Will Duke

Will Duke Portrait


Will is a video designer and visual artist whose work has been exhibited throughout the UK and internationally.

Current and forthcoming credits include: GIULIO CESARE (Teatro alla Scala, Milan); ORLANDO (Wiener Staatsoper); IDOMENEO (Teatro Real, Madrid); NIXON IN CHINA (Royal Danish Opera). 

Dance and Opera credits include: THE RAKE’S PROGRESS (The Stanislavski and Nemirovich-Danchenko Theatre Moscow, Dutch National Opera & Festival d’Aix-en-Provence); BREAKING THE WAVES (Scottish Opera); DIE TOTE STADT (Komische Oper Berlin); THE TEMPEST (Comédie-Française); GERMANIA (Opera Lyon); GOAT (Rambert); SNOW MAIDEN (Opera North); SIMPLICIUS SIMPLICISSIMUS (Independent Opera, Sadler’s Wells); KOMMILITONEN! (Welsh National Youth Opera); OPERA FOR THE UNKNOWN WOMAN (with Melanie Wilson, WMC & Fuel); BENJAMIN, DERNIÈRE NUIT (Opera Lyon); COMMA 40 (Bloomberg Space, London); THE DIFFERENCE ENGINE (Set & Video design, The Dance Umbrella, Gate Theatre London); MISSING (Gecko Theatre Company); DISCOMBOBULATOR (Dance Umbrella Festival, Purcell Room, London); SALVAGE (Lost Dog Dance, Newbury Corn Exchange & UK Tour); THE RAIN PARADE (Lost Dog Dance, UK Tour). 

Theatre credits include: THE CHERRY ORCHARD (International Theater Amsterdam); GRIEF IS THE THING WITH FEATHERS(Barbican & St. Ann’s Warehouse, New York); THECONVERT (Young Vic); I’M A PHOENIX, BITCH (Battersea Arts Centre); THE ENCOUNTER (Complicité; Barbican, International Tour & Golden Theatre, Broadway); WINGS (Young Vic); PYGMALION (Headlong & West Yorkshire Playhouse); THE NARROW WORLD (with Melanie Wilson & The British Council); THE SNOW QUEEN (Bristol Old Vic); BEWARE OF PITY (Complicité & Schaubühne, Berlin); QUEEN ANNE (RSC); NEVERLAND (Battersea Arts Centre & Touring); ABOVE: A FESTIVAL OF IMAGINARY EVENTS FOR ROOFTOPS IN TEHRAN AND LONDON (with Melanie Wilson & Forest Fringe & The British Council, Edinburgh Fringe); THE EDGE (Transport; New Wolsey Theatre & UK Tour); mountaineering (non zero one, Roundhouse & Salisbury Studio); DUSK (Fevered Sleep, Young Vic & UK Tour); 20TH CENTURY BOY (Belgrade Theatre, New Wolsey Theatre & UK Tour); TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS (Unicorn Theatre); LANDSCAPE II (with Melanie Wilson, Fuel Theatre); ONE NIGHT IN NOVEMBER (Belgrade, Coventry); OUR HOUSE (New Wolsey Theatre & UK Tour); ABOVE ME THE WIDE BLUE SKY (Fevered Sleep, Young Vic); HITCHCOCK BLONDE (Hull Truck Theatre); PETER PAN (Derby Live); THIN ICE (Time Won’t Wait, UK Tour); OF MICE AND MEN (Watermill Theatre); WHERE HAVE I BEEN ALL MY LIFE? (by Alecky Blythe, New Vic Theatre); THE TAMING OF THE SHREW (Derby Live).

Residencies/Workshops include: DIGITAL FUTURES IN DANCE (Bournemouth, 2011); DANCE AND TECHNOLOGY WORKSHOP (Dance Digital, Chelmsford 2009); THE ELECTRIC BODY, ENPARTS (Creative Campus, Venice, 2009); BIG CITY (Visual and Media Arts Thematic Residency, Banff, Canada, 2000).

Will is the recipient of the 2016 Knights of Illumination Award for Best Projection Design for his work on THE ENCOUNTER.

26 September 2017

Will Duke is the Projection Designer on WINGS at the Young Vic

Will Duke is the Projection Designer on WINGS at the Young Vic

WINGS, by Arthur Kopit and directed by Natalie Abrahami, has Projections by Will Duke.  It runs at the Young Vic until 4th November 2017.

WhatsOnStage ★★★★

“In this thrilling production, it becomes something more – an act of theatrical magic”

“clever set also plays its part in evoking and making physical mental experience”


The Independent ★★★★

“starkly effective design”



The Evening Standard ★★★★

“projections suggest how the most basic structures of her life have dissolved”

“dynamic production”



“dazzling…floating through an abstract world of trilling syllables, impressionistic projections and sliding floors… chaotic and disorientating and literally meant to be recreating the sensation of having suffered a stroke, but there is something joyous about it”




14 February 2017

Will Duke is Projection Designer on BEWARE OF PITY at the Barbican

Will Duke is Projection Designer on BEWARE OF PITY at the Barbican

Simon McBurney directs this adaptation of Stefan Zweig’s 1939 novel in a co-production with Complicite and the Schaubühne in Berlin. Performed in German at the Barbican and live streamed on their website (available until the 26th February).

What’s On Stage ★★★★★ 

“flushes every moment with sights and sounds and sensations and signs and so pulls us this way and that. We see nothing objectively. Everything's oversaturated; all tone and all too much to take in. It's confounding, overwhelming and, ultimately, manipulative.”

