Photograph from Not a Game For Boys - lighting design by Chris May
Photographer: Mike Trout | From the show Not a Game For Boys
Photograph from Indecent Proposal - lighting design by Chris May
Photographer: Helen Maybanks | From the show Indecent Proposal
Photograph from The Little Mermaid - lighting design by Chris May
From the show The Little Mermaid
Photograph from Cockamamy - lighting design by Chris May
Photographer: Alex Brenner | From the show Cockamamy
Photograph from Oliver - lighting design by Chris May
From the show Oliver
Chris May's picture

Chris J May

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1+1 = 3, where the whole is greater then the sum of its parts.

Over 25 years experience of technical theatre working in Lighting, learning from the ground up and collecting skills from Lighting Designers from around the world and now bringing you all that experience in the form of my own Lighting Designs with a heavy emphasis on the importance of new writing and art, bringing the visions of our creative minds to the reality of the stage.

Previous productions

Previous productions

Show name Type Venue/Company Role Creative Team Opened
The Wicker Husband Theatre The Watermill Theatre
The Watermill Theatre
Lighting Programmer Lighting designer: Hartley T A Kemp
Director: Charlotte Westenra
Set designer: Anna Kelsey
Mar 2022
Indecent Proposal Musical Southwark Playhouse (Large)
10 to 4 Productions Limited
Assistant Lighting Designer Lighting designer: Hartley T A Kemp
Director: Charlie Westenra
Set designer: Anna Kelsey
Oct 2021
The Miracle Worker Theatre Cramphorn Theatre, Chelmsford
Chelmsford Theatres and ‘One From The Heart’ Daryl Back
Lighting Designer Director: Charlotte Peters
Set designer: Alicia Fowles
Oct 2021
The Little Mermaid Theatre Kenneth Moore Theatre Lighting Designer Director: Gemma Eves and Owen Smith
Set designer: Kennith more theatre
Aug 2021
Pure Imagination Theatre Kenneth Moore Theatre
The Academy
Lighting Designer Director: Claire Harvey
Jul 2021
Nigal Slater's Toast Theatre PW Productions Touring Re-Lighter Lighting designer: Zoe Spurr
Director: Jonnie Riordan
Set designer: Libby Watson
Aug 2019
Monogamy Theatre PQA 2
The Inevitable Theatre Comany
Lighting Designer Director: Philip Wolff
Aug 2019
Someone who'll watch over me Theatre Cramphorn Theatre, Chelmsford
Lee Mead Productions and Chelmsford City Theatres
Lighting Designer Director: Davis Streames
Set designer: Alicia Fowles
Jun 2019
Benefactors Theatre Gaiety Theatre Isle of man
Bejou Productions
Lighting Designer Director: David Streames
Set designer: David Streames
Apr 2019
Cockamamy Theatre The Hope Theatre, Islington
Think and hit Ltd
Lighting Designer Director: Rebecca Loudon
Set designer: Elle Loudon
Jun 2018
Not a Game For Boys Theatre Gaiety Theatre Isle of man
Bejou Productions
Lighting Designer Director: Joe Masters
Set designer: David Streames
Apr 2018
People Places and Things Theatre Headlong Touring Re-Lighter Lighting designer: Jeremy Herrin
Director: Jeremy Herrin
, Director: Asc Director Holly Race Roughan
Set designer: Bunny Christie
Sep 2017
Cockamamy Theatre Summerhall Edinburgh fringe
Think and hit Ltd
Lighting Designer Director: Rebecca Loudon
Set designer: Elle Loudon
Aug 2017
Oliver Musical Queens Theatre Hornchurch
Lennox Childrens Cancer Fund
Lighting Designer Director: Richard Foster
May 2017
And Then Come the Nightjars Theatre Bristol Old Vic & Theatre 503 & Tara Finney Productions Associate Lighting Designer Lighting designer: Sally Ferguson
Director: Paul Robinson
, Director: Asc Rebecca Loudon
Set designer: Max Dorey
Sep 2016
Land of Our Fathers Theatre Wales Millennium Centre, Traff 2 and Tara Finney Producitons Associate Lighting Designer Lighting designer: Hartley T A Kemp
Director: Paul Robinson
Set designer: Signe Beckmann
Sep 2014, Oct 2015
Land of Our Fathers Theatre Wales Millennium Centre, Traff 2 and Tara Finney Producitons Associate Lighting Designer Lighting designer: Hartley T A Kemp
Director: Paul Robinson
Set designer: Signe Beckmann
Sep 2014, Oct 2015
Location availability:
  • Worldwide
Contact method Details
Mobile phone 07919 483919
Email address
  • International
  • West End
  • Commercial Tour
  • Regional (Main House)
  • Regional (Studio)
  • Small Scale Touring
  • Fringe / Pub Theatre
  • Education Establishment
  • Touring relights
  • West End
  • Regional (Main House)
  • Regional (Studio)
  • Small scale
  • Large Scale
  • Small Scale
  • Conferences
  • Exhibition Stands
  • Award Ceremonies
  • Dance
  • Musicals
  • Plays


