Photograph from Amour - lighting design by Johnathan Rainsforth
Photographer: Steve Porter | From the show Amour
Photograph from Alice in Wonderland - lighting design by Johnathan Rainsforth
Photographer: Craig Leng | From the show Alice in Wonderland
Photograph from Mack and Mabel - lighting design by Johnathan Rainsforth
Photographer: Ethan Scott | From the show Mack and Mabel
Photograph from Some Enchanted Evening - lighting design by Johnathan Rainsforth
From the show Some Enchanted Evening
Johnathan Rainsforth's picture

John Rainsforth

Biography Credits Portfolio Press Quotes Specialisms Availability Contact Details News

Biography

John is a graduate of the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in 2011, specialising in lighting design for theatre and dance. 

His work has been showcased in the UK and internationally, spanning countries such as China, Italy, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and South Africa, among others.

Some of John’s recent credits include “Nutcracker on Ice” in Italy, “Aladdin” in Croydon, “Cinderella: A Fairytale” at Northern Stage, “Speakeasy” on a UK tour, “Peter Pan On” on the Emirates tour, “Swan Lake on Ice” in Italy, “Some Enchanted Evening” at the Barn Theatre & Tour, “Brotherhood” at Alphabetti Theatre, and “Soapbox Racer” at Alphabetti Theatre. In 2023, John was honoured to be nominated for Broadway World’s Best Lighting Design for his work on Reading Rep’s “Shakespeare’s R&J.”

His selected designs for drama schools include “Richard III,” “Cinderella,” “Curtains,” “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow: A Musical,” “Amour!,” and “The Pirate Queen,” among many others for Guildford School of Acting.

Previous productions

Forthcoming productions

Show name Type Venue/Company Role Creative team Opens
Cinderella on Ice Dance Teatro, Johannesburg, then touring
Imperial Ice stars
Lighting Designer Choreographer: Tony Mercer
14 Jun 2024
The Hunchback of Notre Dame Theatre Guildford Yvonne Arnaud
Guildford School of Acting
Lighting Designer Director: Nigel West
Set designer: Roger Ness
25 May 2024

