Author Archives: adminlh


by Lionel Bart
Lighting Design: Jon Primrose
Set Design: Becky Hawkins
Directors: Rachel Vowles, John Whitehead

Northcott Theatre, Exeter

Sense and Sensibility

by Jane Austen, adapted by Mark Healey
Lighting Design : Jon Primrose
Set Design : Tim Heywood
Director : Ben Crocker


by Christopher William Hill
Lighting Design : Jon Primrose
Set Design : Kit Surrey
Director : Ben Crocker

Another challenge. The two prime concerns were a huge skyscape hanging over the acting area and the division of the stage in half, indicating the kitchen on SL and the yard SR. The skyscape limited top/downlight massively, so I had to hang extra positions at the sides of it to ensure there was enough light upstage. There was a lot of emphasis on practical light sources during the show, so many cues were taken up with subtly moving highlights around the set as the lanterns were moved from kitchen to yard and back. In order to achieve blackouts on the whole stage without the practicals remaining lit, we modified one of the practicals so that it could be radio controlled. It worked most of the time, but was unfortunately subject to interference from (we think) passing taxis. Another lesson learned….

The Importance of Being Earnest

by Oscar Wilde
Lighting Design : Jon Primrose
Set Design : Tim Heywood
Director : Ben Crocker

Ten by Pinter

April-October 1999
Two’s Company
Ten by Pinter
featuring A Kind of Alaska
by Harold Pinter
Touring : London, Guildford, Mold, Barnet, Trowbridge, Taunton, Abergavenny, Darlington, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Edinburgh Fringe (3 weeks), Massachussets International Festival of the Arts (Springfield, MA., 1 week)
Featuring : Kay Adshead, Jim Barclay, Bill Monks, Mary Ryder, Tricia Thorns, Martyn Whitby
Lighting Design : Jon Primrose
Set Design : Ruth Paton
Director : John Joe Turner

Wind in the Willows

by Alan Bennett
at the Northcott Theatre, Exeter
Lighting Design : Jon Primrose
Set Design : Becky Hawkins
Director : Ben Crocker, Rachel Vowles, John Whitehead

Far from the Madding Crowd

at the Northcott Theatre, Exeter.

Photo © Marc Hill, Apex

Photo © Marc Hill, Apex

“Thomas Hardy’s greatest, most inspirational novel, brought to the stage by a company with an enviable reputation for dramatising classic works of fiction.
Bathsheba Everdene arrives in the village of Weatherbury to take charge of the dilapidated estate that she has inherited. A proud and independent young woman, but still ignorant in the ways of the country, her fate becomes entwined with three men, any of whom could bring salvation or disaster: the dashing young cavalry officer Sergeant Troy, her wealthy and powerful neighbour Squire Boldwood, and the quiet, dependable farmer Gabriel Oak.
Bathsheba’s relationships with each of these men leads her on a turbulent journey from innocence to experience in the first of Hardy’s great Wessex sagas.”

Lighting Design : Jon Primrose
Set Design : Sarah Williamson
Directed by : John Durnin and Gillian King
Devised by the company

Performances 28th August – 20th September 1997 at 7.30pm (8.00pm on Saturday)


Far from the Madding Crowd is a funny, moving and powerful play and anyone wanting to see how literary adaptation should be done should go to Exeter immediately. No previous knowledge of Thomas Hardy is required.”
The Independent 2nd September 1997

“…another faultless production. Novel adaptations are becoming a quality trademark for the Northcott Theatre.”
Western Morning News

UnExpected Festival

Unexpected 2013 Logo15-22 September 2013

A festival consisting of new and/or unusual events in ‘unexpected’ locations, all happening during one week in Exeter.

Jon acted as production manager, technical manager and lighting designer for two of the events, in contrasting locations.

Additional crew: Nick Slater, Josh Lucas.

Wet Sounds

A multimedia installation in Exeter’s Pyramids swimming pool, with audio by sound artist Joel Cahan, and lighting & sound system design by Jon Primrose.

Wet Sounds event at the Exeter Pyramids pool

Wet Sounds event at the Exeter Pyramids poolThe Last Supper

The Last Supper

A re-staging of the existing piece The Last Supper by Reckless Sleepers involved a simple unobtrusive lighting rig, with additional design and operation by Nick Slater. The location, Exeter’s historic Guildhall, meant that a minimal lighting design was necessary, without excessive equipment visible.

Other UnExpected Events:

Circus event in Southernhay, by Circomedia of Bristol, during the UnExpected Festival. Photo by Jon Primrose

Circus event in Southernhay, by Circomedia of Bristol, during the UnExpected Festival. Photo by Jon Primrose

The Wizard of Oz

by L. Frank Baum
April 2000
Northcott Young Company
Lighting Design : Jon Primrose
Set Design : Becky Hawkins
Directors : Rachel Vowles, John Whitehead

Northcott Theatre, Exeter

The second Northcott Youth Company production relied heavily on lighting effects to distinguish between the many locations Dorothy and her friends visit. As the photos show, fairly heavy use of gobos here ! The final image of Act I as the friends approach Emerald City had me scratching my head for days – I tried making a gobo of a cityscape, using an overhead projector to project the cityscape, shadow projection of the cityscape but eventually settled on three overlapped linear breakup gobos (second photo on the right) from the rear of the auditorium. Worked a treat ! This was also my first use of moving lights at the Northcott – two Mac 500s, and two Mac 600s. The wash lights helped get me out of a mess with lighting the midstage gauze evenly, and the spots were invaluable at picking up solos in large choruses, and highlighting principals.

Seneca’s Oedipus

adapted by Ted Hughes

“Thirty years on from the original National Theatre production, Ted Hughes’ thrilling version of Seneca’s Oedipus has lost none of its power to shock and disturb.
Using a dramatic verse of characteristic richness and intensity, this unique re-telling of the Oedipus myth will be Artistic Director John Durnin’s final production for the Northcott.”

Northcott Theatre, Exeter.
Performances 26th March – 11th April 1998
Lighting Design : Jon Primrose
Set Design & Direction : John Durnin

A really pleasing result here. My first really stylised design, a good communication with the set designer/director enabled me to establish the look of the show early on, and work through the rehearsal process with it in mind. The more stylised moments in the piece were highlighted with strong beams, while real firelight provided a beautiful earthy quality. The chorus were sharply crosslit on the climbing poles upstage of the set. A hazer was used throughout the show, and for about 30 minutes before the show started to ensure the atmosphere was thick with haze.


Creon / Phorbas / Chorus  SEAN HANNAWAY
Tiresius / Messenger / Chorus  MICHAEL VAUGHAN
Manto / Slave / Chorus  CHARLOTTE McDOUGALL


Director and Designer JOHN DURNIN
Lighting Designer JON PRIMROSE