Joshua Pharo

Joshua Pharo Portrait


Joshua works as a Lighting and Projection Designer across theatre, dance, opera, music, film & art installation. Most recently Joshua has won two awards at the Theatre and Technology Awards 2018; Creative Innovation in Lighting Design for THE CLAIMat Shoreditch Town Hall and Creative Innovation in Video Projection Design for THE SHAPE OF THE PAIN at Battersea Arts Centre. He was nominated for Knight of Illumination Award 2017 for his work on REMOVAL MEN.  

Current and forthcoming projects include: VASSA (Almeida); CONSPIRACY (Edinburgh Festival); THE CLAIM (Edinburgh Festival), CINDERELLA (Lyric Hammersmith)

Recent credits include: THE COLOR PURPLE (Leicester Curve / Birmingham Hippodrome); GOING THROUGH (Bush); THE RIDICULOUS DARKNESS (Gate Theatre); NOUGHTS & CROSSES (UK Tour); COUNTING SHEEP (Wild Yak); THE WOLVES (Stratford East); O T H E L L O M A C B E T H (Lyric Hammersmith; HOME Manchester); FUTURE BODIES (HOME Manchester); 100: UNEARTH (Wildworks); NANJING (Sam Wanamaker Playhouse); DOUBLE VISION (Wales Millenium Centre); RANDOM/GENERATIONS (Chichester Festival Theatre); TRUST (Gate Theatre); THE SHAPE OF THE PAIN (China Plate Theatre; Fringe First Winner, BAC); HEARTY (Yard Theatre); THE CLAIM (UK Tour); LA TRAGÉDIE DE CARMEN (Royal Opera House, Wilton’s Music Hall); FRAU WELT (Hackney Showroom); COSMIC SCALLIES (Royal Exchange & Graeae); HOW I HACKED MY WAY INTO SPACE (UnLimited Theatre, Tour); BULLISH (Milk Presents); BURNING DOORS (Belarus free Theatre); BODIES (Royal Court); NEST (Brighton & Take Off Festivals); HOW MY LIGHT IS SPENT (Royal Exchange); THE BEAR & THE PROPOSAL (Young Vic); SCARLETT (Hampstead and Theatr Clywd); YEARS OF SUNLIGHT (Theatre 503); THE TWITS (Curve Theatre, Leicester); REMOVAL MEN (The Yard Theatre, Knight of Illumination Nomination); BROKEN BISCUITS (Paines Plough); THE FUTURE (Company Three); CONTRACTIONS (Sheffield Crucible); JULIE (Northern Stage); WE’RE STUCK! (China Plate); GIVING (Hampstead); IPHIGENIA QUARTET, IN THE NIGHT TIME (BEFORE THE SUN RISES) MEDEA (Gate Theatre); THE ROLLING STONE (Orange Tree Theatre); GLASS MENAGERIE (Nuffield Theatre, as Video Designer); THE MERCHANT OF VENICE, WUTHERING HEIGHTS, CONSENSUAL (Ambassadors Theatre); THE CROCODILE (Manchester International Festival); ONE ARM (Southwark Playhouse); THE TRIAL PARALLEL, A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE (Parallel Production, Young Vic Clare); AMADIS DE GAULLE (Bloomsbury Theatre); BECKETT SEASON (Old Red Lion); THE DELUGE (UK Tour, Lila Dance); USAGI YOJIMBO (Southwark Playhouse); PIONEER (UK Tour, Curious Directive); I’D RATHER GOYA ROBBED ME OF MY SLEEP, NO PLACE LIKE HOME (The Gate), THUMBELINA (UK Tour, Dancing Brick).

06 March 2019

‘Stunning and Subversive’ ★★★★★ for THE RIDICULOUS DARKNESS

‘Stunning and Subversive’ ★★★★★ for THE RIDICULOUS DARKNESS

Anthony Simpson-Pike's staging of Wolfram Lotz's The Ridiculous Darkness explores what happens when one narrative is told at the expense of others. The production, with Lighting and Video design from Joshua Pharo, has earned rave reviews from both audiences and critics.  

