Ben Stones

Born in Yorkshire, I moved to London to study Theatre Design at Central Saint Martins. Upon leaving I won a Linbury Prize commission to design the premiere production of Paradise Lost and had an exhibition at the National Theatre.

Since then I have worked consistently in theatre in the West End and around the UK and designed for such companies as the Donmar Warehouse, Shakespeare's Globe, Royal Exchange, Tricycle Theatre, and live stand-up comedies such as The Mighty Boosh and Mitchell and Webb.

Why did you decide to study at Central Saint Martins?

I greatly admired the work of Maria Bjornson who was an ex-student and visiting tutor, this led me to the Central Saint Martins theatre course after researching her life and work.

What was the best bit about living and studying in London?

The nightlife is amazing and the close proximity to culture, and the wide choice of theatre and art is unparalleled in the UK.

What top tips would you give to students who are beginning their studies?

See lots of theatre, film and art exhibitions. Having a wide knowledge of different styles and companies will help you throughout your studies and beyond in the industry.

And for students about to graduate?

Write to working designers and try and get experience with assisting. The more credits the better. Most people upon leaving the course won't be designing for many years so it's absolutely essential in theatre that you can model make and do technical drawing as assisting is a good way to get into design and earn a lot of money.

What are you up to now? How did you get there?

I'm currently working with Lee Simpson, Artistic Director of Improbable Theatre, on a devised piece, and working on a few regional plays and various productions going into the West End.

I'm also looking at transferring my first play to New York. I have an agent who has helped guide my career over the last five years, but it has been down to a lot of hard work and networking on my behalf.

How has Central Saint Martins helped in your chosen career path?

I got exactly what I wanted out of the Theatre Design course as I came to it with a love of theatre. I really enjoyed being around exciting visiting tutors such as Charlie Edwards and Maria Bjornson and also being taught model making techniques. Being around and taught by working professionals really prepared me for a career as a Stage Designer but also the business side of the profession.

Visit Ben's website.