Sue Blane

Location: Wolverhampton
Mastered: Set design

One of the UK’s leading theatre and film costume and set designers Sue has been at the forefront of Europe’s theatre scene for over 40 years. From her early original iconic designs for The Rocky Horror Picture Show to the current productions of Roman Polanski’s Dance of the Vampires, Kiss Me Kate and David Bintley’s Aladdin.

Sue studied costume design at Wolverhampton College of Art and at the Central School of Art and Design in London, finishing in 1971.

Blane also created the costume designs for Jonathan Miller's The Mikado for the English National Opera. Other opera credits include David McVicar's Carmen for Glyndebourne, Keith Warner's Lohengrin for the Bayreuth Festival, Lulu at the New National Theatre, Tokyo, Disney's The Hunchback of Notre-Dame (Berlin): The Love for Three Oranges (Opera North/ENO); The Three Musketeers (Young Vic); Capriccio (Staatsoper, Berlin); Guys and Dolls (RNT); Into the Woods (Old Vic / West End); Porgy and Bess (Glyndebourne) and La Fanciula del West, with Plácido Domingo (La Scala, Milan).

Sue's many production design credits include The Relapse, voted Best Design by What's On readers, (RNT), The Nutcracker and Alice in Wonderland for the English National Ballet; Midsummer Night's Dream (Royal Dramaten Theatre, Stockholm and RSC; Cabaret (Donmar Warehouse); Sylvia (Birmingham Royal Ballet); King John, The Learned Ladies, and Antony and Cleopatra all for the Royal Shakespeare Company; Barber of Seville (Scottish Opera); The Duenna and Thieving Magpie (Opera North); Christmas Eve (ENO) and Lee Miller (Minerva Chichester). Her designs also feature in a new ballet for English National Ballet based on Oscar Wilde's novella of The Canterville Ghost conceived and choreographed by Will Tuckett.

She was nominated for a 1997 Laurence Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance for her design of English National Ballet's Alice in Wonderland and a BAFTA nomination for Peter Greenaway's The Draughtsman's Contract (1982). Her designs can be seen in Dance of the Vampires in Vienna, directed by Roman Polanski.

Sue received an MBE (Members of the Order of the British Empire) in 2006.


Image by Laura Dicken