Fiona trained with the Motley at the Almeida in London.

In both contemporary and classic work she responds to each writer’s unique use of language, endeavouring to create environments that offer directors and actors space to explore.

Her theatre credits include work for Dundee Rep (including a transfer to 59E59 Theatre, New York), the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, Sherman Cymru, Cardiff, Nottingham Playhouse, Lyric Belfast, Bolton Octagon, the Tron, Glasgow and Palace Theatre, Watford. Her opera credits include work for the Hebrides Ensemble and the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.

Outlying Islands (Traverse) won a Fringe First at the Edinburgh Festival before transferring to the Royal Court, London and the World Stages Festival, Toronto.
The design went through a total of 5 transformations, finally returning to the Scottish Highlands and islands that inspired it.

Design 1

Outlying Islands
by David Greig

Traverse Theatre
Edinburgh Festival (Fringe First and Herald Angel)
transferring to Jerwood Theatre Upstairs Royal Court and World Stages Festival, Toronto
Director : Philip Howard
Lighting : Chahine Yavroyan
Performer : Lesley Hart

In creating the performance space, we collaborated with Traverse 1 in its festival configuration to find the points at which we could share both the epic freedom of the open air and the intimacy of the interior with the audience.

The fearlessness with which actor Lesley hart launched herself down the spiral of turf took us on an instant journey from one environment to the other, giving life and validity to the island of our imaginings.

“Fiona Watt’s inspired, sparse design brings a whiff of fresh sea air to Greig’s nectar-sweet evocation of innocence” Evening Standard

“I will be surprised if this year’s Edinburgh Festival sees a more persuasive and utilitarian set than Fiona Watt’s superb island cliff” Scotland on Sunday

Design 2
Photos : Douglas Robertson

Design 3

Further Than the Furthest Thing

by Zinnie Harris
Prime Productions
Byre Theatre, St Andrews and tour
Director : Ben Twist
Lighting : Andrew Coulton
Sound : Dave Fennessy
Choreography : Janet Smith
Performer : Jonathan Battersby

This opening sequence represents the distillation of our collaboration, establishing the creative language for the rest of the piece.

The slash of light across the space later symbolised the cracking of the earth, the division between land and sky and the distance of the island from the ‘civilised’ world but at this point in time, our combined skills created a pure, still moment - the image and sound of an old man diving into water, seeking resolution.

Design 4
Design 5
Photos : Marc Marni

Design 6

The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek by Naomi Wallace

Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh
Director : Philip Howard
Lighting : Renny Robertson

Trestle turning into track, the arc symbolises the life force of the train hurtling through a small, stagnant American town during the Depression.

Design 7
Photos : Kevin Low

Design 8

A Woman of No Importance by Oscar Wilde

Pitlochry Festival Theatre
Director : Ben Twist
Lighting : Ace McCarron

Setting the piece under an oak tree liberated the Pitlochry stage and the play from the restraints of a box set. As the tree accelerated through the seasons in accordance with the acts, the possibilities this opened up allowed for the sculptural blocking of performers and furniture to create bold stage pictures.

Design 9
Photos : Douglas McBride

Design 10

Good Angel Bad Angel

Librettist : Ron Butlin
Composer : Lyle Cresswell
Hebrides Ensemble
Director : Ben Twist
Lighting : Andrew Coulton
Sculptors : David Hutchinson & Lara Greene

Adapted from Robert Louis Stevenson’s short story Markheim, this contemporary opera formed part of the Hebrides experimental investigation into developing the performer/musician/audience relationship for contemporary music theatre.

Acting as a chalk-circle, the red glitter sphere could be expanded or reduced according to space. Musicians were deliberately placed to stride this line, while performers moved and disturbed the surface as the piece unravelled to its bloody conclusion.

Working in collaboration with sculptors David Hutchison and Lara Greene from Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop, we created ‘The Bauble’ as an object in its own right inspired by the many complex references within the piece.

Design 11
Photos : Douglas Robertson

Design 12

Dark Earth
by David Harrower

Traverse Theatre
Edinburgh Festival
Director : Philip Howard
Lighting : Neil Austin

Set in Scotland’s central belt in the shadow of the Antonine Wall, a glass house slowly encases a remote rural family as they defend themselves against the invasion of the outside world.

Design 13
Photos : Douglas Robertson

Design 14

The Almond and the Seahorse
by Kaite O’Reilly

Sherman Cymru
Director : Phillip Zarrilli
Lighting : Ace McCarron
Photos : Kirsten McTernan

“Put your brain through a windscreen at 40 miles an hour and you may remember things — and you may not” Kaite O’ Reilly

The piece opened the first new writing season for the merged company Sherman Cymru.
The ‘almond’ and the ‘seahorse’ of the title refer to the hippocampus and the amygdala, the parts of our brain that process and retain memory.

Design 15
Design 16

Organic materials, and projected text were juxtaposed with a very temporary - looking shrine made from cardboard boxes, votive objects and banal commercial gifts.

The process of building this shrine triggered an ongoing exploration of the provocation of memory and remembering through objects. and has since become a means of not only responding to narrative but generating it, investigating the object as both everyday navigational tool and prompt/ vessel for emotional memory.

Photos : Kirsten McTernan