24 September 1971
London, United Kingdom
|Occupation||Stage and costume designer, creative director|
Esmeralda "Es" Devlin OBE (born 24 September 1971) is a multi-award-winning international English stage designer and creative director who works in opera, dance, theatre, film, television and concerts. Devlin designed the London 2012 Olympic Closing Ceremony. Devlin was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2015 New Year Honours for services to stage and set design.
- 1 Biography
- 2 Career
- 3 Awards/honours
- 4 References
- 5 Sources
- 6 External links
Devlin studied music at the Royal Academy of Music from age 12 as a Junior Exhibitioner while attending Cranbrook School in Kent. She went on to gain a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English Literature at Bristol University, writing her final dissertation on the work of the American poet Adrienne Rich. A fine art foundation course followed at Central St Martins College of Art and Design before she was accepted to study set design on the Motley Theatre Design Course in London where she was taught by the designers Percy Harris, Alison Chitty and Kandis Cook. While studying Devlin worked as a stage hand for Le Cirque Invisible – the circus created by Victoria Chaplin and Jean-Baptiste Thierrée. She also assisted the artist Damien Hirst on Agongo, an installation at the Richard de Marco Gallery in Edinburgh in 1992.
Devlin was born in Kingston upon Thames to author, campaigner and former teacher Angela Devlin, and Tim Devlin who is a former journalist. Devlin lives in Peckham, South London with her husband, costume designer Jack Galloway and their two children Ry and Ludo.
On completing the Motley Theatre Design Course in 1995, Devlin was awarded the Linbury Prize for Stage Design – part of the prize was her first professional commission: Edward II for the Octagon Theatre, Bolton. More projects followed in small fringe theatres in London including the Bush Theatre (pictured) where she was appointed Artistic Associate from 1997–99. Devlin invited Trevor Nunn (director of the Royal National Theatre at the time) to see her work at the tiny pub theatre – he saw the show and commissioned her to design Harold Pinter's Betrayal at the National Theatre.
Devlin has gone on to design for many of the major UK theatre companies including the Royal Shakespeare Company, Royal Court Theatre, Old Vic, Young Vic, Almeida Theatre, Arcola Theatre, Hampstead Theatre, Soho Theatre, Duke of York's Theatre, Haymarket Theatre, Comedy Theatre, Royal Exchange Theatre, Out of Joint and Theatre de Complicite plus productions in New York, Madrid, Dublin and Tokyo.
|Hamlet||Barbican Theatre||Lyndsey Turner|
|Light Shining in Buckinghamshire||RNT Lyttelton Theatre||Lyndsey Turner|
|The Nether||Royal Court Theatre||Jeremy Herrin|
|I Can't Sing||Palladium Theatre||Sean Foley|
|Machinal||RoundAbout Theatre||Lyndsey Turner|
|American Psycho||Headlong / Almeida||Rupert Goold|
|Midsummer Nights Dream||TFANA NYC||Julie Taymor|
|Robin des Bois||Palais de Congres||Michel Laprise|
|Chimerica||Headlong / Almeida||Lyndsey Turner|
|Master & Margarita||Theatre de Complicite||Simon McBurney|
|Batman||World Arena Tour||Anthony Van Laast|
|Pieces of Vincent||Arcola Theatre, London||Clare Lizzimore|
|Hecuba||Royal Shakespeare Company||Laurence Boswell|
|Spanish Golden Age Season||Royal Shakespeare Company||Laurence Boswell|
|Antony and Cleopatra||Royal Shakespeare Company||Michael Attenborough|
