Tom Piper

Tom Piper Portrait


Current and future projects include: WHITE TEETH (Kiln Theatre); DOCTOR DOLITTLE (UK Tour).

Theatre designs include: CYRANO (National Theatre of Scotland); THE GREAT WAVE, THE BIRTHDAY PARTY, OH, WHAT A LOVELY WAR! (National Theatre); THE BOX OF DELIGHTSTHE RAKE’S PROGRESS (Wilton’s Music Hall); THE CHERRY ORCHARD (Royal Exchange & Bristol Old Vic); OPEN HOUSE (Ustinov Theatre); BAYADERE (Shobana Jeyasingh Dance, Sadlers Wells); BOUDICA (Shakespeare’s Globe); RHINOCEROUS, HAY FEVER (Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh); FRANKENSTEINand HEDDA GABLER (Northern Stage); THE INTELLIGENT HOMOSEXUAL’S GUIDE TO CAPITALISM AND SOCIALISM WITH A KEY TO SCRIPTURES (Hampstead Theatre); HARROGATE (HighTide & Royal Court); PRIDE AND PREJUDICE (Regent's Park Open Air Theatre & UK Tour); A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM (RSC & UK Tour); CARMEN LA CUBANA (Le Chatelet, European Tour, Sadlers Wells, Paris); ENDGAME, HAMLETLIBERTINE, KING LEAR (Citizens Theatre, Glasgow); RED VELVET (West End, Tricycle Theatre & New York); A WOLF IN SNAKESKIN SHOES, THE HOUSE THAT WILL NOT STAND (Tricycle Theatre); THE KING’S SPEECH (Birmingham Rep, Chichester Festival Theatre & UK Tour); MERMAID (Shared Experience); TAMBURLAINE THE GREAT (Theatre For a New Audience, New York); BAKERSFIELD MIST (West End); THE BIG MEAL (Theatre Royal Bath & Hightide Festival); BRACKEN MOOR (Shared Experience & Tricycle Theatre); ZORRO (West End, Tour, Paris, Moscow, Amsterdam, Tokyo and Atlanta); GOODBYE TO ALL THAT, VERA, VERA, VERA (Royal Court Theatre & Theatre Local); RICHARD III, THE TEMPESTand AS YOU LIKE IT(Bridge Project at BAM and the Old Vic); DEALER’S CHOICE (Menier Chocolate Factory and West End); FALL (RSC at the Traverse); SPYSKI (Lyric Hammersmith and tour); THE SCARECROW AND HIS SERVANT (Southwark Playhouse); PLOUGH AND THE STARSTHE CRUCIBLE and SIX CHARACTERS IN SEARCH OF AN AUTHOR (Abbey, Dublin). Costume designs include: PRIDE AND PREJUDICE A WINTER’S TALE (Regents Park Open Air Theatre).

Tom was the Associate Designer of the RSC for ten years. His recent work there includes MISS LITTLEWOOD, TAMBURLAINE, ROMEO AND JULIET (RSC); THE SEVEN ACTS OF MERCYLOVE FOR LOVE, CHRISTMAS TRUCEANTONY & CLEOPATRA in a new edit by Tarell Alvin McCraney (RSC/Miami/New York), BORIS GODUNOV, MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, MACBETHand CITY MADAM, the Histories Cycle (Courtyard Theatre and at the Roundhouse), designing RICHARD IIHENRY IV – PARTS 1 and 2,HENRY VHENRY VI – PARTS 1, 2 and 3 and RICHARD III for which he won the 2009 Olivier Award for Best Costume Design and was nominated for the 2009 Olivier Award for Best Set Design, AS YOU LIKE ITTHE GRAIN STORETHE DRUNKS, HAMLET, KING LEAR, THE TEMPEST

Opera includes: PELLÉAS ET MÉLISANDE, EUGENE ONEGIN (Garsington Opera); ORFEO (Royal Opera House & Roundhouse); FALSTAFF, MACBETH (Scottish Opera). 

