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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Robert Stuart Howell is a British costume and set designer. He is primarily known for his work on the London stage. Howell won the Olivier Award for his set design for the musical Matilda the Musical in 2012. He has also designed both scenery and costumes for several Broadway shows, and won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Set Design for Ghost the Musical in 2012.


After leaving college, Howell worked for two and a half years with the Royal Shakespeare Company as a resident design assistant. He met Matthew Warchus there, who years later asked him whether he would be interested in working on Matilda the Musical.[1]

Howell has designed sets and costumes for numerous plays and musicals in the UK, in London and for Broadway over a 20-year period (based on a 2012 interview).[1] In London, he has designed for Royal National Theatre productions including Buried Child, Chips with Everything, Troilus and Cressida, Battle Royal, and Howard Katz.[2] He has also designed for productions at the Royal Court Theatre, the Donmar Warehouse, the Almeida Theatre, and the Royal Shakespeare Company as well as for regional UK theatres.[2] He was the set and costume designer for the stage musical Lord of the Rings (West End, 2007).[3]

Howell has won three Olivier Awards for Best Set Design. The most recent of these was for his work on the West End production of Matilda the Musical.[4] He has received 2013 Tony Award nominations for his work on the Broadway production of Matilda the Musical, for both Best Scenic Design of a Musical and Best Costume Design of a Musical.[5] His set design for Matilda the Musical was described:

Howell's unique design for Matilda the Musical saw the entire Cambridge theatre, from foyer to stage, transformed into Roald Dahl's imaginative world. The cast climb on giant alphabet blocks, perform in health and safety defying scenes on wooden swings and clamber over the imposing gates of Miss Trunchbull's fearsome school... [the] eye-catching and uniquely eccentric design provides a fittingly colourful and exuberant setting.[6]

Howell designed set and costumes for Richard Eyre's 2014 production of Mozart's opera Le nozze di Figaro at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City.[7]

In 2015, it was announced he had teamed up with the creative team from Matilda to design Groundhog Day.[8]


Source: Internet Broadway Database[9]

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Work Result
2008 Tony Award Best Costume Design of a Play Boeing-Boeing Nominated
2009 Best Scenic Design of Play The Norman Conquests Nominated
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Set Design of a Play Nominated
Outstanding Costume Design Nominated
2012 Tony Award Best Scenic Design of a Musical Ghost the Musical Nominated
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Set Design Won
2013 Tony Award Best Scenic Design of a Musical Matilda the Musical Won
Best Costume Design of a Musical Nominated
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Set Design Won
Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding Set Design Won
2017 Tony Award Best Scenic Design of a Musical Groundhog Day Nominated
2019 Best Scenic Design of a Play The Ferryman Won
Best Costume Design of a Play Won
Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding Scenic Design Nominated
Outstanding Costume Design Nominated
2020 Tony Award Best Scenic Design of a Play A Christmas Carol Won
Best Costume Design of a Play Won


  1. ^ a b Beckett, Lynda. "Happy Birthday Matilda!", October 1, 2012
  2. ^ a b "Rob Howell, Theatre Credits", accessed May 14, 2013
  3. ^ "Cast and Creative", accessed May 14, 2013
  4. ^ "Rob Howell Profile"
  5. ^ Gans, Andrew. "Nominations Announced for 67th Annual Tony Awards; 'Kinky Boots' Earns 13 Nominations" Archived 2013-10-21 at the Wayback Machine, April 30, 2013
  6. ^ Amer, Matthew. "Matilda's Howell wins Best Set Design", 15 April 2012
  7. ^ "Season Opens, and the Intrigue Is at Last Onstage – Metropolitan Opera Opens with Le nozze di Figaro by Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times, 23 September 2014
  8. ^ "Groundhog Day musical: Tim Minchin to write lyrics with Matilda collaborators also attached". The Independent. 6 April 2015. Retrieved 16 May 2015.
  9. ^ Rob Howell at the Internet Broadway Database

External links

This page was last edited on 27 September 2021, at 03:42
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