Jon Buswell

Designer - Lighting

Management: Worldwide excluding UK

La Bayadere, Queensland Ballet
… Harris’s grand set pieces, which are subliminally illuminated by Jon Buswell’s lighting design. The final image of the ballet – the two lovers spinning against a backdrop of a seemingly three-dimensional sunset through which light bursts out into the theatre – is indescribably beautiful.”
Rhys Ryan, Limelight, March 16, 2018

Symphony in C, The Australian Ballet
“ …Little Atlas, the first main stage work choreographed by Corps de Ballet member Alice Topp, and the most thrilling of the night…..It’s achingly more than elegantly beautiful, and gorgeously designed by Jon Buswell.”
Tim Bryne, Time Out , August 2017

 Sleeping Beauty, The Australian Ballet
“…Complementing Ms. Tylesova’s work in the best way possible is Jon Buswell’s lighting design. When a scene is emblazoned with bejeweled colors, Buswell brings out the darker tones and conversely brings out rays of sunshine in the darker scenes.”
Paris Wages, Classic Melbourne, June 2017

The Nutcracker (Storytime Ballet), The Australian Ballet
 “ Lighting designer Jon Buswell expertly illuminates the dancers while allowing the rear projection screen to be seen at full vivid brightness.”
Simon Parris, December 15, 2016

The Nutcracker, West Australian Ballet
“…Jon Buswell’s brilliant lighting completes their vision”.
Margaret Mercer, November 21 2016

The Sleeping Beauty, The Australian Ballet
“The sets, attractively lit by Jon Buswell incorporate baroque architectural extravagance and fluid rococo forms, eccentric conical spiral columns…..”
Eamonn Kelly, The Australian, September 17, 2015

The Sleeping Beauty, Royal New Zealand Ballet and Vector Wellington Orchestra
“Jon Buswell's lighting lends enchantment to delicious qualities caught by the mercurial cluster of fairies of good, while the shady world of the Black Fairy (Clytie Campbell wielding sinister power) is in appropriate contrast.”
Jennifer Shennan, The Dominion Post  October 31 2011

A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Sydney Theatre Company
“Jon Buswell’s superb lighting design fills the dim stage with a kind of shredded brightness, with spotted pools of light for key moments and a constant inquisitiveness into what Puck is doing” 
John McCallum, The Australian August 23 2007

La bohème West Australian Ballet
“ Jon Buswell lit the piece as though he were a disciple of Vermeer”
Rita Clarke, The Australian May 24, 2004

Jon has designed lighting for well over one hundred productions in the UK, Europe and Australia.   A graduate of Croydon School of Art near London UK, Jon worked initially for the Royal Shakespeare Company before becoming a freelance designer in 1997.  Since then he has enjoyed a highly successful career lighting a varied array of works in all disciplines of the performing arts.

Jon was the Technical Director of West Australian Ballet in Perth from 2008 – 2015 where he designed lighting for all the major repertoire. During this time he has also designed lighting for Black Swan State Theatre Company, The Royal New Zealand Ballet and various other companies. In July 2015 he took up the position of Technical Director at The Australian Ballet and for the company he lit David McAllister’s first full length ballet The Sleeping Beauty, and the shortened version for children, which was a huge triumph.

In 2016 he lit two new works in the mixed bill program, Symphony in C, at the Sydney Opera House for The Australian Ballet, and returned to West Australian Ballet to light a new production of The Nutcracker.  He also designed the candelabra for the 2016 tour of Chopin by Candlelight with Piers Lane, presented by Andrew McKinnon.

In 2017 Jon’s engagements included lighting a new production of Romeo and Juliet for the Royal New Zealand Ballet and relighting La Fille mal gardée for Queensland Ballet, and Don Quixote and Peter Pan for West Australian Ballet.

2018 commences with lighting La Bayadere for Queensland Ballet -a co-production with West Australian Ballet and Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Canada.  For West Australian Ballet he lights a new production of Dracula - a co-production with Queensland Ballet, a new work by Alice Topp for The Australian Ballet and The Nutcracker for the Royal New Zealand Ballet.

Other recent engagements include lighting Glengarry Glen Ross, Blithe Spirit and The Seagull for Black Swan State Theatre Company and revival productions of Don Quixote for Royal New Zealand Ballet, Coppelia and Cinderella with West Australian Ballet and The Sleeping Beauty with Queensland Ballet as well as relighting the West Australian Ballet production of Pinocchio for Opera du Rhin in France. He has also lit Coppelia for Queensland Ballet, The Sleeping Beauty for Royal New Zealand Ballet, Signs of Life for Black Swan State Theatre Company and Sydney Theatre Company, Monument, a new work by Gary Stewart to commemorate the centenary of Canberra, New Zealand Opera’s The Flying Dutchman, directed by Matthew Lutton and West Australian Ballet’s new production of La Sylphide.

In 2011 he won (along with his fellow creative team) a WA Dance award for Helix, Choreographed by Barry Moreland and featuring Daryl Brandwood.

Prior to moving to Australia, Jon worked extensively in theatre throughout Britain on productions including Twelfth Night, Sherlock Holmes in Trouble, Secret Heart, Port and A Midsummer Night’s Dream all for the Royal Exchange Theatre Manchester. For the Chichester Festival Theatre he has lit The Coffee House, and Wild Orchids with Patricia Routledge, for the Minerva Theatre, Chichester The Accrington Pals and Stairs to the Roof and for the Royal Theatre, Northampton The Importance of Being Earnest.

Jon’s work in London has included the Theatre Royal Haymarket (Lady Windemere’s Fan with Vanessa Redgrave, Joely Richardson and Googie Withers, and The Royal Family with Judi Dench, both directed by Sir Peter Hall), The Royal Court at the New Ambassadors Theatre (The Vagina Monologues), the Apollo Theatre (My Brilliant Divorce with Dawn French) and the Lyric Theatre (Al Murray – Who Dares Wins). 

For the Royal College of Music he has lit The Magic Flute directed by Jhur Hemanus and Oedipus Rex and Gianni Schicchi directed by Jean Claude Auvray, Otello for Lyric Opera of Chicago directed by Sir Peter Hall, and for the Australian Ballet he also designed Lighting for Raymonda, Constant Variants, Symphonie Fantastique, and Night Path

Jon has also worked as Lighting Designer for televised features such as the UEFA Gala Awards 2000 and Nutcracker Sweeties, for Birmingham Royal Ballet and the BBC and as a visiting lecturer for The University of Central England in Birmingham and the Victorian College of the Arts. 

Jon Buswell is managed by Nina Kang: 
March 2018
This biography is for general information purposes only and not for publication.
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