Elsewhere Tom has worked at the National Theatre, the Donmar, the Royal Opera House, Soho Theatre, Dundee Rep, Bush Theatre, Gate Dublin, Nottingham Playhouse, Royal Court Theatre, Hampstead Theatre, Sheffield Crucible and in the West End.

Installations/Exhibitions include:THE TOWER REMEMBERS (Tower of London 2018); WINNIE-THE-POOH: EXPLORING A CLASSIC (V&A exhibition); DR BLIGHTY (Nutkhut, 14-18 NOW); BLOOD SWEPT LAND AND SEAS OF RED (Tower of London 2014, and UK Tour, 2015 – 2018, with artist Paul Cummins, and in collaboration with Alan Farlie Architects: CURTAIN UP (V&A and Lincoln Centre New York, 2016);BLOOD (Jewish Museum, 2015-2016); STAGING THE WORLD (Shakespeare Exhibition as part of the Cultural Olympiad, British Museum, 2012) 

Tom received an MBE for services to Theatre and First World War commemorations in 2015. BLOOD SWEPT LANDS AND SEAS OF RED has won numerous awards, including, amongst others, a Museum and Heritage award & a Southbank Sky Arts award; and with Paul Cummins, he was named The Telegraph’s Briton of the Year 2014. A series of installations featuring the two sculptural pieces from the installation, designed by Tom, are on tour around the UK until 2018.

05 November 2018

Tower of London Illuminated for Armistice

Tower of London Illuminated for Armistice

10,000 flames have been lit at the Tower of London to mark a century since the signing of the Armitice agreement. 'Beyond the Deepening Shadow' is designed by Tom Piper, in a stunning tribute to First World War veterans. The ceremony will be repeated every night until Armistice Sunday. 

The Telegraph

'What will also resonate with the lighting of the torches in the dusk, Piper hopes, is "a sense of something coming out of the darkness that brings hope and peace. But, of course, the light from each of those little torches isn't an eternal flame: it's something fragile and ephemeral that needs our constant watchful attention. If I have a message, I think that is where it lies".

'After a bugle call, a minute's silence and a reveille, each torch is lit over 50 minutes or so by Beefeaters, representatives of the armed forces and volunteer members of the public. Each evening, a cadet, a serving member of the military and a veteran each light a flame before the volunteers do the rest, covering half a mile of grass-covered moat and gradually creating a circle of light that radiates from the Tower.'

BBC News 



12 July 2018

MISS LITTLEWOOD lands on her feet at (the other) Stratford

MISS LITTLEWOOD lands on her feet at (the other) Stratford

With book, music & lyrics by Sam Kenyon and Design by Tom Piper, MISS LITTLEWOOD has been storming the stage in Stratford in its premiere with the RSC.

WhatsOnStage ★★★★★
“I felt the hairs stand on end at the back of my neck – as when I watched Tim Minchin and Dennis Kelly's Matilda for the first time… this is an anarchic delight in the style of Miss Littlewood herself.”

The Reviews Hub 

“Clare Burt is a delight as Joan Littlewood, engaging with the audience and bringing them into the production. On the way through she enlists the help of six other ‘Joans’, each representing a different stage in her life – or maybe different aspects of her multi-faceted personality“

Evening Standard 

“The Royal Shakespeare Company’s own remarkable woman, deputy artistic director Erica Whyman, is here the most confident of ringmasters, marshalling a jaunty and fluid production, in which the songs, often music hall-inflected, arrive in tantalising snippets."

The Times 

“The masterstroke of the writer and composer Sam Kenyon is to tell this great theatrical figure’s story in the muscularly informal and informative manner of such Littlewood shows as Oh! What a Lovely War.”

“Different sets keep emerging from under the replica of the proscenium arch of the other Stratford theatre (great work from the designer Tom Piper).”

“Kenyon’s songs are ingenious”

The Stage 

“The sight of all the Joans together is a delight – a stage dominated by women of all ages still feels like a radical act.”

The Guardian 

“His songs also remind us that she regarded music as a vital component of theatre. In Stratford East, at the start of the second half, is a delightful hymn to the rat-ridden palace of varieties that she and Raffles turned into a theatrical mecca. A later song, A Little Bit of Business, is full of the pluck and cheek that shows why Barbara Windsor immediately became one of the discerning Littlewood’s great discoveries.”

