Matt is an experienced London-based lighting designer who works internationally on theatre, opera, site specific, concert, installation and corporate projects. He holds a first class BA (Hons) Degree in Lighting Design and has been nominated for both Offie & Knight of Illumination Awards.
Matt’s distinctive style promotes the unique vision of his creative collaborators. His range of work has been described as ‘cinematic’, ‘masterful’, ‘expressionistic’, ‘giving texture to the empty space’, ‘sympathetically plotted’, ‘harsh and monochromatic’, ‘imaginative’, ‘wildly atmospheric’, ‘skilful’, ‘current and now’, ‘inspired and creative’, ‘stunning’, ‘eerie’, ‘powerful and evocative’, ‘slick’, ‘stark’, ‘otherworldly’, ‘bare and chilling’ and resonating ‘perfectly with the narrative’.
World Premieres and International Projects
He has lit the iconic Grace Jones in concert at the Royal Albert Hall, and designed the lighting for the Olivier Award nominated West End production of Peter Pan Goes Wrong. With a focus on new music theatre writing, he lit the world premier of Ravi Shankar’s final composition Sukanya at the Royal Festival Hall, and the Royal Opera House world premier of Mark Anthony Turnage’s Coraline that went onto a successful European Tour.
Memorable experiences working as Associate Designer include the Complicité production of The Master & Margarita. His solid technical background includes work as a production electrician, programmer & re-lighter on UK Tours, in the West End and around the world.
For the world premiere of Nina – A Story about Me and Nina Simone the production:
Matt Haskins’ stunning lighting design and Rosa Maggiora’s stage design makes for almost cinematic viewing, with varying projections 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.
– Nina A Story About Me and Nina Simone – Saskia Coomber, A Younger Theatre
Below, Matt highlights his approach for the production of The Lovely Bones (based on a novel by American writer Alice Sebold) conveying the way that his work intertwines with the vision of the director and activates the space created by the designer.
“The main brief for everyone was how to present a sense of heaven and earth. Set Designer, Ana Inés Jabares-Pita created a ‘stealth’ set that comprised of a giant two way mirror set at 45 degrees to the show floor edged with earth, and an upstage horizontal line of corn protruding from its base. Behind the mirror were two tiers of decking on which our actors could also appear. This arrangement proved to be a giant Pepper’s Ghost effect, relying on carefully positioned lighting that would then allow us to superimpose real and reflected images together; as the lines between heaven & earth become blurred”.
– Matt Haskins, Light&Sound International Online.
An experienced Theatre Lighting Designer with West End hits
Theatre credits include: Peter Pan Goes Wrong (Apollo Theatre West End, UK, Australasian Tours); The Lovely Bones (Birmingham Rep, UK Tour); Death of a Salesman (UK Tour); Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em (UK Tour); The Picture of Dorian Gray (UK Tour); Hobson’s Choice, Crocodiles (Manchester Royal Exchange); Cost of Living, I and You (Hampstead Theatre); Wilderness, Strange Death of John Doe, No One Will Tell Me How To Start A Revolution, Kiss Me (Hampstead Downstairs); Nina (Unity Theatre, Riksteatren & Young Vic); Games For Lovers (Vaults Theatre); Zorro (Hope Mill Theatre); Last Five Years (New Wolsey Theatre); Much Ado About Nothing (Queens Theatre Hornchurch); Aladdin (Salisbury Playhouse); Great Apes, The House of Mirrors & Hearts (Arcola Theatre); Roundelay (Southwark Playhouse); 1001 Nights, The Edge (Transport Theatre/ Unicorn Theatre/ New Wolsey); The Little Beasts (The Other Palace); Wind in the Willows, The Years Between (Royal & Derngate); Truth & Reconciliation (The Royal Court); Dream Story, Mud (Gate Theatre); Steel Magnolias (Bath Theatre Royal/ UK Tour).
He has lit all Peppa Pig Live theatre shows since 2009.
