Neville’s Island 

Birmingham Rep

Director: Paul Raffield

Designer: Simon Higlett

Photo © Robert Day

Drama & Musicals Lighting Design

Mark’s drama & musical lighting experience

Mark designs for drama and musicals includes many productions on London’s Westend, Broadway New York, Los Angeles, Dublin as well as all of the UK’s principal regional theatre companies including Chichester, Edinburgh Fringe, Nottingham, Manchester Royal Exchange, Leeds Playhouse, Liverpool and  Birmingham Rep.

His career began with the National Youth Theatre and progressed to being head of lighting at the National Theatre, London from 1993-2003. Musicals and drama in London include Peggy Sue got Married (Shaftesbury); Sweet Charity (Victoria Palace); Marlene (Lyric); Sweeney Todd (Liverpool Everyman); Honk! (Olivier NT) Private Lives (Ambassadors), Blithe Spirit, Nicholas Nickleby (Gielgud) Skylight (Cottesloe NT, Wyndhams, Vaudeville) The Witches (Wyndhams) Taking Sides, Collaboration (Duchess).

Click here for a full list of Drama Credits

Drama & Musical Companies I have designed for

Mark’s designs include national, West End, Broadway and many regional productions, for more details go to the drama & musicals credits section.

  • The National Theatre, London 

  • Vaudeville, West End

  • Ambassadors, West End

  • West Yorkshire Playhouse

  • The Royal Court, London

  • Chichester Festival Theatre

  • Guildhall School of Music & Drama

  • Hampstead Theatre

  • Kingston Rose

  • Greenwich Theatre

  • Kuwait, JACC National Theatre

  • The Orange Tree

  • The Gate, Dublin

  • Hackney Empire

  • Spoleto Festival, Charleston, USA & The Gate, Dublin

  • Gielgud, West End & North America / Canada

  • Pleasance London / Edinburgh Festival

  • ROH Linbury, London Mime Festival & Touring the World

  • South Bank Centre

  • Arts Theatre, London/ New York/ Edinburgh Festival

  • Trafalgar 2, London

  • The Ivy, London

  • Wyndams, West End + UK tour

  • The Gate, London

  • Lyric Theatre, West End UK & Irish Tour Paris & Cort Theater Broadway

  • Victoria Palace, West End

  • Shaftesbury Theatre, West End

  • Classic Stage, New York & Sound, London

  • Peter Hall Company, Old Vic

  • Belgrade Coventry / Phizzical & National Tour

  • Bath Theatre Royal and national tour

  • York Theatre Royal

  • Liverpool Everyman

  • Nottingham Playhouse & Touring

  • The Touring Consortium Theatre Co

  • New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich

  • Nottingham Playhouse

  • Nottingham Playhouse & York Theatre Royal

  • The RSC

  • The Royal Exchange, Manchester

  • Queens Theatre, Hornchurch

  • West Yorkshire Playhouse

  • Gardyne Theatre, Dundee 

  • Northampton

  • Birmingham Rep

  • Bristol Old Vic

  • Sheffield Crucible

  • Belgrade Coventry

  • Watford Palace 

Drama & Musicals Credits

Drama & musicals reviews

While the subtleties of lighting for plays may go unnoticed there are times when the Critics do notice the work of the Lighting designer. Here are just a few reviews from the largest playhouses to smaller studio works, to see all 86 reviews click below.


  • Sweeney Todd

    Liverpool Everyman

    Mark Jonathan’s Lighting Design is a work of art throughout. As Paul Duckworth’s Judge Turpin battles with his own morality, the projection of lights to create shapes on the stage floor reflected his thoughts in that moment. It is one of the cleverest use of LX I have seen in a production.

    Sarah O’Hara, Mystery Magzine

  • The Revenger’s Tragedy

    Nottingham Playhouse

    Lighting designer Mark Jonathan provides the show with an array of lighting effects that border on genius. His work takes mood lighting into the stratosphere and back to settle unsettlingly in Neil Murray’s very atmospheric sets. The depths and pools of darkness created on stage almost become personalities of their own. 

    Phil Lowe, Sixty 9 degrees

  • Blithe Spirit

    Toronto, North American Tour

    Simon Higlett created a lush, airy set.  Mark Jonathan’s lighting is fantastic, moving between bright daylight, storms, and ghostly apparitions flawlessly.  

    Nicole Fairbairn, Scene in Toronto

  • My Cousin Rachel

    The Gate at Charleston, Spoleto Festival

    Live theater needs something beautiful to behold on the stage, and director Toby Frow and set designer Francis O’Connor (who also made the fabulous costumes) have brought that to fruition with the use of three large windows for the sitting room set. The Ashley estate’s main room is flooded with incredible light (big props to lighting designer Mark Jonathan) every time the shutters are opened, and the light changes based on the time of the day. The effect the first time this is done is stunning, and it never loses its appeal. Subtle lighting is used to accentuate the stage, but the bulk of the light work is done through these massive windows, lit from the other side to portray the sun’s natural beams. Bravo.

    Michael Smallwood, The Post & Courier

  • Precious Little Talent

    Trafalgar Studios

    The aesthetics of the play are equally as interesting as the writing itself. Lucy Osborne’s design works wonderfully well with Emma Laxton’s sound and Mark Jonathan’s lighting design to create a range of enveloping atmospheres. The audience is drawn into the scene, whether it’s a cold, industrial New York rooftop, a stark subway carriage or George’s bare apartment as it is transformed by Joey’s presence, and everything accomplished is done so with limited space and a multifunctional set. The entire creative team have achieved the impressive task of enhancing the story without making their significant contributions overly obvious as you’re watching.

    Julia Hogg BWW

  • Tejas Verdes

    The Gate, Notting Hill

    ..the Gate’s talented new artistic director, Thea Sharrock, has come up with a breathtakingly imaginative production, beautifully designed by Dick Bird and lit by Mark Jonathan, that slips the surly bonds of naturalism to create something rich, strange and dreamlike.

    We enter the auditorium by torchlight negotiating a dark maze of filing cabinets containing the names and details of the disappeared, and enter a forest of pine trees, with earth underfoot, sunlight flickering through the trees, and the sounds of birdsong.

    Perhaps we are in the grounds of the luxurious hotel, where the music room was turned into a torture chamber, perhaps lost in some Dantean dark wood, beyond space and time, among the souls of the dead….Unforgettable.


    Charles Spencer. The Daily Telegraph

  • Dr Faustus

    The Royal Exchange, Manchester

    Designer Ben Stones’ imaginative giant puppets and masks, coupled with Mark Jonathan’s atmospheric lighting and Richard Hammerton’s evocative sound design, make for a night of amazing spectacle.

    Caroline May, Theatre.Net

  • Dr Faustus

    The Royal Exchange, Manchester

    Visually this is a sumptuous production both in terms of set and costumes, both expertly designed by Ben Stones. There is a strong reliance in the production on Mark Jonathan’s lighting design and Richard Hammarton’s sound effects both of which beautifully enhance the eerie and dark atmosphere.

    Malcolm Wallace, The Public Reviews

  • Dr Faustus

    The Royal Exchange, Manchester

    Ben Stones’ epic set and Mark Jonathan’s filmic lighting lend scope where required and many of the scenes resemble the likes of The Exorcist, The Evil Dead or even a Lady Gaga gig, due to these unque touches…

    Glen Mead- What’s on Stage

See all 86 other Drama & Musical Reviews