Broadway World UK 

“Kenyon is at his best in capturing the joie de vivre of a troupe of actors, creatives and technicians coming together to re-invent theatre as an art form either side of the War. Joan is very much the alpha female, calling the shots and providing the radical political underpinning for the collective.”

27 March 2018

RHINOCEROS revival opens to 5* reviews

RHINOCEROS revival opens to 5* reviews

With Design by Tom Piper, Eugene Ionsesco’s absurd masterpicece RHINOCEROS is revived at the Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh after last year’s premiere. This updated adaptation is by Zinnie Harris and directed by Murat Daltaban.

Boquets & Brickbats ★★★★★

“This is a truly glorious production, as witty and vivacious as it is prescient.”

“It’s visually stunning”

Pete’s Perorations ★★★★★

“the audience bathes in the same warm glow as Tom Piper's expansive set of three white walls”

“Berenger howls to the moon "I will not change" from atop a shrunken stage framed within an ever decreasing proscenium arch”

Edinburgh49 ★★★★★

enraptures the audience at breakneck pace from start to finish”

“ingeniously realised onstage… steadily adding platforms to raise the action higher and higher”

“delightfully insane costume design by Tom Piper”

Edinburgh Festival ★★★★★

“Tom Piper’s sublime set design… a necroscape of truncated public spaces and claustrophobic, tectonic interiors”

“ingenious design”

22 March 2018

THE GREAT WAVE opens at the Dorfman, National Theatre

THE GREAT WAVE opens at the Dorfman, National Theatre

With Design by Tom Piper, THE GREAT WAVE is a shocking story of abduction drawn from real events. Written by Francis Turnly in a world premiere production directed by Indhu Rubasingham.

London Theatre ★★★★★

“an utterly gripping, heart-breaking new play.”

Financial Times ★★★★

“a thriller that unfolds over 23 years… on Tom Piper’s magnificent, swirling set.”

 “this is an urgent, riveting and resonant piece of theatre”

The Independent ★★★★

The play sensitively intertwines the intimacies of private pain and the pressures of international politics.”

“We’re whisked from location to location by Tom Piper’s excellent rotating paper design, with swirling videos of waves provided by Luke Halls.”

The Telegraph ★★★★

“Tom Piper’s ingenious, projected-upon set with its near-identikit interiors”

WhatsOnStage ★★★★

“the production has a wonderful fluidity… Tom Piper's set is a rotating cube, with the paper walls of a Japanese house and the bare spaces of a North Korean home”

13 March 2018

THE CHERRY ORCHARD opens at Bristol Old Vic

THE CHERRY ORCHARD opens at Bristol Old Vic

Michael Boyd directs this revival of Chekhov’s play, with design by Tom Piper. It opened at the Bristol Old Vic last week, before it moves to the Royal Exchange, Manchester.

The Guardian ★★★★

“The mood of the drama, often difficult to judge, hovers exquisitely between cruelty, tenderness and knockabout humour via moments of fragile pastoral tranquility.”

“Tom Piper’s design brings the audience fully into this threatened household, with its unrequited, unspoken loves and unquiet, silent ghosts.”

The Times ★★★★

“There is not a tree to be seen in this airy and elegant production… we see only a branch of luxurious blossom, though, at times, petals fall from the sky on to a household collapsing as fast as old Russia itself.”

“The designer Tom Piper has even reconfigured the theatre, extending the stage and adding, in the back, tiers of on-stage seating that perfectly replicate the rest of this gorgeous Georgian theatre.”

Financial Times ★★★★

 “a fuller, sharper Chekhovian portrait than English speakers are used to”

The Stage ★★★★

WhatsOnStage ★★★★

30 January 2018

Tom Piper is Designer on OPEN HOUSE at the Print Room

Tom Piper is Designer on OPEN HOUSE at the Print Room

Following a run at Ustinov Theatre, Bath, Will Eno’s dark family comedy opens at the Print Room in Notting hill, directed by Michael Boyd.

