Tom Piper (designer)

Tom Piper (b. 1964-11-24) is a British theatre designer who regularly collaborates with director Michael Boyd. He became an Associate Designer with the Royal Shakespeare Company in 2004.

Piper, born in London on 24 November 1964, was educated at Magdalen College School, Oxford. In 1984 he entered Trinity College, Cambridge to read biology, but in mid-course switched to art history. From 1988 to 1990 he attended the Slade School of Art postgraduate course in theatre design.

In 1990 he spent six months with Peter Brook's theatre company in Paris, working on Brook's visionary production of "The Tempest", before becoming a freelance designer working at the Nottingham Playhouse, Hampstead Theatre and the Royal Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh and winning the London Fringe Best Design Award for "Cat in the Ghetto", staged at the Tabard Theatre, Chiswick, West London.

He first worked with Michael Boyd at the Tron Theatre in Glasgow with his design for the 1991 production of the pantomime "Jack and the Beanstalk", since when their careers have been closely linked.

Piper claims he first got into theatre design almost by accident. He had wanted to be a biologist and was studying natural sciences at Cambridge University, when his old school friend, Sam Mendes, was directing a production of "The Tempest" and Piper volunteered to build the set. [cite news | last =Orme| first =Steve| coauthors =| title =Staging coup - Tom Piper| work =| pages =| language =| publisher =The Stage| date =2004-09-23| url =http://www.thestage.co.uk/features/feature.php?sid=4310| accessdate =2007-12-09]

A year after Boyd became RSC Artistic Director, Piper was appointed the RSC's associate designer. [cite press release| title =Tom Piper - Associate Designer| publisher =RSC| date =| url =http://www.rsc.org.uk/press/1588.aspx| accessdate =2007-12-09]

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