Matt is a UK based lighting designer who believes that the arts should be accessible to all. He works internationally on theatre, opera, site specific, concert, installation and corporate projects.
The intention and focus of the performer are at the focal heart of his process. Capturing them within lighting worlds that are either diffuse with atmosphere or visually absolute, his work directs the eye with cinematic jump cuts or via painterly composition. His distinctive use of colour moulds three-dimensional worlds, underscores the narrative and accentuates mood. This process has informed the curation of the galleries below, forging visual associations between projects across the different genres his work encompasses.
To paraphrase a cliché, it’s rare to leave a theatre humming the lighting. But here, Matthew Haskins’ lighting designs help make this production so powerful and evocative, whether projecting grotesque, distorted shadows on the back wall of Madeleine Boyd’s claustrophobic set, or illuminating characters’ subtle facial expressions. Dawn and dusk are both beautifully realised, and when we’re finally shown a brightly lit stage at the opera’s shocking close, you almost have to shield your eyes.
For ``The Turn of The Screw``, Graham Rikson, The Arts Desk
Matt Haskins' stage lighting, meanwhile, had several wow moments.
For ``One Enchanted Evening``, Veronica Lee, The Arts Desk
Matthew Haskins's lighting design made handsome use of chiaroscuro.
For ``Maria Stuarda``, Fiona Maddocks, The Observer
Matthew Haskins’ precise and dramatic lighting finds all the dark corners of Madeleine Boyd’s stylishly skewed set.
For ``The Turn of The Screw``, Ron Simpson, WhatsOnStage
Adapted and directed by Anna Ledwich, her production is compelling - beautifully lit by Matt Haskins, brilliantly designed by Helen Goddard and with a subtle, insinuating sound design by Adrienne Quartly.
For ``Dream Story``, Giles Cole, WhatsOnStage
… the collaboration with lighting designer Matt Haskins allows incredible use of reflected light.
For ``House of Mirrors & Hearts``, Douglas Mayo, British Theatre
The atmosphere of claustrophobia and psychological terror is brilliantly maintained, aided by Matthew Haskins' subtle lighting changes from the brightness of an idyllic uppercrust country life to a menacing atmosphere of half-light and shadows.
For ``The Turn of The Screw``, Geoffrey Mogridge, Opera Brittania
Creepy, insidious, almost Freudian production, with very expressionist lighting (think Murnau's Nosferatu or Coppola's Dracula). Great performances from Sarah Tynan as the Governess and Tim Gasoriek, astonishing as Miles T.
Tim Ashley, Interval time in @Opera North: The Turn of The Screw Stream
Matt Haskins’ lighting floats through gaps, holes and windows, giving texture to empty space. It suggests the damage done by Joe and Anne’s actions, but also the passage of time, the tenacity of love, and the possibility of forgiveness.
For ``Wilderness``, The Stage
But it's turned into a theatrical marvel by Ana Inés Jabares-Pita's set (as well as Matt Haskins' lighting), with huge, reflective panels arching over the stage (similar to Miriam Buether's designs in the 2018 revival of Machinal, though used more inventively here). The reflective surfaces blend the corporeal and non-corporeal – fallen snow on the stage reflects up to appear like stars in the sky. Heaven and earth reflect seamlessly onto one another – at one point Susie dances alone to David Bowie, while far above her, her mirror image dances to the same tune. It's a lingering and well-wrought piece of stagecraft.
For ``The Lovely Bones``, WhatsOnStage
It’s a world of half lights and shadows (thanks to Matthew Haskins’s atmospheric lighting effects) and tacit implications which, under Alessandro Talevi’s insightful direction, invite even more disturbing interpretations.
For ``The Turn of The Screw``, David Truslove, Opera Today
Lucy Sierra’s set dominates the space, covering it with dirty broken walls and littered toys. A metaphor for the disequilibrium happening, it’s aided by Matt Haskins’ lighting design, which flickers and distorts reality. Dan Balfour’s sound evokes paranoia – it all works for Anna Ledwich’s vision.