The Reviews Hub ★★★★ 

“Tom Piper’s bleak and anaemic set comes to life as acts and words of benevolence uncover colour and goodness”

What’s On Stage ★★★★ 

“The curtains are pulled back and daylight streams in, wallpaper is stripped and colour is added to Tom Piper's deliberately muted set. A home is as interchangeable as the family who occupy it, what once felt suffocatingly bleak soon becomes a place full of possibility.”

The Stage 

“Tom Piper’s set design has the family suffocating in 1950 shades of beige suburbia. The attention to detail is superb, with wooden bowls of potpourri, an over-filled coat rail and an entire hidden cupboard of childhood memorabilia unexpectedly revealed.”

The Arts Desk ★★★★

“Tom Piper’s design has a crystalline simplicity”

“The dramatic absurdity is so finely tuned, the writing so razor sharp, the pauses so perfectly timed that pleasure is inevitable”

Financial Times ★★★★

13 December 2017

Tom Piper is Designer on BOX OF DELIGHTS at Wilton’s Music Hall

Tom Piper is Designer on BOX OF DELIGHTS at Wilton’s Music Hall

This new stage adaptation, based on the children’s novel by John Masefield, runs at Wilton’s until 6th January.

The Guardian ★★★★

“Justin Audibert’s production and Tom Piper’s design are every bit as inclusive as the story itself. The stage is filled with wardrobes that, as in the works of CS Lewis, usher us into other dimensions.”

What’s On Stage ★★★★

“adults will marvel at the way that Tom Piper's design – all drapes, antique wood and ladders – melds so seamlessly with Wilton's shabbily gorgeous space”

Financial Times ★★★★

“Tom Piper’s ingenious design fills the stage with old packing cases and wardrobes to create an adaptable, evocative space. And Nina Dunn’s video design creates one particularly magical moment when a phoenix soars from the ashes — much as Kay’s spirits do on finding his calling.”

Arts Desk 

“a lot of credit should go to the designer Tom Piper who certainly knows how to get the most out of a set primarily made out of old wardrobes and a couple of propped-up ladders” 

The Times

“The real star is the design. Tom Piper’s set, a dusty, higgledy-piggledy cascade of country-house furniture, is a veritable playground that evokes so beautifully those long, boring childhood afternoons that were transformed by the power of imagination and play”

Time Out

“Tom Piper’s set is lovely: a series of old boxes and crates that look like they were just lying there on the stage double up as a huge, wintry world, animated by delightful puppetry and the odd slightly bargain-basement projection.”

06 December 2017

Tom Piper is Designer on WINNIE-THE-POOH: EXPLORING A CLASSIC at the V&A Museum

Tom Piper is Designer on WINNIE-THE-POOH: EXPLORING A CLASSIC at the V&A Museum

The exhibition, which opened this week, features around 230 works and artefacts dating from 1920 onwards, including original illustrations and manuscripts. 

Tom Piper talks about his design for the exhibition: 

“Winnie-the-Pooh is a very simple, evocative sort of world in which you want children to be able to get fully immersed in the imagination of going into the Hundred Acre Wood. So we wanted to make it immersive in lots of different ways. So there’s digital immersion, but equally we’ve created huge hand-painted, five meter high versions of the Hundred Acre Wood, (so) that you can really get the atmosphere of the place.”

“His design fills the galleries with spaces where parents will find it impossible to follow small visitors, including a narrow flight of steps leading to a slide, and Owl’s tiny door with the brass bell labelled “RNIG ALSO”.”

The Guardian

14 September 2017

Tom Piper Designs BOUDICA at Shakespeare's Globe

Tom Piper Designs BOUDICA at Shakespeare's Globe

BOUDICA, by Tristan Bernays and Directed by Eleanor Rhode is Designed by MLR’s Tom Piper. It runs at Shakespeare’s Globe until October 1st.

