Peter Mumford


Peter Mumford trained as a stage designer at the Central School of Art in London, studying under Ralph Koltai, in the late Sixties. In 1969, during his last year at art school, he became a founder member of the mixed media experimental theatre group Moving Being (director Geoff Moore), with whom he worked as designer and lighting and projection designer on all productions until 1978, moving to Cardiff with the company in 1972. After that he continued to work with Moving Being on a project basis but began a wider based freelance career. In the late Seventies he became a part time member of the faculty of the London Contemporary School of Dance at The Place, teaching a course relating choreography to visual art and design and also at that time began collaborating with a number of choreographers in their early work at The Place, such as Siobhan Davies, Richard Alston, Ian Spink and many others. When the company Second Stride was formed in the early Eighties Peter was a founding collaborator as lighting designer - another working relationship that would last for nearly another decade. In the Eighties, Peter designed the lighting for a huge number of dance works for companies such as London Contemporary Dance Theatre, Rambert, Second Stride, Siobhan Davies Co. and many other individual projects at that time. He also continued to design projects with Moving Being like the major site specific “Mabinogion” - first at Carnarvon Castle and later in Cardiff.

His work gradually expanded into opera, designing sets/costumes and lighting for

“Parsifal “for WNO in 1978 and then into drama more towards the end of the Eighties.

“The Overgrown Path” at The Royal Court in 1985 was the first straight play he lit in London.

In 1987 he co-founded Dancelines Productions, a film/TV production company committed to creating and producing dance for television. He produced and directed many programmes/films for Dancelines for both Channel Four and BBC2 up until the mid- Nineties and during that period the work won many awards including OperaScreen IMZ  1991- Best New Work / DanceScreen 1992 - Best Studio Adaptation/ Video Danse Grand Prix 1994 - best series (Dance House) and an Emmy Nomination for the TV adaptation of Mathew Bourne’s Swan Lake which Peter directed.

The last real work in this area was the series “48 Preludes and Fugues” (Bach) for BBC2 in 2002 - 48 short films, of which Peter directed 24 and was lighting director on the rest.

His work is now predominantly in the area of lighting design, but still designs sets on certain projects and most recently was Director of Photography for Francesca Zambello’s film of “The Little Prince”.

He has directed on occasion in the theatre as well as film/TV.

Productions include “Hamletmachine” and “No, to the Yes-sayer” (Jasager/Neinsager);  both at St. Stephens Theatrespace in Cardiff. “The Man with the Foot-soles of Wind”; Almeida Opera. “Earth and the Great Weather”; Almeida Opera. “ L’Heure Espangnol” & L’Enfant et Les Sortileges”; Opera Zuid.

Work in the theatre nowadays, is spread fairly equally across drama, dance (ballet) and opera.

Most recent work includes: “The Ferryman” (Gielgud Theatre);  “42nd Street” (Theatre Royal Drury Lane); “The Children” (Manhattan Theater Club, New York); “John” (National Theatre); “The Ring Cycle” (Opera North); “Long Day’s Journey Into Night” (Wyndham’s Theatre); “King Kong Live On Stage” (Global Creatures, Australia) for which he won Best Lighting Design at the Helpmann Awards 2013 in Sydney, Australia.

© 2018 Peter Mumford