Previous productions

Show name Type Venue/Company Role Creative Team Opened
Nutcracker on Ice Theatre Teatro degli Arcimboldi, then touring
Imperial Ice stars
Lighting Designer Set designer: Eamon D'Arcy Jan 2024
Aladdin Theatre Fairfield Halls, Croydon
UK Productions
Lighting Designer Director: Sarah Redmond
Dec 2023
Cinderella: A Fairytayle Theatre Northern Stage
Northern Stage
Lighting Designer Director: Jake Smith & Katy Weir
Set designer: Alison Ashton
Dec 2023
Shakespears R & J Theatre Reading Rep
Reading Rep
Lighting Designer Director: Paul Stacey
Set designer: Anna Kelsey
Oct 2023
The Bench Theatre The Customs House Lighting Designer Director: Olivia Millar-Ross
Set designer: Lee Ward
Sep 2023
'Speakeasy'' Dance UK tour, then touring
Southpaw Dance Company
Lighting Designer Choreographer: Robby Graham
Set designer: Rebecca Brower
Mar 2022, Sep 2023
Cinderella Theatre The Customs House
The Customs House
Lighting & Projection / Video Designer Director: David Hopper
Aug 2023
Chop, Dissolve, Burn Theatre Alphabetti Theatre, Newcastle upon Tyne
Alphabetti Theatre & WANC
Lighting Designer Director: Paul James
Set designer: Molly Barrett
Jun 2023
Peter Pan On Ice Dance Middle East Tour, then touring
Imperial Ice stars
Lighting Designer Choreographer: Tony Mercer
May 2023
Soapbox Racer Theatre Alphabetti Theatre, Newcastle upon Tyne Lighting Designer Director: Rosie Bowden
Set designer: Ali Pritchard
Apr 2023
Person Spec Theatre Alphabetti Theatre, Newcastle upon Tyne
Forest Sound Theatre
Lighting Designer Director: Alfie Heffer
Feb 2023
Swan Lake on Ice Theatre Teatro degli Arcimboldi
Imperial Ice stars
Lighting Designer Director: Tony Mercer
Set designer: Eamon D'Arcy
Feb 2023
Peter Pan On Ice Dance ICC Newport
Imperial Ice stars
Lighting Designer Choreographer: Tony Mercer
Dec 2022
Peter Pan - The Return of Captain Hook Theatre Fairfield Halls, Croydon
UK Productions
Lighting Designer Director: Sarah Redmond
Dec 2022
Robin Hood - Pantomime Theatre The Customs House
The Customs House Theatre Trust
Lighting Designer Director: Ray Spencer
Set designer: Alfie Joey & Mike Brown
Nov 2022
Holliday Inn Theatre Bellairs Theatre
Guildford School of Acting
Lighting Designer Director: Nigel West
Set designer: Amy Yardley
Nov 2022
The Pirate Queen Theatre Bellairs Theatre
Guildford School of Acting
Lighting Designer Director: Anna Fox
Set designer: Amy Yardley
Nov 2022
Meggie Magicia Theatre Civic Theatre, Gosforth, then touring
Pen Gwyn Productions
Lighting Designer Director: Natasha Haws
Set designer: Lee Ward
Oct 2022
The Wasp Theatre The Customs House
The Customs House
Lighting Designer Director: Jake Smith
Set designer: Amy Watts
Sep 2022
Brotherhood Dance Alphabetti Theatre, Newcastle upon Tyne
Alphabetti Theatre, Northern Roots & Vitamin Noir
Lighting & Projection / Video Designer Aug 2022
Amour Theatre Bellairs Theate
Guildford School of Acting
Lighting Designer Director: PHYLLIDA CROWLEY-SMITH
Set designer: Amy Yardley
Jun 2022
Some Enchanted Evening Theatre Barn Theatre, Cirencester, then touring
Barn Theatre, Cirencester
Lighting Designer Director: Paul Milton
Set designer: Corin Hayes
May 2022
'Speakeasy'' Dance UK tour, then touring
Southpaw Dance Company
Lighting Designer Choreographer: Robby Graham
Set designer: Rebecca Brower
Mar 2022, Sep 2023
Tree Theatre Alphabetti Theatre, Newcastle upon Tyne Lighting Designer Director: Rachel Glover
Jan 2022
Cinderella Theatre Rickmansworth Watersmeet
Jordan Productions
Lighting Designer Director: Simon Jessop
Set designer: Julie Godfrey
Dec 2021
Rapunzel Theatre The Customs House Lighting Designer Director: Ray Spencer
Set designer: Sami Fendall
Nov 2021
Cinderella Theatre Bellairs Theate
GSA
Lighting Designer Director: PHYLLIDA CROWLEY-SMITH
Set designer: Jason Denvir
Nov 2021
Curtains Theatre Bellairs Theate
GSA
Lighting Designer Director: Nigel West
Set designer: Jason Denvir
Nov 2021
Our Laygate Theatre The Customs House
The Customs House Theatre Trust
Lighting Designer Director: Mina Anwar
Set designer: John Rainsforth & Gareth Hunter
Sep 2021
The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow Theatre Bellairs Theate
Guildford School of Acting
Lighting Designer Director: Racky Plews
Set designer: P J McEvoy
Aug 2021
Richard III Theatre Guildford School of Acting Lighting Designer Director: Nicholas Scrivens
Set designer: Rodger Ness
Apr 2021
Arbuthnot & Dame Bella's Christmas Adventure Theatre The Customs House Lighting & Projection / Video Designer Lighting designer: John Rainsforth
Director: David Hopper
Set designer: Natasha Haws
Dec 2020
Peter Pan Theatre Rickmansworth Watersmeet
Jordan Productions
Lighting Designer Director: Michael Burgen
Dec 2019
Cinderella Theatre Kettering Lighthouse Theatre
Jordan Productions
Lighting Designer Director: Paul Milton
Dec 2019
Snow White Theatre The Customs House
The Customs House Theatre Trust
Lighting Designer Director: Ray Spencer
Set designer: Fox and Shriek
Nov 2019
All About My Mother Theatre GSA
GSA Conservatiore
Lighting Designer Director: Hannah Bannister
Set designer: Elliott Squire
Nov 2019
Love and Information Theatre GSA
GSA Conservatiore
Lighting Designer Director: Sean Linnen
Set designer: Elliott Squire
Nov 2019
Cosmonaut’s Last Message Theatre GSA
GSA Conservatiore
Lighting Designer Director: Nadia Papachronopoulou
Set designer: Elliott Squire
Nov 2019
Dolly Mixtures The Musical Theatre The Customs House
The Customs House Theatre Trust
Lighting Designer Director: Mina Anwar
Set designer: David Wilkinson
Aug 2019
Bobby Robson Saved My Life Theatre The Customs House, then touring
ION Productions
Lighting Designer Director: Jamie Brown
Set designer: Gareth Hunter
Jul 2019
Mack and Mabel Theatre The Mill Studio - Yvonne Arnaud
GSA
Lighting Designer Director: Julian Woolford
Jun 2019
Everywhere We Go Theatre The Customs House
Boyle Yer Stotts Productions
Lighting Designer Director: Dale Meeks
May 2019
My Uncle Freddy Theatre The Customs House
The Customs House Theatre Trust
Lighting Designer Director: Gareth Hunter
Jul 2018
End of The Peir Theatre The Customs House
ION Productions
Lighting Designer Director: Neil Armstrong
Set designer: Gareth Hunter
Aug 2017
Educating Rita Theatre Customs House
ION Productions
Lighting Designer Lighting designer: Johnathan Rainsforth
Director: Neil Armstrong
Sep 2016
Dolly Mixtures The Musical Theatre The Customs House
The Customs House Theatre Trust
Lighting Designer Director: Ray Spencer
Set designer: David Wilkinson
Aug 2016
Alice in Wonderland Theatre The Customs House Lighting Designer Director: Ray Spencer
Set designer: Fox and Shriek
Dec 2015
Location availability:
  • Worldwide
Contact method Details
Website

