Biography

Richard graduated Nottingham Trent University with First Class Honours in Theatre Design and has professional experience in both the UK and USA as a Theatre Designer, Scenic Production Manager and Technical Director.

Richard uses Set Design, Lighting Design, Projection, Puppetry, Object Theatre and Material Manipulation within his work to explores different aesthetic and cognitive approaches to influencing an audience and emphasise a narrative.

He is a firm believer that his practical experience in Scenic Carpentry , Scenic Painting, Lighting Design and Prop Making provides a positive base for his designs. Key knowledge of materials, construction technology  and experience within all departments of theatre provide different ways to approach each design.

Making theatre accessible to everyone as well as believing that theatre can create meaningful lasting memories is key to Richard's design ethos. 

He is currently the Technical Director and Designer for Long Lake Camp for the Arts in New York and a freelance Designer and Theatre Maker, assisting Libby Watson and Pamela Howard as well as a Scenic Production Manager for Eclipse.

In 2014 - current, Richard worked with Hilary Strong as part of the "Making Theatre, Gaining Skills" programme which applies theatre as an educational process for teaching core English and Maths skills to unemployed people in the South of England to help them into work. During the programme, a group of 9 unemployed people devised a script with the guidance of Hilary and Richard then led them through the design process, set and costume construction and the workings backstage for a short tour to local schools.

Show List

Designer and Technical Director, Long Lake Camp for the Arts, New York USA.

"Tommy", "Urinetown","Pippin","Les Miserable","The Wiz","Steel Magnolia","Suessical","25th Spelling Bee", 

"Noises Off","Little Shop of Horrors","Shrek", "13","Shakespeare in Hollywood", 

Set and Costume Designer, "Superhero", National Youth Music Theatre, May 2018 - Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds, Kingston Rose , Leicester Curve. 

Set and Costume Designer, "Honk", National Youth Music Theatre, May 2017

Set Designer, "Breaking Up is Hard to Do". Upstairs at the Gatehouse, April 2017

Resident Set Designer,Master Carpenter and Scenic Artist Italia Conti, 2015-2018

"History Boys", "Twelfth night","The Real Estate", "Made in Dagenham", "Our Town", "On the Razzle", "Chicken Shop", "Pornography", "Company", "Three Winters", "Coram Boy", "Vernon God Little", "The Libertine", "Spring Awakening", "Macbeth", "Time and  the Conways", "Port", "Angry Brigade", "An Ideal Husband", "Jumpers for Goal Posts", "Touched", "An Absolute Turkey", "Liola", "Sister Act", "The Witches of Eastwick", "Harvest", "Children's Hour", "Midsummer Nights Dream", "Serious Money", "Happiest Days of you Life". 

Designer, “Tosca”‘New London Opera Company, London, May 2014

Designer, “Carmen”, New London Opera Company, London, April  2014

Designer, “The Magnificent 7”, Tower House School, London, March 2014

Designer, “Siri”, Site Specific, BBC Studios Marylebone, London, March 2014

Designer, “King Boris’Bath Day”, Strong Ideas, Bognor Regis, February 2014

Scenic Carpenter , Eclipse Presentations, October 2012

Designer, “National Burlesque Games”, Davina Lumachi. 2012

Designer, “The Life and Times of Shirley Windmill”, Finger in the Pie, April 2012

Designer, “Bad Pills”, Zodiac and Black, March 2012

Assistant Designer, “The Kreutzer Sonata”, The Gate, Chloe Lamford, February 2012

Model Maker, “Macbeth”R&D, November 2011

Assistant Designer, “Waiting for Stanley”Finger in the Pie, October 2011

Design Team, “Slick”,National Youth Theatre, September 2011

Designer, “Hamlet”,  Television Workshop, Nottingham, March 2011

“Richard is a talented and versatile designer who combines creativity with really solid technical expertise. He has a special flair for the making of theatre in a learning or participatory environment.”.

Hilary Strong, Director Strong Ideas Ltd

“Richard Cooper has recently joined the team at the New London Opera Players as our resident designer.  He came highly recommended from other artists that we had worked with and soon proved himself worthy of the praise.  His artistic vision is not only inventive but practical, born of the fact that he is also the constructor of his designs.  As a touring company, we often find ourselves in spaces where either a conventional set will not fit or where the space itself has to become the set, and Richard’s ability to transform a space with fabric and free-standing materials is astonishing to behold.  He is patient, personable and a strong team-player, whose work ethic carries any experimental production forward and out to its audience.  We look forward to a long and fruitful relationship.”.

Robin Green, Director, New London Opera Company


"Richard Cooper worked for us for 2 summers and truly elevated our Theatrical Productions. Richard is the most creative and talented Designer and creator we have ever hired. Our campers loved the sets he created and imagined and all staff liked working alongside Richard."

Geoff Burnett, Director, Long Lake Camp, New York, USA

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