Irish designer Bob Crowley made his Royal Opera debut in 1987 creating designs for The King Goes Forth to France, directed by Nicholas Hytner. He has since created designs for The Royal Opera's La traviata, directed by Richard Eyre, and The Knot Garden and Don Carlo, directed by Hytner. For The Royal Ballet he has created designs for the 1996 revival of Kenneth MacMillan's Anastasia and for Christopher Wheeldon's Pavane pour une infante défunte, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and The Winter’s Tale.
Crowley was born in Cork and after studying fine art at the Crawford Art School moved to England to train in theatre design at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. His breakthrough production was The Duchess of Malfi at the Royal Exchange, a huge critical success that resulted in Crowley being invited to work for the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre. He has since designed more than twenty productions for the National Theatre, including Collaborators, Fram (also co-director), His Girl Friday, Mourning Becomes Electra and The History Boys, and numerous productions for the RSC, including The Plantagenets (for which he won an Olivier award) and Les Liaisons dangereuses. Crowley has also designed extensively for Broadway and the West End and has created designs for films including Othello and on television in Tales from Hollywood and Suddenly Last Summer. Other opera designs include The Magic Flute (English National Opera) and The Cunning Little Vixen (Théâtre du Châtelet).
Crowley’s many accolades include six Tony awards, The Royal Designer for Industry Award and the Robert L.B. Tobin Award for Lifetime Achievement in Theatrical Design.
News and features
15 May 2014
Richard Eyre's production may look traditional, but its exaggerated theatricality invites a closer look.
28 April 2014
Another chance to see the backstage films screened as part of our live cinema relay.
31 March 2014
A quick guide to Christopher Wheeldon's captivating Shakespeare adaptation.