The Stage ★★★★★

‘What a stunning, subversive and ultimately hopeful piece of work. More like this, please.' 

What’s On Stage ★★★★★


'An absurd and absorbing show clocking in at 100 minutes straight through, you'd be sorely pressed to find anything more riveting or stupendous.' 

Time Out ★★★★

'The Ridiculous Darkness’ settles down as a silly, restless, endlessly visually inventive – great, playful work.' 

25 February 2019

NOUGHTS & CROSSES – “a dynamic, powerful, compelling show”

NOUGHTS & CROSSES – “a dynamic, powerful, compelling show”

Malorie Blackman’s award-winning novel has been adapted for the stage by Pilot Theatre. Featuring a Design by Simon Kenny and Lighting Design by Joshua Drualus Pharo.

East Midlands Theatre ★★★★★

“Simon Kenny presents an inventive, versatile and ingenious space. A series of panels morph from walls to apertures to cupboards, folding and unfolding like a paper fortune teller.”

“The genius of the set is enhanced by Joshua Drualus Pharo’s exquisite lighting design. Using neon, direct, mood and sectional lighting, he emphasises the structural qualities of the set and reinforces the modern setting.”

The Stage ★★★★

“sound, and Joshua Drualus Pharo’s lighting come together to create some striking moments: a bomb explosion (Corey Campbell’s movement direction here is remarkable, too), a hanging. Designer Simon Kenny’s wall of TV screens gives the piece a dystopian feel.”

“blistering production”

The Observer ★★★★

“Richardson’s production tears along in a fiery red box: in a further twist on the play’s refocusing of the way we see things, Simon Kenny has based his design on those infra-red photographs of cities in which all greenery registers as scarlet.”

British Theatre Guide

“a stunning production that has the power to shock.”

 “a dynamic, powerful, compelling show”

The Guardian

“a gripping adaptation for Pilot Theatre… skips briskly through the book, streamlining and eliding where necessary but staying close to the blueprint.”

24 October 2018

Joshua Pharo Wins Two Awards at the Theatre and Technology Awards 2018

Joshua Pharo Wins Two Awards at the Theatre and Technology Awards 2018

MLR Lighting and Video Designer Joshua Pharo has won two awards at last week's Theatre and Technology Awards 2018. 

First, Creative Innovation in Lighting Design for THE CLAIM at Shoreditch Town Hall. 
Second, Creative Innovation in Video and Projection Design for SHAPE OF THE PAIN at Battersea Arts Centre. 

A huge congratulations to Joshua for his well-deserved wins, and a further congratulations to all other nominees, working to shape the future of theatre. 

16 May 2018

★★★★★ for RANDOM/GENERATIONS at Chichester Festival Theatre

★★★★★ for RANDOM/GENERATIONS at Chichester Festival Theatre

This revival of Debbie Tucker Green’s double bill of shorts portrays three generations of South African family onstage, exploring the unbearable sense of loss felt by a family faced with a catastrophic and random act. With Sound Design by Emma Laxton and Lighting Design by Joshua Pharo, now showing at the Chichester Festival Theatre

The Stage ★★★★★

“Green’s skill isn’t just in the stylised patterning of the language and the stuff unsaid. As Genesis Future Directors award-winner Tinuke Craig well understands, Green’s power to make you feel loss resides in her ability to write the joyous spontaneity of life.” 


“Beautifully played and set amidst stylised bright colours and stark lighting by Alex Lowde and Joshua Drualus Pharo, this is a pitch-perfect evening of work, crushingly depressing in its import but uplifting and compassionate in its execution.”

The Guardian ★★★★

“This vivid, sorrowful, and often surprisingly comic evening offers the stage as a site of memorial, a place to remember and to deal with the trauma of grief. Memory is both a comfort and an agony. In Generations, the grandparents who have buried their children and grandchildren remain locked in a single memory of a joyful day of family banter and jokiness that took place around the kitchen stove where a spicy stew endlessly bubbled.”

