John Napier studied fine art at Hornsey College of Art in the early 1960s and theatre design at the Central School of Arts and Crafts under Ralph Koltai. He is an associate designer of the RSC. Notable productions for the RSC include: Macbeth, The Comedy of Errors, King Lear, Once in a Lifetime, The Greeks, Nicholas Nickleby, Hedda Gabler, Peter Pan and Mother Courage.
NT productions include: The Party (Olivier’s last performance at the Old Vic), Equus, later seen worldwide, Trelawny of the ‘Wells’, An Enemy of the People, Peter Pan, Candide and South Pacific. Opera includes Lohengrin and Macbeth (Royal Opera, Covent Garden), Idomeneo (Glyndebourne), The Devils (ENO) and Nabucco (Metropolitan Opera).
Musical theatre includes: Cats, Starlight Express, Les Misérables, Miss Saigon and Sunset Boulevard.
These productions have been presented on Broadway and around the world. Other West End designs include: Time, Children of Eden and Jesus Christ Superstar. John designed the Captain EO video starring Michael Jackson for Disney. He created and co-directed the spectacular Siegfried & Roy Show at the Mirage in Las Vegas, followed by Steven Spielberg’s film Hook. Other designs include: Burning Blue (Haymarket, 1996 Olivier Award for Best Set Design), The Tower and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (both Almeida), Martin Guerre (West Yorkshire Playhouse and tour) and the musical version of Jane Eyre (Broadway). He recently designed Skellig (Young Vic), Aladdin (Old Vic) and Gone with the Wind (New London).
John Napier’s design awards include two Society of West End Theatre Awards, an Olivier, a BAFTA and five Tony Awards for Nicholas Nickleby, Cats, Starlight Express, Les Misérables and Sunset Boulevard. He is a member of the American Academy of Achievement, was elected Royal Designer for Industry in 1996 and is an Honorary Fellow of the London Institute.