www.johnrainsforth.com

Agent name Richard Ireson - Narrow Road
Agent email richardireson@narrowroad.co.uk
Theatre:
  • Touring relights
Musical:
  • West End
  • Commercial Tour
  • Regional (Main House)
  • Education Establishment
  • Touring relights
Opera:
  • Touring relights
Dance:
  • Touring relights
Corporate:
  • Conferences
Non-professional:
  • Dance
  • Musicals
  • Plays
  • Projection / Video Design
Education:
  • Lectures
  • Workshops
  • Training

News

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

Press quotes

Cinderella: A Fairytayle

The warm, rustic, makeshift production design by Alison Ashton and impressive lighting design by John Rainsforth make this show look beautiful
The Reviews Hub
Lighting by John Rainsforth combines really spectacular moments that bring applause with relative simplicity
British Theatre Guide

Shakespears R & J

…”with its set (Anna Kelsey) and lighting (John Rainsforth) being the first elements to shake our reality once we have taken that first step into the theatre...The theatre is dark with Rainsforth’s clever, delicate lighting carrying the weight of the audience’s experience, as we witness three more young men search in the dark and gradually uncover a book that we start to piece together as the play of Romeo and Juliet..”
Beyond the Curtain 18/10/2023
…”John Rainsforth’s bold lighting drenches the setting in vivid neon tones of pink and purple, while white lightning flashes ominously outside the dormitory windows. Sometimes, a flaming orange cross glows in the darkness – a fiery reminder of the condemnation that these young men would face if their passionate love were revealed.”
The Stage 17/10/2023
…” and lighting by John Rainsforth is the icing on the cake. Sudden bursts of strobe assist moments of intensity, and the use of torches allude to secrecy. Rainsforth also incorporates a lot of red within his design. This reoccurring ‘redness’ connotes not only to love, anguish, and fear in the tragedy, but more broadly, the Reading Rep theatre itself.”
BroadwayWorld.com 17/10/2023
…”Their efforts are enhanced by John Rainsforth wonderful lighting design, which illuminates Anna Kelsey’s simple raised platform covered in marquetry in subtle varied ways to add atmosphere, and uses handheld torches to illuminate the famous balcony scene, here delivered from a chair. Even the ceiling piece with LED strips helps create the Friar’s cell while, at other times, echoing the theatre metal beams.”
westendbestfriend.co.uk 17/10/2023
…”integrates some pleasing lighting (John Rainsforth) which adds great atmosphere to this intimate and involving studio piece.”
thespieinthestalls.com 16/10/2023

'Speakeasy''

Southpaw pushes the boundaries with an ingenious and dazzling use of projected mapping so a special mention must be made of lighting designer John Rainsforth, Italian TouchDesigner developer, Davide Santini for his projection mapping in collaboration with Newcastle based video design specialists Novak, as well as Germany’s interactive video designer, Frieder Weiss and AV programmer for interactive visual arts applications, Matthias Hartig. Consequently, Speakeasy is an animated coruscating kaleidoscope of colours.
SARA JANE PEROVIC, NARC. MAGAZINE ONLINE 18/03/2022

Our Laygate

Well-performed by a talented cast (and beautifully designed by Gareth Hunter, John Rainsforth and director Mina Anwar, who was also dramaturg)
Tracey Sinclair, The Stage 10/09/2021

Richard III

Lighting designer John Rainsforth and sound designer Vicky Wilkinson both make a considerable contribution to the atmosphere of the play, which is extremely powerful and, at times, almost frightening.
Tommy, Mobile Theatre 08/04/2021

Snow White

The lighting (John Rainsforth) adds dramatically to various scenes, changing the mood of many backdrops, such as the second half opening bathed in intense sinister red for the Evil Queen, then warm lilac's for the prince.
Anna Ambelez, TheReviewsHub 29/11/2019

Dolly Mixtures The Musical

John Rainsforth’s lighting really enhances the show. Elevating the mood of the scenes and effortlessly taking the action to various locations through lighting changes.
Steven Sullivan, North East Theatre Guide 22/08/2019