Lucy Osborne

Lucy Osborne


Lucy consults on all aspects of theatre design, specialising in the design of temporary spaces and site-specific environments.

+44 (0)20 7928 0000


Lucy brings to Charcoalblue her extensive international experience as an award-winning set and costume designer in the UK, Europe and North America.

Her recent design work includes set and costume designs for a new musical for Complicite at the National Theatre, Les Miserables for Wermland Opera in Sweden and several productions for the Donmar Warehouse, both in their Covent Garden home and further afield in Manchester and New York.

She has a close association with new writing theatre company Paines Plough, who commissioned her to design Roundabout with Emma Chapman; the world’s first ‘flat-pack theatre’. Roundabout was joint winner of The Stage Awards ‘Theatre Building of the Year 2015’ with the Everyman Theatre in Liverpool. Lucy went on to co-design The Mix, a unique multi-purpose temporary festival theatre which launched at the Wilderness Festival in Summer 2016.

Lucy’s projects with Charcoalblue include the Institute of Contemporary Art and Wilton’s Music Hall in London.

Lucy addresses attendees at our 10th birthday celebrations at the National Theatre in 2014.

Lucy and Emma with their award for Theatre Building of the Year 2015 at The Stage Awards with Richard Pilbrow.

What's the greatest lesson you've learnt as a Theatre Consultant?

To listen and to trust in the people around you. Being a Theatre Consultant teaches me every day that listening is the most important thing – every project demands and deserves a different solution – and sometimes the answers come from the most unlikely places, so it’s about keeping your mind open even when you’re under pressure. Every problem can be turned into an opportunity if you are working with brilliant and committed collaborators.

Have you got a favourite memory from your career so far?

The National Student Drama Festival was a hugely important experience for me – it gave me an opportunity to try everything; from lighting design to venue design, and also gave me the chance to meet and work with professional practitioners – I wouldn’t be where I am without it.

If I could pinpoint three moments that stand out for me they would include designing my first professional production at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield in 2004; standing inside the newly built Roundabout in Edinburgh in 2014 with the team from Paines Plough and thinking “we made this!”, and then just last month I watched the entire staff from Theatr Clwyd volunteer on a shift basis for four days to hand make 2,332 pretend mobile phones to become the set for a show I designed there – their dedication was totally humbling and that sense of a community investing in the work happening onstage together was incredibly inspiring.

What qualities should a 'great performance space' have?

Intensity and simplicity.

You’ve designed a number of temporary and portable venues, are there particular considerations when approaching this type of space?

There are lots of parameters which need investigating and exploring - these can be very granular questions such as looking at the terrain of the site, working out how many people can be involved setting up the space and how many people might be in the audience, but running alongside this is always a huge element of fun as you start thinking about the venue as an ‘event’ and how you can reward the audience for taking a risk and making the trip to come and see something unusual. Every temporary venue is completely unique, which is why they are so exciting and challenging to build!

Lucy Osborne
Lucy Osborne

Get in touch with Lucy.

Contact Lucy

+44 (0)20 7928 0000