|Henry IV Parts 1 and 2||Royal Shakespeare Company||Michael Attenborough|
|The Prisoner's Dilemma||Royal Shakespeare Company||Michael Attenborough|
|Betrayal||National Theatre||Trevor Nunn|
|Hinterland||National Theatre||Max Stafford Clark|
|A Day in the Death of Joe Egg||West End and Broadway||Laurence Boswell|
|The Holy Terror||West End||Laurence Boswell|
|Closer to Heaven||Arts Theatre||Gemma Bodinetz|
|Dumb Show||Royal Court Theatre||Terry Johnson|
|O Go My Man||Royal Court Theatre||Max Stafford Clark|
|Credible Witness||Royal Court Theatre Upstairs||Sacha Wares|
|Yard Gal||Royal Court Theatre Upstairs||Gemma Bodinetz|
|Hamlet||Young Vic Theatre||Laurence Boswell|
|Snake in the Grass||Old Vic (Peter Hall Company)||Dominic Dromgoole|
|Five Gold Rings||Almeida Theatre||Michael Attenborough|
|On Ego||Soho Theatre||Mick Gordon|
|Rita, Sue and Bob Too||Soho Theatre||Max Stafford Clark|
|A State Affair||Soho Theatre||Max Stafford Clark|
|Arabian Night||Soho Theatre||Gordon Anderson|
|The Death of Cool||Hampstead Theatre||Gemma Bodinetz|
|Macbeth||Arcola Theatre||Max Stafford Clark|
|Airsick||Bush Theatre||Mike Bradwell|
|One Life and Counting||Bush Theatre||Sacha Wares|
|LoveYou Too||Bush Theatre||Mike Bradwell|
|Howie the Rookie||Bush Theatre||Mike Bradwell|
|Love and Understanding||Bush Theatre||Mike Bradwell|
|PeraPalas||Gate Theatre||Sacha Wares|
|All the Ordinary Angels||Royal Exchange Manchester||Michael Buffong|
|Meat||Theatre Royal Plymouth||Gemma Bodinetz|
|Piano||TPT, Tokyo||Haru Nakajima|
|Edward II||Octagon Theatre, Bolton||Lawrence Till|
Devlin's first major opera commission was Ernst Bloch's Macbeth in 2003 at Theater an der Wien in Vienna. She now designs for many of the major European opera houses including La Scala Milan, El Liceu Barcelona, Netherlands Opera, Copenhagen Opera House, Greek National Opera, Finnish National Opera, Theater an der Wien, Vienna Staatsoper, Dresden Semperoper, Leipzig Opera, Oper Frankfurt, Ystad Festival Opera, Scottish Opera Go Round, English Touring Opera, Royal Opera House, English National Opera and Glyndebourne Festival Opera.
|Rodin Project||Sadlers Wells (Russell Maliphant Company)||2011|
|After Light II||Sadlers Wells (Russell Maliphant Company)||2010|
|Blaze||Peacock Theatre (Anthony Van Laast)||2010|
|After Light I||Sadlers Wells (Russell Maliphant Company)||2009|
|Small Boats||Sadlers Wells (Russell Maliphant Company)||2008|
|Essence||Royal Opera House Linbury (Finn Walker)||2005|
|I Remember Red||Cullberg Ballet, Stockholm (Didy Veldman)||2002|
|A Streetcar Named Desire||Northern Ballet Theatre (Didy Veldman)||2002|
|God's Plenty||Sadlers Wells (Russell Maliphant Company)||2000|
|Four Scenes||Sadlers Wells (Russell Maliphant Company)||1998|
In 2005 Kanye West saw images of Devlin's installation for the post punk band WIRE – a collaboration with the artists Jake and Dinos Chapman for the Only Connect Festival at the Barbican Centre. Kanye was in rehearsal for his Touch the Sky World Arena Tour. He commissioned Devlin to re-conceive his show 10 days before the first performance. More projects followed, including Jay Z and Kanye West's 'Watch the Throne' tour, Lady Gaga, Muse as well as Pet Shop Boys, Nitin Sawhney, Take That, Imogen Heap, Jamie Cullum, Shakira, Lenny Kravitz, Mika and Goldfrapp; for many of these projects Devlin provided the creative direction for the performance as well as the stage design.
Devlin's notable large scale project for Take That European Stadium Progress Live in 2011, featured a 20metre high mechanical man that stood up in the centre of the stadium (pictured). It was large scale stadium projects like this that led LOCOG to select Devlin and Take That's creative director Kim Gavin to conceive the Closing Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
|U2||Innocence + Experience World Tour||2015||Willie Williams|
|Miley Cyrus||Bangerz World Tour||2014||Diane Martel|
|Kanye West||Yeezus World Tour||2013||Kanye West|
|PetShopBoys||Electric World Tour||2013||Es Devlin|
|Jay-Z/ Kanye||Watch the Throne World Arena Tour||2011/12||Kanye / Es Devlin|
|Lenny Kravitz||Black &White America Arena Tour||2011||Lenny Kravitz/ Es Devlin|
|Take That||Progress European Tour||2011||Kim Gavin|
|Lady Gaga||Monster Ball US Arena Tour||2009/10||Haus of Gaga/Willo Perron|
|MUSE||Resistance Stadium Tour||2010||Muse/Oli Metcalfe/Es Devlin|
|Goldfrapp||Head First Tour||2010||Rob Sinclair/ Es Devlin|
|Shakira||The Sun Comes Out – Arenas||2010||Felix Barrett|
|Mika||Imaginarium World Tour||2010||Mika/ Es Devlin|
|Jamie Cullum||The Pursuit World Tour||2010||Marc Silver|
|Imogen Heap||Ellipse US Tour||2009||Imogen Heap/ Es Devlin|
|MUSE||Resistance Arena World Tour||2009||Muse/Oli Metcalfe/Es Devlin|
|Pet Shop Boys||Pandemonium World Tour||2009||PSB / Es Devlin|
|Take That||Circus UK Stadium Tour||2009||Kim Gavin|
|Kanye West||European Festival Tour||2009||Kanye/Willo Perron/Es Devlin|
|Nitin Sawhney||OneDotZero /BFI at IMAX||2008||Es Devlin/Luke Halls|
|Mika||Parc des Princes Stadium, Paris||2008||Mika/ Es Devlin|
|Kanye West||Glow in the Dark US Arena Tour||2007||Kanye/Martin Phillips/Es|
|Pet Shop Boys||Fundamental World Tour||2006||PSB / Es Devlin|
|Kanye West||Touch the Sky US Arena Tour||2005||Kanye / Es Devlin|
|WIRE||Flag: Burning Barbican||2003||WIRE / Es Devlin|
Devlin's film work includes direction – a music video for Imogen Heap and a one hour film for London's London IMAX to the music of Nitin Sawhney as well as costume design for Sally Potter's feature film RAGE and production design for short films and music videos by Mike Figgis.
|First Train Home||Imogen Heap music video||2009|
|Nitin Sawhney at IMAX||1hr long film for Onedotzero /BFI Festival||2008|
|Rage||feature film directed by Sally Potter (costume design)||2008|
|Hostage of love||Razorlight music video directed by Mike Figgis||2008|
|Dreams of Miss X||promo film for Agent Provocateur – Kate Moss dir. by Figgis||2007|
|Victoria Station||by Harold Pinter – short film||2002|
|Snow on Saturday||short film directed by Imogen Stubbs||2001|
|Brilliant!||short film for BBC2||2000|
Her TV designs include The Brit Awards 2015, MTV Europe Music Awards (EMAs) – 2011 and 2010, Rihanna's performances at the Grammy Awards and Brit Awards 2012, Pet Shop Boys Lifetime Achievement Award performance at the BRIT Awards 2009, a short film for BBC2 plus TV performances for Kanye West on American Idol, BET Awards and VH1 Storytellers.
|Brit Awards||Overall Concept & Design||2015|
|Sam Smith||Performance at Brit Awards||2015|
|Ed Sheeran||Performance at Brit Awards||2015|
|Ed Sheeran||Performance at X Factor||2014|
|Sam Smith||Performance at X Factor||2014|
|U2||Performances at EMA, The Graham Norton Show and Later... with Jools Holland||2014|
|Miley Cyrus||Performances at MTV Awards and X Factor||2013|
|Rihanna||Performances at Grammy Awards and Brit Awards||2012|
|MTV EMAs||Europe Music Awards – Overall Concept & Design||2011|
|MTV EMAs||Europe Music Awards – Overall Concept & Design||2010|
|Kanye West||BET Awards performance||2010|
|Kanye West||Storytellers – 45-minute TV special for VH1 (&DVD)||2009|
|Kanye West||American Idol performance of Heartless||2009|
|Pet Shops Boys||Life Time Achievement performance Brit Awards||2009|
London 2012 Olympic Closing Ceremony
Devlin designed the London 2012 Olympic Closing Ceremony (under the creative direction of Kim Gavin, within a creative team formed of music director David Arnold, lighting director Patrick Woodroffe, and executive producer Stephen Daldry. )
|International Opera Award for Best Designer||2015||Won|
|Olivier Award for Best Stage Design||2015||Won|
|Critics Circle Award for Best Stage Design||2014||Won|
|Evening Standard Award for Best Stage Design||2014||Won|
|Olivier Award for Best Stage Design||2014||Won|
|Tony Award for Best Stage Design||2014||Nominated|
|Drum Designer of the Year Award||2014||Nominated|
|Critics Circle Award||2013||Won|
|TPi Set Designer of the Year Award||2013||Nominated|
|Evening Standard Award Best Set Design||2013||Nominated|
|Whats on Stage Award Best Set Design||2013||Nominated|
|TPi Set Designer of the Year Award||2012||Won|
|Evening Standard Award Best Set Design||2012||Nominated|
|TPi Set Designer of the Year Award||2011||Won|
|Red Magazine Creative Woman of the Year||2011||Won|
|TPi Set Designer of the Year Award||2010||Won|
|The Telegraph's 100 Most Powerful Women in Britain||2010||Won|
|Olivier Award for Best Costume Design||2006||Won|
|MEN Award for Best Stage Design||2005||Won|
|TMA Award for Best Stage Design||2000||Nominated|
|TMA Award for Best Stage Design||1998||Won|
|Linbury Prize for Stage Design||1996||Won|
- The London Gazette: . 31 December 2014.
- 2015 New Year Honours List
- "Profile: Kim Gavin, director of Olympic closing ceremony". BBC News. 13 August 2012.
- "Red's Hot Women Awards 2011/ Winners". Red Online.
- "100 most powerful women in Britain: Entertainment, Media and Sport". The Telegraph (London). 23 November 2010. Retrieved 6 July 2012.
- Trueman, Matt (2 March 2013). "Interview". Theater der Zeit.
- Needham, Alex (24 January 2013). "Es Devlin". Bloomberg BusinessWeek.
- Miari, Anastasia (20 October 2012). "Devlin Detail". Guise Magazine.
- Duchen, Jessica (18 February 2013). "My first opera". Sinfini Music.
- Scutt, Tom (20 July 2011). "The artists' artist: set designers". London: The Guardian.
- Youngs, Ian (20 July 2011). "Setting the stage for Batman, Take That and Lady Gaga". BBC News.
- "Take That: behind the scenes of the Progress Live". London: THe Telegraph. May 2011.
- Sherwin, Adam (19 February 2011). "London Games to get the Gaga treatment from choreographer". The Independent.
- Hill, Amelia (18 February 2011). "Kim Gavin named artistic director for London 2012 closing ceremonies". The Guardian.
- Bowie-Sell, Daisy (18 February 2011). "Es Devlin: profile of Cultural Olympiad Designer". London: The Telegraph.
- Bowie-Sell, Daisy (1 September 2010). "Es Devlin: 'Get set, go!'". London: The Telegraph.
From Take That to Kanye West, when pop's biggest stars want shows with the wow factor, they come to pioneering British theatre designer Es Devlin
- Igor Toronyi-Lalic (26 June 2012). "opera reviews, news and interviews".
- TPI Magazine (121). September 2009 http://totalproduction.net-genie.co.uk/interviews/vital-stats/336826/es_devlin.html. Missing or empty
- Battaglia, Steven (14 September 2009). "Creating Pandemonium for the Pet Shop Boys, Part 1: The Designers' Roundtable". Live Design.
- Harrod, Horatia (25 November 2007). "Get set, go!". London: The Telegraph.
- "Monty Python in the West End". London: The Independent. 1 November 2007.
Theatre designers take a bow
- "Profile". Design Week. 20 September 2007.
From Carmen to Kanye West, stage designer Es Devlin's talents have been much in demand throughout her career.
- McGhie, Caroline (24 March 2007). "The immaculate conversion". London: The Telegraph.
- "Es Devlin Portrait –Queen of Light". Frame Magazine (47). November 2005.
- Elkin, Susan (30 September 2005). "Devlin the detail – Es Devlin". The Stage.
Susan Elkin discovers how the rising star of stage design, Es Devlin, has built her success on research, creativity and business acumen
- Reid, Shaheem (October 2005). "Kanye West: Touch the Sky". MTV News.
- Whitney, Hilary. "This Life: Interview with Es Devlin". Red Magazine.
- Fisher, Neil (May 2012). "A Best of British goodbye". The Times and The Australian.
- Morag, Bruce (June 2012). "My Interior Life: Es Devlin". LivingEtc.
- Wroe, Nick (June 2012). ""The designer going from Gaga to the Olympic closing ceremony".". London: The Guardian.
- Fox, Sue (24 June 2012). "Es Devlin: My Hols". Journalisted.
- http://esdevlin.com/ Es Devlin Official Website
- http://www.bloomberg.com/video/businessweek-design-2103-stage-designer-es-devlin-uD1lR4G4SAeEL4TZGLhWvQ.html/ Es Devlin talk for Bloomberg BusinessWeek January 2013
- http://tedxtalks.ted.com/video/Head-Space-Es-Devlin-at-TEDxYou;search%3Atag%3A%22tedxyouth-manchester%22/ Es Devlin TEDx talk November 2012
- http://www.roh.org.uk/news/watch-designer-es-devlin-on-les-troyens/ Interview with Es Devlin for the Royal Opera House
- http://www.itsnicethat.com/articles/here-2013-es-devlin/ Es Devlin talk for Here Creative Symposium for It's Nice That
- http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01lsz6m/ Es Devlin on BBC Radio 3 Private Passions