Appearing here soon... a collection of articles from the Focus magazine archives.

Press quotes

The Wicker Husband

"There’s not a weak link in the company – Joseph Alessi and Angela Caesar offering particularly strong work – and Hartley T A Kemp’s lighting design is inspired. In some ways, I yearn for a transfer so that more people can see it."
Ian Foster, My Theatre Mates 17/03/2022
" Coupled with the branches of the large tree dominating the stage, the wooden interior of the theatre gives the impression that you’re sitting on the edge of a forest – while the background and lighting makes you feel as if you’re gazing into mists slowly rising over a lake, while swallows wheel and cry in the gloom."
Michael Beakhouse, Wokingham Today 17/03/2022
"In fact birdsong is what you get to hear first, thanks to sound designer Ella Waldström and a magnificent willow dominates Anna Kelsey's sylvan glade, surely a mother tree, offering shelter, a landmark, a meeting place in the subtle, shifting light and shade of Hartley TA Kemp."
Judi Herman, WhatsOnStage Logo 16/03/2022
The set (strikingly designed by Anna Kelsey and beautifully lit by Hartley T A Kemp) is dominated by a calming willow tree. That tree, in fact, turns out to be a character in its own right - a central personality that comes to connect the players beneath it.
Jo Caruana, Broadway World UK 16/03/2022
"The lighting is exquisite creating the rural atmosphere and perfectly picking out characters' moments of isolation."
Nick Wayne, Pocket Sized Theatre 16/03/2022

Nigal Slater's Toast

"I loved the design of this production. From the very beginning, this show steals your senses."
Claire Faulkner, TheNatwich news 04/12/2019
"The tale unwoven before us has a constant buzz and the more devastating scenes are made all the more powerful for their jarring disruption to the whirling surrounding scenes – elements complimented beautifully by Alexandra Faye Braithwaite’s sound design and music and Zoe Spurr’s lighting designs."
Always time for theatre 20/11/2019
"Libby Watson’s set—a replica of the quintessential 1960s kitchen—provides a versatile performance space for the cast, and Zoe Spurr’s candy-coloured lighting adds to the sense of nostalgia."
James Ballands, The British Theatre Guide 20/11/2019
"On a technical level, everything about Toast is superb...Moreover, the costumes, set design, and lighting all serve to make the transitions from scene to scene and the movement from one period to another in the main character’s life appear both definable and seamless, which is a very tricky task."
Amanda Hodgson, North Westend 19/11/2019
"Libby Watson's designs evoke the 1960s era, and Zoe Spurr's lighting design bathes the nostalgic tale in warm light."
Fiona Scott, Broadway World 30/10/2019
"Nigel Slater’s Toast is undeniably a well-crafted and appetising multi-sensory confection that skilfully avoids being merely a sugar-coated tidbit. With layers of light and dark, it is a worthy stage translation of Slater’s honest autobiography"
Davis Guest, Be my guest 22/10/2019
"Experiencing Toast is like seeing a West End play from the comfort of your own backyard"
CAROLINE HARDAKER, Narc magazine 17/09/2019
"The play is visually stunning throughout. It even has its own food director in James Thompson, working alongside designer Lubby Watson. A lemon meringue is a sight to behold. The large kitchen set does not change throughout, but still we are transported to the garden, school, a car, a beach holiday and restaurants thanks to clever prop changes and lighting."
Andrea Young, Write base 11/09/2019
"This is most certainly a tech heavy show with some whopping lighting and sound cues and so, again, huge kudos to the sound and lighting team who have to set this up at each venue on the tour...I adored it when I saw it in the West End at The Other Palace and I enjoyed it even more the second time around here in Southend. "
Kim Tobin, Southend Theatre Scene 04/09/2019
"Overall, Toast contained many good ingredients – bringing taste and smell to the theatrical experience, captivating movement, impressive lighting"
Charlie M, Daily Info 27/08/2019
"I loved the simple stylised approach of the story telling, scenery and the lighting which was very atmospheric."
Glenys Balchin, re write this story


