photo: Camilla Greenwell
photo: Johann Persson
photo: Andrew Billington
photo: Camilla Greenwell
on Black Sabbath - The Ballet:
"The fractious band and their pugnacious music here inspire an enthusiastic collaboration: moody smoke-fogged lighting by the designer known as K.J, sets dominated by tattoo-ready graphics and a neon stave, a heady score giving the percussion more of a workout than is usual in ballet." David Jays - Evening Standard
"The look and feel of the ballet are dark and brooding, thanks to K.J's lighting design, which captures the unique mood of the piece so perfectly that you can feel and imagine the atmosphere of a rock arena, and the vastness of the crowd." Alison Norton - Express & Star
"KJ's lighting adds a brooding presence that encapsulates the light and dark of both the music and the human experience encapsulated in it." Diane Parkes - WhatsOnStage
"Lighting Designer, K.J, does structural manipulations of laser-beam frisson any stadium band would die for." John Kennedy - The Reviews Hub
"A smoke machine on overdrive and lighting by KJ enhanced the rock arena vibe." Louise Levene - Financial Times
"Lighting design by K.J. creates the perfect ambience of a rock concert with the elements of classical performance and intrigue, and whilst the costume design is simple, it works in tandem with the simplicity of the focus of the movement well. Rachel Louise Martin - West End Best Friend
"In each act there was dramatic lighting from KJ.." - Behind The Arras (Black Sabbath - The Ballet).
On other productions:
'Jameson and his designers (Justin Williams - set, Kieron Johnson - lighting) have done a
fabulous job of creating a crazy, camp alternative universe. The setting is both glam and a little
seedy..." - Whatsonstage (Who’s Holiday).
"... and a mention for the lighting from Kieron Johnson. There is a clever us of stark white beams
in the flies aimed behind the V shaped set, with smoke adding an air of mystery, doors open into
light or dark, wall lights add to the hotel feel when needed, lighting all helping to make the scene
that of a busy hotel, welcoming, sinister, dark, frightening... whatever the mood." - Behind The
“... one cannot help but become invested in the flickering set pieces, timing executed to precision
with Eliyana Evans’ playfully comedic sound design and Kieron Johnson’s lighting.” - Reviews
Hub (Happy Meal).
“Amanda Stoodley’s flexible set design a series of oddly beautiful scaffolding structures, elegantly
lit by Kieron Johnson, suggestive of the changing structures of the city around the Playhouse.” –
The Guardian (Decades).
"The lighting (by Kieron Johnson) plays a huge part in the piece. Haze hangs over the whole
stage, through which narrow side-lighting is able to pick out even the smallest of details. The
absolute precision of the lighting is a major contributor to the overall effect." - British Theatre
Guide (Black Waters).
“Kieron Johnson’s lighting design is outstanding” – Dance Europe (Black Waters)
The dancers also have the benefit of Kieron Johnson’s stunning lighting design." – Reviews Hub
1⁄2 (Black Waters).
KJ is a UK based lighting designer for Dance, Theatre and Opera. They trained at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance.
KJ is a professional member of the Association of Lighting Production and Design and a graduate of the ALPD 20:20 Lumiere Scheme, under the mentorship of Adam Silverman. In 2021, they were one of the recipients of the Hull Truck Theatre Grow bursary.
They have worked with many companies, choreographers and institutions including Phoenix Dance Theatre (Sharon Watson MBE, Miguel Altunaga & Dane Hurst), Joss Arnott Dance (Joss Arnott & Annabelle Lopez Ochoa) and for Avant Garde Dance, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, Northern School of Contemporary Dance, Northern Rascals and Fubunation.
Their work in opera and theatre includes productions for Opera North, Birmingham Rep, Theatre Clwyd, HOME, Liverpool Playhouse, Leeds Playhouse, Northern Broadsides and Roots Touring. Additional theatre credits in 2023 include Flip! for Fuel Theatre and The F*****s and Their Friends Between Revolutions for the Manchester International Festival.
They were the lighting designer on West Side Story: Symphonic Dances (Dance Europe Critic’s Choice 2021).
In 2022, KJ worked with Linbury stage prize winner Sami Fendall on Morgann Runacre-Temple’s production of Hotel with the Birmingham Royal Ballet. KJ was the lighting designer on the Fringe First Award winning Play, Happy Meal, which performed to rave reviews and has since toured nationally and internationally, including Sydney and Perth.
