Lighting Designer

Sinéad McKenna

Selected credits

  • The Fair Maid of the WestRoyal Shakespeare Company
  • The PresidentLandmark/ Gate Theatre/ Sydney Theatre Company
  • BedboundGIAF 2023/3Olympia/Landmark Productions
  • Somewhere Out There YouAbbey Theatre, Dublin
  • Fun HomeGate Theatre, Dublin
  • GhostsAbbey Theatre/Landmark Productions
  • Walking with GhostsWest End/Broadway/Ireland/Landmark Productions
  • ParadeThéâtre du Châtelet, Paris
  • Così Fan Tutte/The Tales of Hoffmann/Maria StuardaIrish National Opera


Sinéad McKenna is an internationally renowned Irish set and lighting designer working extensively across theatre, opera, dance and film.  She has won two prestigious Irish Times Theatre Awards for Best Lighting Design and a Drama Desk nomination for Best Lighting Design for a Musical.

Notable recent designs include The Fair Maid of the West for the RSC, The President for Landmark/ Gate Theatre/ Sydney Theatre Company, Bedbound by Enda Walsh, starring Colm Meaney and Brenda Meaney,  Fun Home for the Gate Theatre,  Walking With Ghosts, written and performed by Gabriel Byrne in the West End and on Broadway,  Ghosts and Faith Healer for the Abbey Theatre and Così Fan Tutte for Irish National Opera.

She has designed for many major Irish companies including numerous productions for the Abbey Theatre, Druid, Gate Theatre, Landmark Productions, CoisCeim, Lyric Theatre Belfast, Rough Magic and many more. Internationally her designs have been presented throughout the UK, Europe, Australia and USA.

Featured work

The Fair Maid of the West

Swan Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company
Written and Directed by Isabelle McArthur
Music by Michael John McCarthy
Designer and Spanish Consultant: Ana Inés Jabares- Pita
Lighting Design by Sinéad McKenna
Sound Design by Niamh Gaffney

★★★★ The Guardian 

★★★★ The Financial Times

The President

Landmark/ Gate Theatre, Dublin/ Sydney Theatre Company
Written by Thomas Bernhard
Directed by Tom Creed
Set and Costume Design by Elizabeth Gadsby
Lighting Design by Sinéad McKenna
Music and Sound by Stefan Gregory

‘illuminated to perfection by Sinéad McKenna’
★★★★ The Arts Review 

★★★★ The Stage


Galway International Arts Festival/ 3Olympia
Written by Enda Walsh
Directed by Marc Atkinson Borrull
Set and Costume Design by Jamie Vartan
Lighting Design by Sinéad McKenna
Sound Designer and Composer: Sinéad Diskin

‘Sinéad McKenna’s chalky lighting design adds shadows to the washed-out colour palette’
The Irish Times
★★★★ The Stage
★★★★ The Arts Review 

Somewhere Out There You

Abbey Theatre, Dublin
Writer: Nancy Harris
Director: Wayne Jordan
Set Designer: Maree Kearns
Costume Designer : Catherine Fay
Lighting Designer: Sinéad McKenna
Composer and Sound Designer: Sinéad Diskin

Sinéad McKenna’s lights…. add Rom Com, Hollywood razzmatazz to Harris’s unconventional tale of boy meets girl.’
★★★★ The Arts Review
★★★★★ The Irish Mail
★★★★ The Irish Times

Fun Home

Gate Theatre, Dublin
Directed by Róisín McBrinn
Set Design by Paul Wills
Costume Design by Lara Campbell
Lighting Design by Sinéad McKenna
Sound Design by Jody Trehy and Jason Fallon

‘Sinéad McKenna’s suggestive lights married to Jason Fallon and Jody Trey’s superb sound…the whole converging as a subtle spectacle.’
★★★★ The Arts Review 


Abbey Theatre, Dublin
A new version written and directed by: Mark O’Rowe
Set Designer: Francis O’Connor
Costume Designer: Joan O’Clery
Lighting Designer: Sinéad McKenna

‘Sinéad McKenna’s lighting allows only unrelenting gloom to penetrate the echoing house’
★★★★ The Stage

‘impressive lighting by Sinéad McKenna’
The Irish Independent

★★★★ The Arts Desk
★★★★ Financial Times

Walking with Ghosts

Landmark Productions/ Dublin/ Edinburgh/ West End/ Broadway
Director Lonny Price
Set and Lighting Designer Sinéad McKenna
Costume Designer Joan O’Clery
Sound Designer and Composer Sinéad Diskin

‘Designer Sinéad McKenna’s set and lighting are equally exquisite.’
★★★★★ The Stage

‘…all beautifully underscored by Sinéad McKenna’s light design…’
★★★★ The Arts Review


Teenage Dick

Donmar Warehouse
Written by Mike Lew
Director: Michael Longhurst
Designer: Chloe Lamford
Sound: Ben & Max Ringham
Photos: Marc Brenner

‘Donmar boss Michael Longhurst’s production shines’
★★★★ Time Out 

‘Lew retells Shakespeare with a needed urgency…. stark and enjoyable’
★★★★ Broadway World 


Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris
Musical Director: Matthias Pintscher
Director: Martin Duncan
Set & Costumes: Francis O’Connor
Artistic Director: Stéphane Ricordel

An elaborate reopening of the grand salons of Théâtre du Châtelet after two and a half years of renovation work.

The Approach

Landmark Productions/ Spoleto Festival USA
Writer and Director Mark O’Rowe
Set and Lighting Designer Sinéad McKenna
Costume Designer Joan O’Clery
Sound Designer Philip Stewart

‘ Sinéad McKenna’s superlative set and lighting design does much to establish, and reinforce the element of the play.’
★★★★  The Arts Review

‘ breathtaking’
★★★★ The Observer

Asking For It

Landmark Productions/Birmingham Repertory Theatre
Adapted by Meadhbh McHugh
Director: Annabelle Comyn
Set Design: Paul O’Mahony
Costume Design: Niamh Lunny
Sound Design: Philip Stewart

‘Sinéad McKenna’s lights allow translucent glimpses of writhing bodies at a house party…… it’s an accomplished, poetic merging of technology and stagecraft.’
The Irish Times


Project Arts Centre, Dublin
Adaption: Barry McGovern
Director: Tom Creed
Set & Lighting Design: Sinéad McKenna
Costume Design: Joan O’Clery

‘Sinéad Mckenna’s bare and subtle lighting and set designs enhance this stillness and keep the audience closely focused on every move and word in case somewhere there is a key to the man.’
The Reviews Hub

For more information or to check availability

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