WhatsOnStage ★★★★★

“Tom Piper's magnificent set with its huge, gilded wooden planks that move to create fortresses, woodlands”

“a thrilling, challenging and thoroughly disturbing examination of one of Britain's bloodiest – and feistiest – patriots”

Broadway World ★★★★★

“Piper's costumes are wonderful”

“exactly the kind of brave, bold work that needs to be continually championed, especially in venues such as this” 

The Guardian ★★★★

“Tom Piper’s timbered set disintegrates to good effect”

“holds the stage with confidence”

The Evening Standard ★★★★

“impressively energetic and makes bold use of the Globe’s space”

“raucous production delights in its rawness”



07 August 2017

Tom Piper is the Set/Costume Designer on RHINOCEROS

Tom Piper is the Set/Costume Designer on RHINOCEROS

RHINOCEROS, by Eugene Ionesco, in a new version by Zinnie Harris, is Designed by Tom Piper. It is playing at the Lyceum Theatre as part of EIF.

The Scotsman ★★★★★

“Sometimes, a theatre show appears that not only captures the moment, but takes full possession of it, and slams it straight through the goalposts of the time we live in”

“blazing with theatrical energy and wit”

Arts Desk ★★★★★

"Tom Piper’s starkly beautiful set designs becoming increasingly claustrophobic as the evening progresses."

"this Rhinoceros is a remarkable achievement, a chilling reminder of how simple it is for humans to discard their humanity, as hilarious as it is desperate, and as urgent as it is compelling."

Edinburgh Guide ★★★★★

“The heightened style … is reflected in the costumes from Tom Piper…incredible”

“a fantastic night at the theatre”

The Times ★★★★

“Tom Piper’s multilevel white-on-white set fits together like a vertical jigsaw”

“Beastly, but in a good way”


“The set design by Tom Piper is a modernist maze of moving parts”

“In opposition to the ‘let’s go back to nature’ furore happening largely off-stage, the set design does civilisation art gallery style”

The Independent ★★★★ 

"Tom Piper’s shifting set of all-white platforms" 

"far smarter than a bit of one-note topical satire based on current talking points." 

The Scotsman

"a bold, brilliant production"

"And as the walls close in on Piper’s set, confining and constraining Berenger’s very movements, the temptation to run with the pack grows ever more intense."

The Edinburgh Reporter ★★★★

"Designer, Tom Piper`s modular set allows dimensional transitions that increasingly compress movement."

"Maddeningly compulsive"

"A compelling, premier tour d`farce."

19 June 2017

Tom Piper is Designer on PELLÉAS ET MÉLISANDE at Garsington Opera

Tom Piper is Designer on PELLÉAS ET MÉLISANDE at Garsington Opera

Michael Boyd and Tom Piper stage Debussy’s opera with conductor Jac van Steen and the Philharmonia Orchestra in its Garsington debut. Running until the 7th July.  

The Guardian ★★★★

“a striking achievement that blends tradition with innovation to shed fresh light on the opera’s complexities.”

“the decrepit enclosure of Tom Piper’s gothic set” 

“An innovative, striking production”

Opera Today

“Piper’s intricate set fuses the antique with the modern and embraces Maeterlinck’s allegory with the meticulousness of a pre-Raphaelite painter. The designer captures the realism of Maeterlinck’s natural world and decadent decay as well as the symbolic blindness of his text. The result is a timeless world of fairy-tale and scenic enchantment, allied with a tangible emotional drama” 

“with his designer Tom Piper, Boyd brings the opera’s dreams and mysteries into landscapes that are lit, symbolically and figuratively, with precision.” 

“Piper’s set is a huge arching ‘cave’ which enfolds and encloses multiple terrains”

“Boyd and Piper manage both to tell the (fairy-)tale and protect its intangibility.”

The Stage ★★★★

“Tom Piper’s single set is inspired by the decayed magnificence of disused theatres in Detroit, whose distressed grandeur matches the work’s fin de siècle atmosphere perfectly.”

“beautiful and devastating”

20 March 2017

Tom Piper is Designer on HAY FEVER at the Edinburgh Lyceum

Tom Piper is Designer on HAY FEVER at the Edinburgh Lyceum

Dominic Hill directs Noël Coward's comedy, playing in Edinburgh until the 1st April before moving to the Citizen's Theatre in Glasgow. 

