John Clarke

Senior Lecturer

Learning and Teaching Advisor

Faculty:Faculty of Arts, Law & Social Sciences

Department:Cambridge School of Art

Location: Cambridge

Areas of Expertise: Interior design , Fashion design , Media arts

Courses taught: Interior Design, Fashion Design

John has worked in theatre design for the past 25 years, based in London and then Cambridge. He has taught at Cambridge School of Art since 2007.


John studied theatre design at the Slade School of Fine Art. John has designed for The Drama Centre London, the Webber Douglas Academy, Finchley Children's Music Group, Les Azurailes Opera, Nice, Morley College Opera and the Royal Academy of Music. He was a founder member of Curious Opera Group, devising and conducting workshops for children and their parents, on themes from opera.

John has also designed for Anglia Opera: in 2011, Dido and Aeneas and Aeneas in Hell (a UK premiere); in 2013 a dramatised version of Carmina Burana; in 2015 The Threepenny Opera.

Research interests

  • Theatre design for the Fringe
  • Small scale business and Art practitioners


  • BSc Geography, University of St Andrews 1974
  • Diploma in Accountancy, Heriot Watt University 1975
  • Higher Diploma Theatre Design, Slade School of Fine Art 1989

Memberships, editorial boards

  • HEA membership, 2010

Recent presentations and conferences

Theatre Design work:

The Threepenny Opera (Anglia Opera, 2015)

Carmina Burana (Anglia Opera, 2013)

Dido and Aeneas and Aeneas in Hell (Anglia Opera, 2011)

Cendrillon (Royal Academy of Music, 2005), Die Fledermaus (Unexpected Opera, 2007)

Uncle Remus (Pegasus Opera/Curious Opera Group, Hackney Empire, 2004)

Il Matrimonio Segreto (Les Azurailes Opera, Nice, 2003)

Falstaff (Forward Opera, 2002)

The Marriage of Figaro (Forward Opera, 2001)

The Fabulous Adventures of Alexander the Great (Finchley Children’s Music Group /Mytilene Festival, 1999)

Hansel and Gretel’, Savitri, and L’Enfant et les Sortileges (Curious Opera Group, 1996-9)

Absolute Hell (Webber Douglas Academy, 1993)

Cavalleria Rusticana and Gianni Schicchi (CUOS/Arts Theatre Cambridge, 1992)

The Passion Plays, You Never Can Tell and An O’Casey Trilogy (The Drama Centre London, 1991-3)