  • The Philosophers


Peter originally trained as an architect. After many years as a set and costume designer he now a partner with theatre consultants, Theatreplan.

As a designer, he has worked extensively in opera both in the UK and elsewhere in Europe. Productions extend from repertory works to a host of rare operas, many of them première performances: "The Turn of the Screw" (Snape Maltings), "Flavio and Ottone" (London Handel Festival), "Jenufa", "Le Nozze di Figaro", "La Bohème", "Albert Herring" and "Roberto Devereux" (Royal Northern College of Music); "A Midsummer Night's Dream"; "L'Arlesiana" (Holland Park Opera); "Lakmé" (Opera Ireland); Mendelssohn's "Camacho's Wedding" and Schubert's "Fierrabras" (Oxford Playhouse); and costume designs for "Tosca" (Malmö Musikteater), "Madama Butterfly" (Royal Danish Opera), "The Turn of the Screw" (Opera Northern Ireland); "Zar und Zimmermann" (Stadttheater Aachen), "Don Giovanni" and "Die Zauberflöte" (Vienna Kammeroper) and "The Philosophers' Stone" for Garsington Opera.

In musical theatre he has designed original workshop productions of Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Sunset Boulevard" (Sydmonton Festival), "Tutankhamun" (Imagination) and "World Café" (Edinburgh Festival); and in theatre: "Love! Valour! Compassion!" (Library Theatre, Manchester), "Long Day's Journey into Night" (Theatre Royal, Plymouth & Young Vic, London), "The Grapes of Wrath" (Crucible Theatre, Sheffield), "Women of Troy" and "Vassa Zheleznova" (Gate Theatre, London) and "The House of Bernarda Alba" (Oxford Playhouse). For the international design group, Imagination, his work includes the sets for "Joy to the World" at the Royal Albert Hall (in four consecutive years) which was also broadcast on BBC1.

Peter was one of the award winning British designers exhibiting at the 1995 international Prague Quadrennial exhibition of stage design. As Secretary for the Society of British Theatre Designers he organised three major exhibitions of contemporary design. The subsequent touring versions have been seen in many UK cities as well as in Brussels, Prague and Tokyo. The 2003 exhibition won the top international award, - the Golden Triga, at the 2003 Prague Quadrennial. He is also joint author of three books on British scenography: Make SPACE!, Time + Space and 2D>3D.