Simon Kenny

Simon Kenny Portrait


Simon designed the acclaimed ‘Pie Shop’ production of SWEENEY TODD, THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET, which is currently playing off-Broadway at Barrow Street Theatre in New York.  His designs have been nominated for the 2017 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Set Design of a Musical. 

Current and future projects include: CABARET (English Theatre Frankfurt); NOUGHTS & CROSSES (Derby Theatre); PRINCESS & THE HUSTLER (eclipse, Bristol Old Vic & Hull Truck).

Theatre credits include: MACBETH (Stafford Shakespeare Festival); THE SELFISH GIANT (Royal & Derngate, Northampton and West End); BROKEN GLASS (Watford Palace); HOLES (Nottingham Playhouse); BLACK MEN WALKING (eclipse, Royal Exchange and Royal Court); THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS (Sherman Theatre); PETER PAN (Mercury Theatre, Colchester); DRIVING MISS DAISY; SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER and GOOD GRIEF (Theatre Royal Bath and UK tour); BILLY THE KID (NYMT, Leicester Curve Studio); BABETTE’S FEAST (The Print Room); ROSE (HOME); PLATINUM (Hampstead Theatre); TWELFTH NIGHT; THE MERCHANT OF VENICE (Shakespeare’s Globe); SLEEPING BEAUTY; THE LADYKILLERS; SHERLOCK’S LAST CASE; SLEUTH (Watermill Theatre); THE WORLD GOES ROUND (Stephen Joseph Theatre); SUDDENLY LAST SUMMER and SOMETHING UNSPOKEN (RADA); THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY; VENUS IN FUR; THE COLLECTOR; SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER (English Theatre Frankfurt); SWEENEY TODD (Harrington’s Pie & Mash Shop, West End & Off-Broadway); BARBARIANS (the former Central St Martin’s building); FALLEN ANGELS (Salisbury Playhouse); THE LIGHT OF HEART; GHOSTS (Theatr Clwyd); at the Ustinov Studio, Bath, RED LIGHT WINTER; IN A GARDEN; IN THE NEXT ROOM OR THE VIBRATOR PLAY (also St. James Theatre), 4000 MILES (also The Print Room), FIFTY WORDS (also Arcola); ABSENT FRIENDS; ENTERTAINING MR SLOANE (London Classic Theatre, UK Tour); ‘TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS (Unicorn Theatre); ISLAND (National Theatre and UK tour); THIS WAS A MAN; YOUNG WOODLEY; TEA AND SYMPATHY (Finborough Theatre); BORDER FORCE; GROSS INDECENCY (Duckie); PURPLE HEART (Gate Theatre); THE MACHINE GUNNERS; RUN!: A SPORT’S DAY MUSICAL (Polka Theatre); THE BUSY BODY; SOMEONE WHO’LL WATCH OVER ME; THE BELLE’S STRATAGEM; ANTIGONE (Southwark Playhouse); HAMLET (Young Vic Taking Part); THE MOUNTAINTOP (Derby LIVE); THERE’S ONLY ONE WAYNE MATTHEWS (Crucible Studio, Sheffield); PALACE OF THE END; RIFF RAFF (Arcola); PEDESTRIAN (Bristol Old Vic and tour); TALES FROM THE BAR OF LOST SOULS (imitating the dog, National Theatre of Greece & UK Tour); SEVEN JEWISH CHILDREN (Hackney Empire); for Rifco Arts, WHERE’S MY DESI SOULMATE? (Theatre Royal Stratford East and tour), MERI CHRISTMAS (West Yorkshire Playhouse and tour); MICHAEL X (Tabernacle); WHITE LIARS (Etcetera Theatre); ARE YOU NOW OR HAVE YOU EVER BEEN; TWELVE ANGRY MEN (Tricycle).

Opera credits include: LE NOZZE DI FIGARO (Nevill Holt Opera); VIVIENNE (Linbury Studio, Royal Opera House); THE CUNNING LITTLE VIXEN, THE PRODIGAL SON, THE HOMECOMING, HÁRY JÁNOS, ORLANDO (Ryedale Festival); A VOICE OF ONE DELIGHT (McCaldin Arts/Tête-à- Tête); ALBERT HERRING (Surrey Opera); TRUE OR FALSETTO? (Drill Hall and international tour); CARMEN (Hampstead Garden Opera); A NIGHT AT THE OPERA (London Palladium and UK tour).

10 April 2018

HOLES opens at Nottingham Playhouse

HOLES opens at Nottingham Playhouse

Adapted from Louis Sachar’s original novel and the Disney feature film starring Jon Voight and Sigourney Weaver, this production featured MLR’s Simon Kenny as Designer and Tom Attwood as Composer/Musical Director. 

The Guardian ★★★★

“the show has a pleasingly fluid quality enhanced by Simon Kenny’s spare design”

“the harshness of life in Camp Green Lake is always vividly drawn”

The Stage ★★★★

“a delicious adventure story”

“There is clever and simple puppetry, some breath-holding moments, and a colourful and exuberant hoe-down.”

British Theatre Guide

“superbly staged by designer Simon Kenny who ingeniously copes with challenges”

Holes really comes to life in a thrilling adventure”

28 April 2017

Nominations are in for the Drama Desk and Off-Broadway Alliance Awards

Nominations are in for the Drama Desk and Off-Broadway Alliance Awards

Drama Desk Awards

Simon Kenny is nominated for Outstanding Set Design for a Musical for SWEENEY TODD: THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET

Amy Mae is nominated for Outstanding Lighting Design for a Musical for SWEENEY TODD: THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET

All together SWEENEY TODD is nominated for 7 awards!