Monogamy is a flawless dance between these two; they are both ready for the battle. There is no yelling, no violence. But they aim for all the raw nerves with killer precision. "This is a beautifully written piece, subtly directed and perfectly executed under the direction of Philip Wolff by these two actors, writer Sophia Mertens and Edi Darcoso."
Catherine Lamm, British Theatre Guide 12/08/2019

Someone who'll watch over me

"One particular moment of release is accompanied by clever use of lighting (Chris May, designer) that reveals, in a single flash, how dark it has been for these men, both figuratively and literally. It is a clever symbol of the sheer force of will needed to keep alight the light of the soul."
Anita-Marguerite Butler, British Theatre Guide 12/06/2019
"Set design and construction by Alicia Fowles is beautifully enhanced by the expert lighting of Chris May which very subtly alters to show the reality and absurdity of each scenario to great effect."
Kim Tobin, Southend Theatre Scene 11/06/2019


"The use of lighting and sound to portray the oppressive confusion of Alice’s spiral into dementia give a very real sense of what it might be like to suffer from the illness, and, combined with fantastic acting all round, it is easy to empathise with both grandmother and granddaughter in their parallel but very different suffering."
Billie Manning, Camden New Journal 21/06/2018
"The play is brilliantly directed by Rebecca Loudon, and special mention must also go to the lighting and sound (courtesy of Chris May and Jacob Welsh respectively), which help to reflect Alice’s rapidly declining state of mind."
Debbie, Please Mind The Blog 16/06/2018
"The lighting and sound design really come into their own over the course of the show, perfectly serving scenes depicting Alice’s confusion. A troubled mishmash and nostalgic music and sound bites, coupled with impactful lighting, is a clever way to visually depict that all is not well in Alice’s mind."
Susy Brett, The Live Review 15/06/2018
"This play is a celebration of the directing skills of Rebecca Loudon and the lighting and sound design of Chris May and Jacob Welsh, respectively, with a crudely reliable and heart-warming portrayal of the bonds and struggles between characters by Coulthard, Rutherford and Rowan Polanski as Cavan, Rosie’s lover. "
Marissa Khaos, TheUpcomming 14/06/2018
"Director Rebecca Loudon takes time to establish a sense of normality at the outset, then deconstructs it with confident, if occasionally abstract, strokes. Hallucinations, overlapping music, and Chris May’s pulsing red and green lights pound some of the subtlety out of later scenes depicting Alice’s confusion."
Dave Fargnoli, The Stage 06/08/2017

Land of Our Fathers

"Signe Beckman’s design is simple but effectively claustrophobic, with glittering coal on the floor, walls and ceiling; Hartley T A Kemp’s lighting seems to dim as their prospects get gloomier. I swear the cast look scrawnier in the hunger-gnawed second half."
Holly Williams, The Independant 10/03/2016
"First rate set design, lighting and sound effects help to shore up the illusion of the mine, enabling the actors to take you on the astonishing journey from the opening moment."
Greg Jameson, Entertainment Focus 09/09/2014