For ``Wilderness``, Broadway World UK
For me, it’s the skill of Melly Still’s production, Ana Inés Jabares-Pita’s design and Matt Haskins’ lighting that makes the evening work.
For ``The Lovely Bones``, Guardian
Imaginative lighting design by Matt Haskins and Sound/Music by Jon Mcleod greatly aid the creation of atmosphere.
For ``The Picture of Dorian Gray``, Four Stars London Theatre
That said, all praise to Matthew Haskins’s lighting design, which incorporates shadow play most skilfully. Sometimes shadows of suspicion and intrigue are more potent than that which is seen in full light.
In the opening scene the women of the chorus cluster round a light-box, in which we see the shadow of a spider. The image is clear and enduring. Everything is black or blue, apart from a red box carried by Sara. It draws the eye. Inside there are insects, fed then to the spider. When the men of the chorus are on stage after that, talking amongst themselves in twos and threes, is it my imagination or are they scratching at their heads? Are the bugs amongst them too? It matters not if I am being fanciful, for the atmosphere of the court is febrile, suspicions are rife. It is the way of things.
For ``Roberto Devereux``, Wales Art Review
Ana Ines Jabares-Pita’s deceptively simple but highly versatile set is a major asset to the production: using a huge mirror suspended from the flies to depict alternative configurations to the groupings we see on stage, the stage space convincingly becomes a suburban street, Mr. Harvey’s basement and garden, the Salmons’ living room and even, for much of the action, ‘heaven’. Matt Haskins’ sympathetically plotted lighting design aids greatly in the creation of these illusions, as does Helen Skiera’s sensitive sound design.
For ``The Lovely Bones``, Review Hub
With its intense lighting (Matt Haskins) and cool design (Madeleine Boyd), its brevity and shock ending, Glare is itself perhaps a perfectly engineered entertainment for the digital generation.
For ``Glare``, Helen Wallace, BBC Music Magazine
The show opens with flashing lights, music and dancing around Simon Scullion’s playful and colourful set, fittingly reminiscent of a game show. Matt Haskins’ lighting design, along with Ben and Max Ringham’s sound, adds to the sharp and snappy vibes of the play, which feels current and ‘now’.
For ``Games For Lovers``, Broadway Review
It is cleverly directed by Melly Still with a magnificent score by composer Dave Price and lighting designed to offer up shock and awe by Matt Haskins….Personally I believe it will run and run thrilling new audiences around the world for many years to come.
For ``The Lovely Bones``, Euan Rose, Bromsgrove Standard
The space at Southwark Playhouse’s ‘Little’ is used effectively, with Matt Haskins’s lighting design in particular impressing with subtle light and shade that doesn’t overpower.
For ``A Bright Room Called Day``, Laura Peatman, A Younger Theatre
The family unit pushes and pulls and noisily creaks with pain at times, the acting unit of four pay back the director generously for her confidence in them. Some slick lighting from Matt Haskins assists with the theme and that focus on the family home.
For ``Death of a Salesman``, David Robinson, Reviews Hub
The staging of Ana Inés Jabares-Pita is imaginative – a largely bare stage has an angled mirror above that gives different viewpoints and which also gives glimpses behind it to see parallel action taking place, all supported by the lighting design of Matt Haskins – often harsh and monochromatic – and a soundscape of specially composed and contemporary (to the 1970s) music: a rendition of Both Sides Now as the action comes to its climax from Natasha Cottriall is chillingly beautiful.
For ``The Lovely Bones``, Review Hub
Thanks to Matt Haskins and Jon McLeod, whose synchronous lighting and sound design accommodate Dorian Gray’s metamorphosis from good to evil slickly, the show is wildly atmospheric, and the heightened production values of these two components serve as extensions of the hero’s psyche, enabling the audience to experience the lead character’s inner thoughts and feelings to a greater degree.
For ``The Picture of Dorian Gray``, The Upcoming
Matt Haskins lighting design that works with Scullion's design to incorporate the properties of black light was inspired and creative.
