Staging Places
Grace Venning
Grace Venning Greater London
Based in: Greater London
Member Of: SBTD
Grace is a performance designer based in London and currently undertaking a full-time design assistant residency at the National Theatre. In 2019 she was a finalist for the JMK Award with Jocelyn Cox, and for the inaugural Naomi Wilkinson Award for Stage Design with Told by an Idiot. She graduated with a First Class BA (Hons) in Design for Performance from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in 2017.

Design credits include: Opera Scenes (Guildhall School of Music and Drama), Time of Listening (Snape Maltings), La bohème (Clonter Opera), Stop Giving Me Grief (From the Forest Festival), Masti Maja (Sansaar Theatre Co.),  FCUK’D (Bunker Theatre), The Death of Ivan Ilyich (Merton Arts Space), Semele (Mid Wales Opera tour), The cosmonaut’s last message to the woman he once loved in the former Soviet Union; Road (Bute Theatre, RWCMD).

Image credit: Matthew Williams-Ellis

Featured Work


Role/Title: Designer
Year of Production Opening: 2017
Venue: Richard Burton Theatre and Mid Wales Opera tour
 Matthew Williams-Ellis
Image Credit - Matthew Williams-Ellis
Designing my first show on a larger scale was wonderfully collaborative. Director Martin Constantine and I spent many hours examining the piece, knowing that despite its grandeur, flawed humanity is the heart of the opera. In our modern society we use social media to curate our own immortality and carry it around in the pocket sized gallery of a phone. So our Jupiter was an artist in a shiny celestial art gallery, contrasting with the run-down community centre of the real world.

This idea of immortality through image, combined with the challenges of an orchestra onstage, led us towards a more compositionally exciting language of frames throughout the design. We explored painting, sculpture, photography and selfies as ways in which we form our legacies, the visual intrinsically linked to the thematic. The collaboration with lighting, costume, props and scenic art was fundamental and rewarding in this highly conceptual production.


Lighting Designer: Sam Smith
Scenic Assistant: Joe Munroe
Costume Supervisor: Monika Jezierska
Collaborators: Staff and Students at RWCMD
Director: Martin Constantine
Writer: William Congreve
Composer: George Frideric Handel
Choreographer: Jennifer Fletcher
Photographer: Matthew Williams-Ellis