Designing for the Royal Opera House, Opera North, Welsh National Opera & European Opera Houses
Matt’s opera work is extensive, exhibiting technical versatility and visual flair. Working within the boundaries of individual repertoire systems, he utilises light to shape unique atmospheres that serve the aesthetic brief of each collaboration.
‘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. Turn of The Screw
– David Truslove, Opera Today
Opera credits include: Coraline (ROH/ Barbican Theatre, European Tour); Sukanya (ROH/ LPO/ Royal Festival Hall); The Snowmaiden, Hansel & Gretel, La Cenerentola, La Traviata, Don Giovanni, Turn of the Screw, Cautionary Tales (Opera North), La Cenerentola (Irish National Opera); Roméo et Juliette, Der Fliegende Holländer (Estonian National Opera); Wuthering Heights (Opera National Lorraine); A Quiet Place (Opera Zuid); Albert Herring (Maggio Musicale Fiorentino); La Cenerentola (Mälmo Opera/ Teatrio Regio Turin); Anna Bolena (Teatro Donizetti Bergamo); Roberto Devereux (Teatro Real Madrid); Glare (Royal Opera House – Linbury Theatre), The Virtues of Things, The Commission, Cafe Kafka (Royal Opera House/ Aldeburgh Music/ Opera North); Anna Bolena, Roberto Devereux, Maria Stuarda (Welsh National Opera); Maria Stuarda (Royal Opera House Oman); Turn of the Screw (The Israeli Opera); Le nozze di Figaro (Nevill Holt); Babur In London (The Opera Group); Into the Little Hill (Hamburg Laeiszhalle); Dialogues des Carmelites, Cendrillon (Royal Northern College of Music).
Delivering theatrical light to unique spaces for global brands
Matt’s theatrical background informs his work within affiliated fields, creating dazzling lighting schemes that are responsive to extraordinary non theatrical spaces. Whether that be a private island, or within a garden thirty seven floors up, these projects are treated with distinctive lighting narratives that arrive on time and budget.
Installation/ Corporate Credits include: Ada Lovelace Dress (3000 pixel LED dress); Neon Garden (Zoe Bradley/ Galeria Melissa); Cointreau Creative Awards (Liberty London Atrium); ASOS Capital Markets (Design Museum); Open Outcry (Barclays/Mansion House); BBC Iplayer Launch, Elle Style Awards 2014/2015, Havana 7 Days, Thanks A Million, Cabaret Les Embiez and numerous London Fashion Week projects (Blonstein & Associates); Till We Meet In England (Peckham Safehouse); Walk With Me (Girl Effect/ Punchdrunk); Dido Queen of Carthage (Kensington Palace).
Creative Collaborations – Directors & Designers
Directors: Alessandro Talevi, Orpha Phelan, Olivia Fuchs, John Fulljames, Aletta Collins, Stephen Barlow, Thaddeus Strassberger, Annabel Arden, Edward Dick, Anna Ledwich, Edward Hall, Melly Still, Anthony Banks, Dritëro Kasapi, Christian Durham, Bijan Sheibani, Abigail Graham, Suba Das, Guy Unsworth, Oscar Pearce, Gary Sefton, Joe Austin, Séan Ayden, Adam Maggido, Elle While, Douglas Rintoul, Atri Banerjee, Peter Rowe, Rebecca McCutcheon, Ryan McBryde, Simon McBurney.
Designers: Madeleine Boyd, Rosa Maggiora, Helen Skiera, Will Duke, Giles Cadle, Moi Tran, Georgia Lowe, Jon McLeod, 59 Productions, Yannis Thavoris, Simon Higlett, Dick Straker, Helen Atkinson, Sarah Beaton, Dan Balfour, Michael Pavelka, Simon Kenny, Pete Malkin, Gareth Fry, Ana Inés Jabares-Pita, Gabrielle Dalton, Ella Wahlström, Simon Scullion, Ian William Galloway, Max & Ben Ringham, Lucy Sierra, Nicky Shaw, Emily Pugh, Rosanna Vize, Paul Groothius, James Perkins, Sara Perks, Joanna Parker, Max Pappenheim, Christina Cunningham.