The Times ★★★★

It’s hard to evoke an absence on stage: to make an audience feel, deeply, what is no longer there. The playwright Debbie Tucker Green does it two times over here, in the director Tinuke Craig’s outstanding revival of two of her short plays.”


18 August 2017

ADAM and THE SHAPE OF THE PAIN are Fringe First Winners!

ADAM and THE SHAPE OF THE PAIN are Fringe First Winners!

ADAM and THE SHAPE OF THE PAIN are among the second round of Fringe First Winners.

The second set of Fringe First Awards, recognising outstanding new writing premiered at the Edinburgh Festival, have just been announced.

The “hugely powerful” ADAM, is written by MLR’s Frances Poet, and is based on the life story of Adam Kashmiri.

THE SHAPE OF THE PAIN by Rachel Bagshaw and Chris Thorpe has Lighting & Projection by MLR’s Joshua Pharo and Sound Composition/Design by MLR’s Melanie Wilson. 

07 August 2017

THE SHAPE OF PAIN opens in Edinburgh

THE SHAPE OF PAIN opens in Edinburgh

THE SHAPE OF PAIN, by Chris Thorpe and Rachel Bagshaw has Lighting/Projection Design by Joshua Pharo and Sound Compositions/Design by Melanie Wilson.


The Guardian ★★★★

“There are times when the sound composition and design (by Melanie Wilson) and the video and lighting design (by Joshua Pharo) collide in such intense and surprising ways that it feels as if we are immersed in pain itself”

“This is an exercise in empathy – and it is exhilarating theatre.”



“uses sound, colour and movement to communicate a bodily experience typically understood to be ‘beyond language”

“rebelliously revolutionary”



03 August 2017

Joshua Pharo is nominated for a Knight of Illumination Award!

Joshua Pharo is nominated for a Knight of Illumination Award!

(REMOVAL MEN, Nov 2016)

Joshua is shortlisted for Best Lighting Design for a Musical for REMOVAL MEN at the Yard Theatre.  The ceremony will take place on the 17th of September at the Apollo Hammersmith.


Past MLR winners include:

Will Duke for Projection Design on THE ENCOUNTER, 2016

Amy Mae for Lighting on SWEENEY TODD, 2015

Andy Purves for Lighting on THE BELIEVERS, 2014

Paule Constable for Lighting on BARNUM, 2013 and SAINT JOAN, 2008.

14 July 2017

Gabriella Slade and Joshua Pharo are Designer and Lighting Designer on BODIES

Gabriella Slade and Joshua Pharo are Designer and Lighting Designer on BODIES

Directed by Jude Christian, Designed by Gabriella Slade and Lighting/Projection by Joshua Pharo, Bodies portrays a compelling insight into the challenges families face when resorting to surrogacy. Vivienne Franzmann’s new play explores the human cost of surrogacy and the sacrifices made to get what want. BODIES plays at the Royal Court until 12th August.



“Challenging study of family fraught over surrogacy”

“Performed with sensitivity and conviction”



“An engrossing allegory for the modern age”

“the age-old trop of the barren woman is successfully given a gripping twist in Bodies”



“Designer Gabriella Slade’s muted beige and pine set suggests all the comforts of upper-middle-class domesticity”

“New drama about surrogacy is rich in metaphor and fraught with conflict”

“A play that brims with powerful emotions and interesting ideas”–-pregnant-meaning



“immensely powerful and eloquently constructed”

08 May 2017

Joshua Pharo and Giles Thomas are Lighting and Sound Designers on HOW MY LIGHT IS SPENT at the Royal

Joshua Pharo and Giles Thomas are Lighting and Sound Designers on HOW MY LIGHT IS SPENT at the Royal

Winner of the Judges’ Award in the 2015 Bruntwood Prize for Playwrighting, this new play by Alan Harris is directed by Liz Stephenson. Playing at the Royal Exchange until 13th May, then the Sherman Theatre from the 16th May – 27th May and finally at Theatre By The Lake from 31st May – 24th June. 


