Brian Thomson (scenic designer)

Brian Thomson AM is an Australian theatre, opera and film designer. He has been active in Australian stage design for over three decades.


Thomson began a long and successful collaboration with director Jim Sharman after they met at Heavenburgers on Sydney's Oxford Street in 1969; they worked together on a series of groundbreaking productions for the Old Tote Theatre Company and worked together on a string of hugely successful musical productions including the Melbourne production of Hair, the original Australian and London productions of Jesus Christ Superstar and The Rocky Horror Show. Other musical credits include the most recent Broadway production of The King and I (1996 Tony Award for Best Scenic Design), Dame Edna – Back with a Vengeance and more recently in Australia Company, The Boy from Oz Arena Tour with Hugh Jackman (2007 Helpmann Award for Best Design), and Priscilla: Queen of the Desert the Musical.

He has designed for all the major Australian theatre companies. His credits include Holding the Man for Griffin Theatre Company, Keating! for (three 2007 Helpmann Awards), The Gates of Egypt, Capricornia, Stuff Happens, Run Rabbit Run, Buried Child, My Zinc Bed, The Laramie Project, Aftershocks, The Tempest, The Master Builder and Ghosts all for Company B.

Thomson's other theatre credits include Three Furies – Scenes from the Life of Francis Bacon (Sydney Festival); End of the Rainbow (Melbourne Theatre Company/Ensemble Theatre). For Sydney Theatre Company, Thomson has designed for productions of Festen, The Ham Funeral, Coriolanus, King Lear, The Real Thing, The One Day of the Year, Up for Grabs, The White Devil, A Cheery Soul, The Doll Trilogy, Arcadia, and Steel City.

Thomson has designed opera for Opera Australia, Welsh National Opera, the English National Opera, and the Royal Opera, London. He has also designed extensively for film including The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Starstruck, Rebel and Ground Zero.

Thomson was Production Designer for the Closing Ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, the 2001 Centenary of Federation Ceremony, the 2003 Rugby World Cup Opening Ceremony and the Closing Ceremony of the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games.


In 2005 Thomson received an Order of Australia, AM, for services to the arts.[1] "Brian Thomson: Set Designer". Opera Australia. Retrieved 29 May 2018. Other awards he has received include a Tony Award, Outer Critics Circle Award and Drama Desk Award in New York City, an Olivier Award nomination in London, and several AFI Awards and Sydney Theatre Critics Awards."Brian Thomson: Set Designer". Opera Australia. Retrieved 29 May 2018.


  1. "Brian Thomson: set designer". Opera Australia. Retrieved 4 June 2018.
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