“an illuminating explosion of Zweig's story”


The Stage ★★★★

“the production takes on a mesmeric quality – a tragic tale tainted further by the bloodshed to come.”


The Guardian ★★★★ 

“Will Duke’s video design, with its image of desolate battlefields, reminds us that the story must be seen in the context of imminent global catastrophe.”

“an astonishing ensemble production”

“With dazzling virtuosity, this Complicite/Schaubühne staging of Stefan Zweig’s novel brilliantly evokes a doomed romance and the imminent horror of war”


The Times ★★★★ 

“It shakes you, this story, told in this way. As I stood up, I could hardly wait to start thinking about what I had just seen.”


The Reviews Hub ★★★★ 

“Anna Fleischle’s deceptively simple stage design, with scattered tables and microphones, works beautifully with Will Duke’s video design to suggest castle terraces and the march of armies”

“a vivid examination of the nature of memory”

“this magnificent collaboration deserves to be seen.”


 Evening Standard ★★★★ 

“The choice of material feels strikingly relevant”


23 January 2017

Will Duke is Projection Designer on SNOW MAIDEN, Opera North

Will Duke is Projection Designer on SNOW MAIDEN, Opera North

Rimsky-Korsakov's Russian opera opens at the Grand Theatre, Leeds, before touring the UK until 24th February.

The Reviews Hub ★★★★ 

“innovative and imaginative animation, video imagery and eclectic staging, courtesy of Will Duke and Giles Cadle.” 

“an excellent production and one that should be considered as a winter treat for all opera lovers.”


The Times 

“enjoy Will Duke’s misty, snowflaky video designs”


The Stage

“Will Duke’s strikingly atmospheric videos”



“Will Duke's video designs add true magic, giant snowflakes jostling down the scrim as if it were a window pane, tendrils of plants unfurling, sunflowers bursting open in the joyous finale.”

“hurry to catch this in Leeds or on tour before spring sunshine melts The Snow Maiden again.”


Harrogate Advisor


03 October 2016

Kirsty Housely and Will Duke open THE ENCOUNTER on Broadway

Kirsty Housely and Will Duke open THE ENCOUNTER on Broadway

Following sell-out runs at Edinburgh International Festival 2015 and The Barbican, Simon McBurney and Complicite’s production plays at the Golden Theatre until 8th January 2017. Co-conceived and co-directed by Kirsty Housley, with Projection Design by Will Duke.

New York Times

“no production on Broadway has ever thrown the doors of perception open as widely as “The Encounter””


“summons those sensations not just through sound but also through lighting (by Paul Anderson) and projections (by Will Duke) that transform a sterile stage into a phosphorescent jungle where shadow trumps substance or an American suburb illuminated by a bonfire of discarded worldly goods.” 


Timeout ★★★★★

“utterly transfixing mind-tickler”

“offers a meeting of ear, mind and soul you will never forget.”


The Guardian ★★★★

“unusual and enthralling” 

“mood-altering and mind-expanding” 


The Hollywood Reporter 

“resembles no other theater piece in memory.”

“an extraordinarily visceral, often hypnotic piece of storytelling”


Wall Street Journal

“a piece of storytelling that is as haunting and enthralling as a half-remembered dream.”


23 September 2016

Will Duke wins a Knight of Illumination Award for Projection Design!

Will Duke wins a Knight of Illumination Award for Projection Design!

The "Knight of Illumination Awards" annually provide public recognition for the outstanding achievements of experts in Lighting Design, Video and Graphic Display and Projection Design who are working for UK productions across a range of professional areas.


Will Duke was awarded as part of the Theatre category for his work on Complicite’s THE ENCOUNTER at Edinburgh International Festival and The Barbican. 

Will Duke won the video design category – projection, of course, working entirely through light – for his contribution to Complicite's The Encounter. Ironically, that show most obviously celebrated sound, but Duke's projections underpinned its every effect, not just suggesting the stage stand in for an Amazonian rainforest, but making the theatre itself seem fluid and so heightening the hallucination at the story's heart.”

Matt Truman, KOI judging panel member


19 February 2016

Will Duke is Projection Designer on THE ENCOUNTER at the Barbican

Will Duke is Projection Designer on THE ENCOUNTER at the Barbican

Directed and performed by Simon McBurney, Complicite’s new production explores the limits of storytelling using innovative sound technology in this immersive one man show. Following a run at Edinburgh International Festival last year, THE ENCOUTER is at The Barbican until 6th March. 

The Evening Standard ★★★★★

“a performance of startling inventiveness and precision, simultaneously conspiratorial and confrontational.” 

“relies on the invisible efforts of a brilliant technical crew”

“a hypnotic, almost religious experience that warrants those two much-abused terms, “immersive” and “unmissable””


A Younger Theatre 

“Will Duke’s projection underscore the story beautifully.”

“high flair of the technical team…drives us into a trippy world of extraordinary stimulation, turning the brain upside down.”

“mind-blowing in every sense.”


What’s On Stage ★★★★★

“the power of this story is enough to knock you flat.”

“visual tricks…manipulate the senses into feeling some of what McIntyre actually felt.” 


The Upcoming ★★★★★

“the show becomes as much about vision as sound.”

“Beautifully done, and superbly told” 

“truly memorable.”


Financial Times ★★★★★


The Times ★★★★

“a unique exploration, dizzying and disorientating, epic yet tinglingly intimate.”

“is both an extraordinary yarn and an expedition into theatrical possibility — and it’s quite a trip.”


The Guardian ★★★★

“an astonishing technical feat.”


The Telegraph ★★★★

“our notions of time, borders, reality and artifice start to blend into a wondrous aural soup.”