Edinburgh Guide ★★★★ 

“the set for this production from Tom Piper is of lugubrious brown with utterly authentic looking furniture that’s lit with a 30 watt feel of the time. The attention to detail results in a faithful period rendition not least in the utterly gorgeous and immaculately created costumes that are the sartorial icing on that cake.”

The Times ★★★★

“Tom Piper’s set design provides just enough detail to convey the comfortably moth-eaten atmosphere of the Bliss residence.”

The Edinburgh Reporter ★★★★ 

The Stage

“comic splendour”

“crisp production” 

The Herald Scotland ★★★★ 

“Tom Piper's exquisitely exposed set” 

Edinburgh News ★★★★ 

“amid the deconstructed grandeur of Tom Piper’s skeletal Bliss family home” 

“certainly a staging not be sneezed at.”

29 September 2016

Max Jones & Tom Piper - PRIDE AND PREJUDICE goes on Tour

Max Jones & Tom Piper - PRIDE AND PREJUDICE goes on Tour

Following sell-out performances at Regent's Park Theatre, Simon Reade’s adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic novel goes on Tour across the UK until February 2017. Designed by Max Jones with Costumes by Tom Piper. 

Eastern Daily Press 

“Everything about this production sparkles”

“Designer Max Jones’s set is a star in itself, with the action revolving from Mr Darcy’s Pemberley estate to Netherfield and the Bennet family home.”

Lynn News

“funny, exciting and clever.”

“Staging was a particular highlight, and although minimalistic, was a fitting backdrop to the complex story – the revolving structure was a clever and simplistic way of showing a change in place.” 

Broadway World ★★★★

“Max Jones's excellent use of the revolve stage” 

London Theatre 1 ★★★★

“designer Max Jones’s ingenious set. This rotates us through the glorious landscapes” 

Get Surrey ★★★★★

“full of wit, wonder, a charming cast and a stunning musical score to couple the beauty of the show”

Entertainment Focus

“set designer Max Jones employs a flexible revolving stage to switch between interior and exterior locations with a wrought iron effect to portray a sense of wealth and prosperity. Minimalistic but effective.”

“the production looks good and has good comic vigour and timing.”  

06 June 2016

Tom Piper is Designer on EUGENE ONEGIN at Garsington Opera

Tom Piper is Designer on EUGENE ONEGIN at Garsington Opera

Michael Boyd’s production of Tchaikovsky’s fateful romance plays at Garsington until 7th July.

The Stage ★★★★ 

“Tom Piper’s handsome and adaptable period designs”  

The Telegraph ★★★★

“Tom Piper’s designs are splendid”


“an altogether exhilarating performance.”  

What’s On Stage ★★★★


“Designer Tom Piper…make deft use of Garsington's evening sunshine to bathe the opening scene in Madame Larina's garden in natural light, while the decision to stage the first-act ball within cramped confines not only means the later, grander affair has maximum impact but also ensures we miss none of the reactions to Onegin's impulsive behaviour.”

The Financial Times ★★★★ 

“keeps the voltage at a consistent high.”

27 May 2016

Tom Piper and Amanda Stoodley are Designers on DR BLIGHTY

Tom Piper and Amanda Stoodley are Designers on DR BLIGHTY

As part of Britain’s Centenary Anniversary of the First World War Nutkhut, along with 14-18 NOW: WW1 Centenary Art Commissions, Brighton Festival, and Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove, are presenting an ambitious programme of immersive performances and installations based in Brighton’s Royal Pavilion Garden. 

DR BLIGHTY is one of the untold stories of The Great War – Muslims, Sikhs and Hindu men left their homes for Europe’s Western Front.  Brighton became temporary home of recovery for thousands of wounded soldiers from the Indian subcontinent. It is their story Dr Blighty follows in an ambitious outdoor project, bringing together arts, heritage and education into a 6 day free public event finishing on Saturday 28th May.

Tom Piper and Amanda Stoodley have created the designs and costumes. Tom shares his thoughts on his latest blog post: 

“I have designed three ‘pavilions’ within the Gardens as a response to the images of the Hospital created within the extraordinary interiors of the Pavilion.  We have tried to imagine what it would have felt like to wake up in this environment, the feelings of loneliness and home sickness of men thrust into a strange exotic building, which we are sure the authorities felt would make them feel at home, yet in-prisoned and shielded them from the inquisitive Brighton public.”