The Stage ★★★★ 

“A quirky, relevant, optimistic humanising play about the socially unseen”


The Guardian ★★★★

“burns brightly”

22 November 2016

Joshua Pharo is Lighting Designer on REMOVAL MEN at the Yard Theatre

Joshua Pharo is Lighting Designer on REMOVAL MEN at the Yard Theatre

Playing until 10th December.

What’s On Stage ★★★★

“Joshua Pharo's lighting flushes it with colour, then plunges back into institutional glare”

“Jay Miller's production holds its nerve and sticks to its guns. Its best moments are brilliant.”

The Stage ★★★★

“An inventive, eclectic three-hander attacking a dehumanising immigration system”

“an eclectic, amusing, and frequently beautiful story of compassion, humanity and forbidden love”

“frequently filling the Bethany Wells’ stripped-back office set with psychedelic lights and smoke as the story dives in and out of characters’ heads.” 

Time Out ★★★★

“utterly loopy and entirely convincing”

“mesmerically intense production”

“with Joshua Pharo’s rock concert-bright lighting design”

“hugely impressive”

Hackney Citizen

A Younger Theatre

“The space in The Yard Theatre is quite unique, which is echoed wonderfully by the use of sound (Joshua Anuo Grigg), lights and projection (Joshua Pharo).”

01 July 2016

Joshua Pharo and Giles Thomas open CONTRACTIONS at Sheffield Theatres

Joshua Pharo and Giles Thomas open CONTRACTIONS at Sheffield Theatres

Mike Bartlett’s two-hander receives its regional premiere in the Crucible Lyceum Studio, starring Rose Leslie and Sara Stewart. With Lighting by Joshua Pharo and Composition and Sound Design by Giles Thomas, CONTRACTIONS runs until 16th July.

What’s On Stage ★★★★ 

“impeccably paced production”

“black humour prevails and laughter and horrified fascination are conjoined.”

The Times ★★★★


“nigh on perfect” 

“an illuminated desk in the middle of a circle that is reflected, above, by a circularly lit ceiling.”

The Stage ★★★★ 

“disquieting, completely focused intensity”

“A gruelling, gripping, brilliantly written two-hander that packs a ferocious punch”  

The Guardian

“a sleek, hi-tech feel”

“a short, sharp shocker”

“outrageously funny”

Exeunt Magazine

“claustrophobic strip lighting.”

“The tension is expertly ramped up”

“Giles Thomas’s naggingly insistent score in between the interviews all just seem to amp up the intensity.”  


“an intense and painful, deeply thought-provoking piece of work.”

20 January 2016

James Fortune and Joshua Pharo open THE ROLLING STONE at Orange Tree Theatre

James Fortune and Joshua Pharo open THE ROLLING STONE at Orange Tree Theatre

Chris Urch’s play, winner of a Bruntwood Prize in 2013, premiered at the Royal Exchange in Manchester last year and now plays at the Orange Tree until the 20th of February with James Fortune as Musical Director and Joshua Pharo as Lighting Designer. 

The Guardian ★★★★ 

“Urch’s compelling play could hardly be more timely."

What’s On Stage ★★★★

“searingly intense.”

“a remarkable and deeply troubling production”

Evening Standard ★★★★

“scorching play”

The Londonist ★★★★★

“a production so atmospheric that you forget there is no set and few props. You forget, in fact, that you’re in Richmond at all.”

The Stage ★★★★ 

“there are moments – a dance, a look, an embrace and the most terrible, preternatural scream – that I will carry with me for days. Maybe months. Maybe years.”

The Independent ★★★★

“packs a devastating emotional punch”


“gripping, sometimes gaspworthy”