Set and Costume Designer
Mark Thompson has an extensive career as a theatre and corporate/event designer as well as a ceramic sculptor with nine solo sculpture exhibitions in Australia. Mark is also a successful painter exhibiting his works in solo exhibitions witn Robin Gibson Gallery and was a 2009 Archibald finalist.
Since 1975 his sculptural work has been collected, published and represented in 25 State and public Art Museums in Australia and overseas including the National Gallery, Canberra and the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney.
In 1984 Mark began designing for theatre and has designed over 60 productions for most of Australia’s leading theatre companies including Sydney Theatre Company, Opera Australia,, The State Opera of South Australia, The Ensemble, Australian Dance Theatre, State Theatre Company of South Australia, West Australian Theatre Company, Hole in the Wall Theatre Company, Adelaide Festival Centre, Nimrod Theatre Company, West Australian Performing Arts Academy, Adelaide Festival, Magpie Theatre Company and Come Out Youth Arts Festival. Productions include The Rover (also for Sydney Festival), Much Ado About Nothing, The Glass Menagerie, Sweeney Todd, The Barber of Seville, The Fiery Angel, Capricornia, The Winter’s Tale, Macbeth The Hobbit and All My Sons.
He has had a long association with Adelaide Festival of Arts, firstly for his controversial solo exhibitions in 1982 and 1984, then as Designer for the centrepiece opera productions of Boojum (1986) and The Fiery Angel (1988), and finally as the overall Designer of the Festival including outdoor events and venues for the 1992 Festival. Prior to this he was Head of the Production and Design Department at The Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts
Corporate clients include The Hyatt Australian Hotels, The Sheraton Hotel chain, Adelaide Grand Prix, Adelaide Entertainment Centre and Adelaide Festival Centre as well as various commercial and government entrepreneurs in Australia and Asia.
In 1998 he was engaged by Madame Tussaud’s London, to design their first touring exhibition in 150 years, which toured to Melbourne, Sydney and Singapore and Hong Kong. In 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2003, Mark was the Designer for the City of Sydney’s New Year’s Eve Celebrations (including both the Harbour Bridge Effect and the Fireworks). Recent work includes The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber concert for Beijing and Shanghai; theatre production design of Morning Sacrifice, The Way of the World and The Breath of Life for Sydney Theatre Company; Orpheus in The Underworld and The Force of Destiny for Opera Australia; The Taming of The Shrew for Bell Shakespeare; Harp on the Willow, All My Sons, The Boys Next Door, AfterPlay and The Yalta Game and Chapter Two for The Ensemble Theatre; and Wendy Harmer’s Pearlie in The Park for Monkey Baa Theatre for Young People.
Mark has completed design work on the new elements for Sea World at the Warner Bros Theme Park and is currently designer for Cacalcade – Reins of Fire, which will tour Australia. He was also in the creative design team for the Opening and Closing ceremonies for the DOHA Asian Games in 2006.
Recent Event design contracts include the Design Administration of East Timor’s Independence Day Celebrations in Dili, commissioned by the United Nations NY.
In 2015 Mark designed the set and costumes for Aida, Opera Australia's Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour.