Alison Neighbour

Alison is a scenographer, theatre designer, and performance maker, interested in using art to activate and empower communities and to connect people and place.

Photograph of Alison standing in her studio, surrounded by sketches and theatre model boxes.

Alison Neighbour


lighthouse lantern

The (Future) Wales Coast Path

The (Future) Wales Coast Path is an exploration of impermanent land, developed in response to the flood maps released by Natural Resources Wales showing vast areas of the country at risk of flooding. The project seeks to open…
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Part treasure hunt, part performance, part ritual, Beacons explores new ways of reaching audiences and embedding story in landscape, culminating in a collectively created light installation on the beach. It seeks to address…

Alison is a scenographer from Wales working in theatre, dance, installation, and site specific environments.  She transforms spaces and tells stories visually, aiming to use design to connect people and place, and give the audience agency, always working closely in response to site and environment, and seeking to ask the difficult questions about where we are now, how we got here, and what we might do next - especially in relation to climate crisis. Most often her work takes place outdoors and in public spaces, and includes a mix of devised, scripted, and self-led projects. Recently Alison's work has evolved into large scale and micro-format performance installations that invite the audience to co-build the space and to imagine new futures together.

Alison was one of the first recipients of an Arts Council England Developing Creative Practice Award, through which she began exploring Participatory Scenography-  a design-led practice that aims to deepen connections with audiences and communities through socially engaged co-building of scenographic adventures. She is interested in finding ways to create democratic spaces, to empower audiences, and to develop participatory work where scenography is the lead element, and she is fascinated by how creative technology might support these aims.

In 2009 Alison founded Bread & Goose, a company making site based work with communities and regular users of public spaces. Work with Bread & Goose includes Fox in the Snow (a BMX adventure through Brixton that explored culpability and decision making, with the audience riding BMX bikes and having to make choices about the story); Stations By Heart (a London 2012/Up Projects commission for St Pancras Station); Lost in the Neuron Forest (a touring theatre production that explored the experience of Alzheimer's disease); The Memory Store (a touring installation of memories); and Return (a participatory arts project with military wives in South Wales). 

Her theatre design work has appeared as far afield as Singapore and New York, and closer to home in Cardiff, London, and all around the UK, working with Shunt, Fuel, Young Vic, and many others.

Alison trained at RADA and is represented by The Designer’s Formation. She is also Associate Artist at the Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury, and the UK representative on the Creative Europe Open Access Transmedia Project, which runs until November 2020.


Studio themes