More info:

01 March 2016

ENDGAME moves to HOME in Manchester.

ENDGAME moves to HOME in Manchester.

Tom Piper is Designer on Dominic Hill’s production, which opened at Glasgow Citizen’s Theatre last month, and now plays in Manchester until 12th March.

Manchester Confidential ★★★★★

“This is a really welcome production. More please.”

“creative team have done a superb job”

“surprisingly funny”

The Arts Shelf ★★★★★ 

“a very moving and enthralling ninety-minutes of theatre.”

“captivating production” 

Manchester Evening News ★★★★ 

“certainly deserves its warm reception”

Upstaged Manchester ★★★★

“Tom Piper’s suitably grimy set – rusty, damp and closed off from the world.” 

“so compelling.”

British Theatre Guide

“Tom Piper's vision of typical Beckett territory: a room that resembles a battered metal box with high windows looking out over the empty nothingness that the world has become.”

“compelling production”

Jidly Sauce

“The set is deserving of more than a passing mention. It has an age-splattered beauty, a rusty-coloured griminess, which serves the play admirably.”

“Everything about this production bespeaks quality.” 

Reviews Hub

“Tom Piper’s set is a rust-riddled metal box in some kind of post-apocalyptic wasteland. Two windows high up the walls are murky green. Grimy sheets cover two dustbins, and a man clenched fast into an armchair in the dead centre of the room.” 

North West End

“The set, (Tom Piper), a large, vacuous tin can, grimy and empty save a radiator, two metal dustbins and Hamm on his chair, worked perfectly.”

“The tiny, dirty windows high up, which were never cleaned and never opened despite efforts and orders to the contrary, provided much of the visual comedy, but also integral to the irony and situation of our protagonists.”

“a must-see production”

26 February 2016

Tom Piper and Sam Kenyon open A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM in Stratford

Tom Piper and Sam Kenyon open A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM in Stratford

The RSC have embarked on an ambitious and unique touring production of Shakespeare’s much-loved comedy, working with local amateur groups across the UK to create a “Play for the Nation”. Directed by Erica Whyman, with Design by Tom Piper and Music by Sam Kenyon, A MIDSUMMER NIGHTS DREAM plays in Stratford until 16th July 2016 before touring.

The Guardian ★★★★


“dusted with magic, glee and a sense that we can dream a better world”

“other meanings are delivered via Tom Piper’s design that offers a bombed-out theatre and 1940s costumes”

“replaced by the vivid colours of the Hindu festival Holi, the sound of destruction by the jazzy beat of a new era as spring arrives in a shower of rose petals.”

The Times ★★★★

“a roaring success”

 The Evening Standard ★★★★

“clear, striking and, crucially, witty

“something that will appeal both to newcomers to the transformative powers of this magic-filled forest and to those who have long been accustomed to its beguiling beauty.”

“A jovial band at each side of the stage adds to the levity of the Forties setting — oh, those lovely frocks! — which unfolds under a bombed-out proscenium arch.”

“The nation is in for a treat.”

The Reviews Hub ★★★★

“Tom Piper’s war-torn brick background is pushed to the back to make room for rose petals, red drapes and twinkling lights for the final scene which are very effective with school children dressed as evacuees with smatterings of multi-coloured dust on their clothes intended to signify hope and new beginnings.”

“the jazz interludes performed live by musicians at the side of the stage add some sizzle.” 

Bromsgrove Observer

“out of the ordinary, that little bit special”

“truly is a play for the nation” 

09 February 2016

Tom Piper is Designer on ENDGAME at Glasgow Citizens Theatre.

Tom Piper is Designer on ENDGAME at Glasgow Citizens Theatre.

What’s On Stage ★★★★

“Tom Piper's blasted-bunker design underscores the bleak setting.”

“Everything is stained with dirt, down to Hamm's handkerchief and Clov's bandages.”

“a clear win for them here.” 