In September, 2023, KJ worked with Pontus Lidberg, Raul Reinoso and Cassi Abranches on Black Sabbath: The Ballet with the Birmingham Royal Ballet which premiered to critical and audience acclaim. In July, they also collaborated with Pontus Lidberg on a new production, On the Nature of Rabbits for the Venice Biennale commissioned by Wayne McGregor.
They are also working with Fuel Theatre this autumn on Flip! written by Racheal Ofori and directed by Emily Aboud which will premier in Newcastle and have a month-long run at London's Soho Theatre and with Falling Angels Dance Company at the Linbury Theatre, Royal Opera House, London.
• Black Sabbath - The Ballet|Birmingham Royal Ballet | Choreographers: Pontus Lidberg, Raul Reinoso & Cassi Abranches
• Illegal Dance | UK Tour | Avant Garde Dance
• Hotel| Birmingham Royal Ballet | Choreographer: Morgann Runacre-Temple
• Black is...| Fubunation | Choreographers: Rhys Denis & Waddah Sinada
• Halfway and Beyond | Opera North | Choreographer: Dane Hurst
• West Side Story : Symphonic Dances | Opera North | Choreographer: Dane Hurst
• Ebo| Phoenix Dance Theatre | Choreographer: Miguel Altunaga
• Black Waters | Phoenix Dance Theatre | Choreographers: Sharon Watson, Shambik Ghose & Dr. Mitul Sengupta
• Head Above Water| Joss Arnott Dance | Choreographer: Joss Arnott
• Khepri| Joss Arnott Dance | Choreographer: Annabelle Lopez Ochoa
• Innocent Children | Northern School of Contemporary Dance | Choreographer: Kristina and Sadé Alleyne
• The Sea Tells a Story| Verve Dance Company | Choreographer: Ben Wright
• Nothing and Being, Being and Nothing| Laban Theatre | Choreographer: Gary Lambert
• 99 Moves| Laban Theatre | Choreographer: Zoi Dimitriou
• Sacred Myths (1940's TO 1998) - KARTIKEYA, ASPARA & HIMALYA | Laban Theatre |Choreographer: Uday & Tanusree Shankar
• Fim (R&D) | Choreographer: Theo 'TJ' Lowe
• Tides | Laban Theatre | Choreographer: Joss Arnott
• Hs-Sha| Laban Theatre | Choreographer: Theo 'TJ' Lowe
• At the end we begin | Richard Chappell Dance | Choreographer: Richard Chappell
• Vanishing Points | Zoi Dimitriou Dance Company | Choreographer: Zoi Dimitriou
• Misura | Laban Theatre | Choreographer: Hubert Essakow
• Forgery and Imitation | Laban Theatre | Choreographer: Zoi Dimitriou
• Debris | Laban Theatre | Choreographer: Stephanie Schober
• In the Land of Invented Languages | Laban Theatre | Choreographer: Jessica Wright
• Aperture| Kerry Nicholls Dance | Choreographer: Kerry Nicholls
• (Im)pulse | Laban Theatre | Choreographer: Dam Van Huynh
• Highland Fling (Excerpt) | Choreographer: Matthew Bourne | Original Lighting Design: Paule Constable
• Applause| Guildford School of Acting | Dir. Stewart Nicholls
• Company| Guildford School of Acting | Dir. Alison Pollard
• My Brother's Keeper | Theatre 503 | Dir. Robert Awosusi
• WHO'S HOLIDAY | HOME Theatre, Manchester and Southwark Playhouse, London |Director: Kirk Jameson
• Dogs | Liverpool Playhouse Studio | Director: Nathan Powell
• Happy Meal | Traverse Edinburgh + UK Tour | Dir. Jamie Fletcher
• Smile| Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts | Julia Locascio
• 2022 Masters' Showcase| Guildford School of Acting
• Knot of the Heart| Birmingham Conservatoire | Director: Chris White
• Celebrated Virgins| Theatr Clwyd | Director: Eleri B. Jones
• As You Like It| Northern Broadsides, UK Tour | Director: Laurie Sansom
• Decades: Stories from The City| Leeds Playhouse - all listed below:
The Bodyguard| Director: James Brining
And After We Sailed a Thousand Skies | Director: Sameena Hussain
The Unknown| Director: Amanda Huxtable
Don't You Know It's Going to be Alright| Director: Amy Leach
Nicer Than Orange Squash | Director: Evie Manning
Pie in the Bus Stop - Director: Tess Seddon