thu 23/05/2024

We Made It: Stage Designer John Napier | reviews, news & interviews

We Made It: Stage Designer John Napier

We Made It: Stage Designer John Napier

The celebrated designer of 'Les Mis' and 'Cats' is putting on a show of his sculpture

'Beached at Troy': sculpture by stage designer John Napier

It may seem like a long way from Shakespeare to Siegfried and Roy, but John Napier has had a remarkable career in which high and low art come together and share the applause. So not only has the theatre designer staged a magic show in Vegas, he’s worked a more subtle magic in his time at the RSC. And in a world where musicals run for decades, Napier’s stage sets have been among the most consistent and celebrated factors in the success of many of our best-loved West End shows.

So if you’ve ever seen Cats or Starlight Express, Les Misérables or Miss Saigon – or caught Nicholas Nickleby in the 1980s – you’ll have enjoyed the designer’s work and contributed to the success of his ventures. Napier helped keep bums on seats, and won a host of industry gongs (including five Tony Awards, four Olivier Awards and a BAFTA). Although best known for plays, operas and musicals, Napier comes from a sculpture background, and claims to hate mere scenery. So this month he returns to his roots, some 40 years after leaving art school, with a show of his sculpture at Towner Gallery in Eastbourne.

Read the interview with John Napier on the Bruichladdich site.

Read other articles in We Made It, our series on craft in partnership with Bruichladdich

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