“the kind of theatrical experience that leaves you shaken yet also strangely elated questioning life but hinting that, perhaps, not all hope is lost.” 

The Guardian ★★★★ 

“The dust blows into Tom Piper’s set from the kind of desert where you’d expect to find Winnie in Happy Days, another Beckett stoic who survives against all odds.”

“a room of pale blue copper, streaked and distressed, not so much a home as an industrial unit” 

“hits home with nihilistic force.” 

The Times ★★★★

“As designed by Tom Piper and lit by Lizzie Powell, Hamm’s derelict throne room may recall Sartre’s vision of hell, but it also convinces as a refuge.”

“creates a haunting sense of the world beyond these bare walls”

Herald Scotland 

“never loosens its grip for an enthralling hour and a half”

“the rusting seam parameters of Tom Piper's container-like set”

“Piper cleverly reflects that in a seaside postcard front cloth that is reduced to a framed painting on the back wall”  

The Reviews Hub ★★★★ 

“A backdrop – an idyllic, 30s-style beach scene, after the style of those nostalgic railways posters – rises, to uncover the play’s single set: an empty, dirty, derelict room. It has only two small, high windows, reached only by steps, and is furnished by what seems like post-apocalyptic detritus, including two dustbins. In the centre, on casters, a single chair, on which sits Hamm, blind and chair-ridden, his face covered by a bloody rag.”

“amid such bleakness, is reward to be found? Well, yes.” 

The Scotsman ★★★★


"Set by designer Tom Piper in what looks like a rusting metal bunker, this is a reading of Beckett’s text that makes an absolute virtue of the play’s terrible stasis" 

The List 

“new life can be pumped into one of Samuel Beckett's most famous plays”

“Tom Piper's moulded over, rusting design makes no concessions to decor either, with the sands of time pouring through the ceiling, as the power struggles between sadistic Hamm and embittered Clov shift almost imperceptibly.” 

“giving this production a barbed beauty.”

03 February 2016

Tom Piper, Imogen Knight and Paul Arditti open RED VELVET in the West End

Tom Piper, Imogen Knight and Paul Arditti open RED VELVET in the West End

This multi-award winning play, which originally premiered at the Tricycle Theatre before transferring to New York, joins the Kenneth Branagh Garrick Season. Olivier-Award winner Adrian Lester reprises his role as Ira Aldridge, and Indhu Rubasingham Directs. With Design by Tom Piper, Sound Design by Paul Arditti and Movement Direction by Imogen Knight, RED VELVET plays a limited run until the 27th of February.

The Telegraph ★★★★

“informative, entertaining, thought-provoking and beautifully played.”

“Believe the hype.” 

The Guardian ★★★★ 

“gives us fire, fury and grandeur”

The Times ★★★★ 

“laugh-out-loud funny.”

“The set, by Tom Piper, with its dark woods and sparse furnishings, is austere but elegant.”

“he got a standing ovation and deserved it.”

What’s On Stage ★★★★

“tinged beautifully with a palpable sense of stage magic”

“eye-wateringly good performance”

The Londonist ★★★★

“takes your breath away”


The Reviews Hub 

“a strikingly beautiful set from Tom Piper”

The Financial Times ★★★★

Radio Times 

“a worthy play doesn’t necessarily mean a great one. This is both: heartbreaking and hilarious by turns.”

The Upcoming ★★★★★

The Evening Standard ★★★★ 

“a rich psychological study that’s also a shrewd portrait of the theatre as an institution”

06 November 2015

Tom Piper is Set Designer for LOVE FOR LOVE at the RSC

Tom Piper is Set Designer for LOVE FOR LOVE at the RSC

Selina Cadell makes her RSC directorial debut with William Congreve's Restoration comedy, playing at the Swan Theatre until 22nd January. 

The Guardian ★★★★ 

“a delightful revival” 

“one of those rare comedies that combine a sharp satirical wit with a genuinely warm heart.”

What’s On Stage ★★★★

“a blast from start to finish.” 

“Tom Piper's set design is simple but effective” 

The Stage

“Tom Piper’s witty set design, which effortlessly evokes a late 17th century printed page.”