Richard Nelson is nominated for Outstanding Director of a Play for WHAT DID YOU EXPECT?/WOMEN OF A CERTAIN AGE at the Public Theater.  

The Q Brothers are nominated for Outstanding Lyrics for OTHELLO: THE REMIX

Off-Broadway Alliance Awards

SWEENEY TODD (Design by Simon Kenny and Lighting by Amy Mae) is nominated for Best Musical Revival

OTHELLO: THE REMIX (Written, Composed and Directed by The Q Brothers) is nominated for Best New Musical

06 March 2017

Simon Kenny and Amy Mae open SWEENEY TODD in New York!

Simon Kenny and Amy Mae open SWEENEY TODD in New York!

Tooting Arts Club open their production of Sondheim’s musical at Barrow Street Theater with Design by Simon Kenny and Lighting by Amy Mae. The show originally opened at Harrington’s Pie and mash shop in Tooting in 2014 followed by a run on Shaftesbury Avenue. Booking for the NY run has now extended to December 2017. 

The Stage ★★★★★ 

“riveting, immersive production”

“confrontational and powerful” 

Time Out ★★★★★

“From outside it may look like a light snack, but this thrilling, overwhelming Sweeney is a full-course meal: hot from the oven and dripping blood.”


“The clever pop-up set by Simon Kenny — a faithful replica of Harrington’s down to the stained glass windows”

“do expect lighting designer Amy Mae and sound man Matt Stine to set up a bloody racket when Sweeney’s victims go shuffling off to their deaths.” 

The New Yorker

"Buckhurst and his set designer, the original and perfect Simon Kenny, have reinforced the show’s depiction of English class distinctions—the many lives spent in service to the few—by creating a pinched, claustrophobic, dimly lit environment."

"A wonderous production"

New York Times

The Daily Beast

“marvelous, nerve-shredding London transfer”

“The surroundings are so convincing my friend asked if this was a disused café, or a mysterious ante-room to the theatre.”

“Kenny’s ingeniously economic design”

“Amy Mae’s simple but effective lighting”

The Hollywood Reporter 

“the chilling intimacy of this ingenious site-specific production has stayed with me.”

“designer Simon Kenny has transformed the Barrow Street Theatre in Greenwich Village into an uncanny facsimile of the original setting.” 

“resourceful use of candlelight and lanterns to enhance the period illusion.”

“The urgency and immediacy of its storytelling make it a terrific introduction to a glittering musical by a composer at the peak of his powers, and also an invigorating new spin for audiences who know and love this brilliantly conceived Victorian nightmare.”


Theater Mania

“takes an already great musical and turns it into a heart-pounding visceral experience.”

“thrillingly immersive”

“The scent of burning candle wax mixes with the sweat of the actors, perfectly setting the mood for this Victorian thriller.” 

“It pulls us into the heart of the story like no other musical playing in New York right now.”


"ingeniously transformed into a facsimile of Harrington’s Pie and Mash Shop"

"there are many pleasures to recommend this revival, adroitly staged by Bill Buckhurst in Simon Kenny’s uncanny setting."

24 November 2016

Simon Kenny and Joshua Carr open SLEEPING BEAUTY at the Watermill Theatre

Simon Kenny and Joshua Carr open SLEEPING BEAUTY at the Watermill Theatre

Rufus Norris quirky re-telling of the classic fair story is directed by Bill Buckhurst and plays in Newbury until 1st January. Simon Kenny is Designer and Joshua Carr is Lighting Designer. 

The Stage ★★★★ 

“sharp, funny, pacy and energetic” 

“Joshua Carr’s lighting is suitably illuminating and Simon Kenny’s set compensates width for height in the confined space: a raised recessed blue circle is the centrepiece with a tangled framework of wheels at its edges.” 

British Theatre Guide 

“Simon Kenny’s enchanted layered set strikingly creates the forest and the various locations and is atmospherically lit by designer Joshua Carr.”

“The production values are exceedingly high in this excellent seasonal show.”

The Reviews Hub 

“quirky adaptation of a classic tale is superbly told.”

“The production is full of atmosphere”  

08 October 2015

Simon Kenny is Designer on BARBARIANS, Tooting Arts Club

Simon Kenny is Designer on BARBARIANS, Tooting Arts Club

Simon Kenny is Designer on BARBARIANS, Tooting Arts Club

Barrie Keeffe’s 1977 play returns in a site-specific production set in a disused art school – Central St Martins – directed by Bill Buckhurst. This show follows their critically acclaimed production of SWEENEY TODD in a pie shop, and runs until 7th November. 

Jonathan Baz  ★★★★★

“a scorching, brilliant drama.”

Evening Standard ★★★★

“high-quality evening of site-responsive theatre” 

“wonderfully vivid production” 

Whats On Stage ★★★★ 

“its power remains extraordinary and its message depressingly relevant.”

“the dark finale, when it arrives, is shattering.”

The Times

“The designer, Simon Kenny, fills the rooms with graffiti, smoke, period Pepsi cans, a telly showing us footage of Dickie Davies and ads for Denim aftershave.”

“another fascinating production”

Broadway World