Below the Line
John Leonard started work as a sound designer before the term was even coined in the UK and in his forty years in the industry, he has produced soundtracks for shows all over the world. From his early days at The Bristol Old Vic, he has been fortunate to have worked with many of theatre's most innovative and demanding directors and was employed for ten years by the Royal Shakespeare Company, becoming Head of Sound for the organisation in 1984 and an associate artist for the remainder of his time there. He left in 1989 to pursue a freelance career and since then has worked for most of the major theatre companies in the UK, including The National Theatre, The English National Opera, The RSC, Hampstead Theatre, The Almeida Theatre, for which he is sound consultant, The Donmar, and extensively in London's West-End, on Broadway and on national and international tours.
Apart from his theatre work, John has designed a number of exhibitions for The Tussauds Group, including those in Warwick Castle, Amsterdam and New York and has also provided solutions to conservation problems for museums such as The Wallace Collection and properties of The National Trust.
John is also an experienced sound effects recordist and his recordings are much in demand in the film and television industry as well as in theatre.
He is the author of a renowned textbook on theatre sound, winner of Drama desk and Sound Designer Of The Year awards, writes a regular column on sound for Live Design magazine, lectures on his work and career and is a Fellow Of The Guildhall School Of Music & Drama and an Honorary Fellow of The Hong Kong Academy Of Performing Arts.