For ``Peter Pan Goes Wrong``, Broadway World Sydney
Matt Haskins’ stunning lighting design and Rosa Maggiora’s stage design makes for al‐ most cinematic viewing, with varying projec‐ tions being shown on the shimmering fringe curtain that covers the back wall of the stage, and vintage lamps shining behind the same curtain to add that 70s golden glamour. The lighting masterfully transitions with the en‐ ergy of the piece, maintaining its immediacy without overpowering it.
For ``Nina - A Story about Me and Nina Simone``, Saskia Coomber, A Younger Theatre
Matt Haskins' lighting design resonates perfectly with the narrative and Lowe's set. His blackouts and other expedients add a singular and sometimes eerie value to the production, especially when paired with Sarah Weltman's sound design.
For ``Kiss Me``, Cindy Marcolina, Broadway World
... the stage atmosphere comes from evocative back projections and careful lighting.
For ``Sukanya``, David Gutman, The Stage
Matt Haskins supplied the powerfully atmospheric lighting.
For ``Glare``, George Hall, Opera News
Bold, dramatic lighting from Matt Haskins combines with Dritёro Kasapi’s video projections to mould and change Rosa Maggiora’s deceptively simple designs, making the theatre space feel at once intimate and as huge as an arena stage.
For ``Nina - A Story about Me and Nina Simone``, Nigel Smith, Good News Liverpool
Matthew Haskins' stark lighting sets a background of permanent twilight where the sun never shines.
For ``The Snow Maiden``, David Cunningham, The Reviews Hub
Matt Haskins’s lighting design also plays its part with its sombre neon primary colours, pointing up the artificiality of much of the scenario while duly intensifying at those climactic junctures as the drama assumes an appreciably deeper and ultimately a starkly tragic aspect.
For ``Glare``, Richard Whitehouse, Classical Source
The swelling storm is impressively conjured, too, and while the orchestra booms, the sparing but striking use of projections (designed by Andrzej Goulding) supports the mood well. Matthew Haskins’s lighting aids this dramatic moment as well as the gentle conjuring of—not magic, in this version, but gentle wonder. For instance, both staging and light provide a slightly otherworldly feel to the appearances of Alidoro, the prince’s tutor who presides over the story, bowler-hatted and upright like a Man from the Ministry ex machina
For ``La Cenerentola``, Mark Smith, British Theatre Guide
Throughout all three operas, Matthew Haskins’ lighting was striking and evocative, without ever calling too much attention to itself. With such a very dark set, lighting was paramount and the look of the entire trilogy was a testament to three people, Talevi, Boyd and Haskins.
For the Welsh National Opera Tudor Season, Robert Hugill, Opera Today
Designer Lisa Marie Hall miraculously makes you feel you’ve never been in this attic venue before – I’ve been going there since it opened over forty years ago -- and there’s notably subtle lighting and sound by Matt Haskins and Gareth Fry.
For ``Truth and Reconciliation``, Michael Coveney, WhatsOnStage
Matt Haskins’ lighting is superbly effective, guiding us through the time shifts with ease.
For ``The Last Five Years``, Jo Fletcher-Cross, Musical Theatre Review
Victoria Newlyn’s movement direction helps create the sensual mix of glamour and sleaze, further aided by Madeleine Boyd’s set and costumes, and Matthew Haskins's excellent lighting.
For ``La Traviata``, Martin Thomasson, British Theatre Guide
Bare and chillingly lit.
For ``Anna Bolena``, Rian Evans, Guardian
Matt creates work described as: ‘cinematic’, ‘masterful’, ‘giving texture to the empty space’, ‘expressionistic’, ‘sympathetically plotted’, ‘harsh and monochromatic’, ‘imaginative’, ‘wildly atmospheric’, ‘skilful’, ‘current and now’, ‘inspired and creative’, ‘stunning’, ‘eerie’, ‘slick’, ‘powerful and evocative’, ‘stark’, ‘otherworldly’, ‘bare and chilling’ and resonating ‘perfectly with the narrative.