John Comiskey is one of the most respected designers in Ireland. He has created set and lighting designs with all of the large production companies in the country. His response to the theme of Design & Destroy was perfectly irreverent – he presented charred images and designs from many of his works.
John Comiskey has worked extensively in theatre, music, film and television. He curated and designed the first ever Irish participation at the Prague Quadrennial exhibition of world theatre design in 2007.
He has won Best Design at the Irish Theatre awards for Copenhagen (Rough Magic) and has been nominated several times for Best Lighting Design.
Notable theatre productions include :
Hamlet, Outsiders – set, lighting and video design – (Abbey Theatre)
Sodome, My Love and Phaedra – set, lighting and video design – (Rough Magic)
Mermaids and Hanging on by a Thread – set and lighting design – (CoisCéim Dance)
Beckett in the City: The Women Speak – set and lighting design – (Company SJ)
The Diamond Body – lighting design – (Operating Theatre, of which he was an artistic director with Roger Doyle and Olwen Fouéré) and two collaborations with Sam Shepard Kicking a Dead Horse – lighting design – Abbey Theatre/ Public Theatre, New York 2007, 2008
A Particle of Dread (Oedipus Variations)– lighting design – Field Day 2013
Film directing credits include the award-winning dance drama Hit and Run; documentaries“I Was the Little Girl”- the Berlin of Agnes Bernelle; The Wren’s Day and Behind the Walls, a history of Ireland’s mental asylums; the recent two-part drama The Bailout (with Conall Morrison); various concert films including the original Celtic Woman; Johnny Cash and the live transmission of the Eurovision Song Contest.
He was Associate Director of Centenary, RTE’s commemorative concert for the anniversary of 1916. He has had a lengthy association with Riverdance beginning with the original Eurovision Song Contest performance, followed by two years as Production Director worldwide of Riverdance – the Show and returning more recently as lighting designer.
He has been involved with music throughout his career, devising and directing themed performances such as The Frost is all Over (ten42) and The Well (Abhann) – both with Tony McMahon- and more recently collaborating with Irish piper David Power and electronic composer Linda Buckley on the performance/video installation Antarctica (Kilkenny Arts Festival).
Sodome, My Love
Written by Laurent Gaudé
Director Lynne Parker
Costume Designer Monica Frawley
Set, Lighting and A/V design John Comiskey
Photography John Comiskey