• Reviews


The Magic Flute

Discovery Theatre, Anchorage, Alaska 2015

“The impressive set, by Cleo Pettitt, whose previous Anchorage work includes Anchorage Opera’s colorful and cartoonish “Pirates of Penzance” in 2013, is a glorious Grecian temple court lined with Doric columns that convert to walls for interior scenes without a pause, which helped make momentum of the choppy, problematic plot smooth, intensely engaging and almost logical.”
Mike Dunham, Anchorage Daily News.

Sleeping Beauty

Watford Palace Theatre 2014

“Special mention must be made of the superb sets and costumes, created by designer Cleo Pettitt who was clearly in her element with the steampunk and disco aspects of the story. Put simply, this was a cracker of a Christmas panto but, then, they always are at the Palace – they’ve become something of a seasonal institution. My ears are still buzzing and my heart is still all warm and fuzzy. An absolute must, once again.”
Watford Observer

Jack and the Beanstalk

Greenwich Theatre 2014

“Teamwork is at the centre of the Greenwich pantomime and every member of the cast, crew and creative team works hard to respectfully deliver a truly thoughtful and creative pantomime that honours tradition, acknowledges the adults and drives the genre forward into the twenty-first century.”
Simon Sladen, British Theatre Guide

Pirates of Penzance

Earl Cameron Theatre, Bermuda 2014

“Cleo Pettitt incorporated the nautical tattoo in the design for the surround of the stage, while the sets themselves carried on the strong lines of the tattoo ink style designs around the stage, and into etching, which reached a Zenith during the late Victorian period. It resulted in strong and confident sets that gave a sense of the period, while the cartoon quality of this genre lent to the impression of a production much larger than life.”
Royal Gazette


Belgrade Theatre, Coventry 2014 (Costume Design)

“Iain’s Widow Twankey, ‘the Susan Boyle of boiling’, has a wardrobe full of fabulous Chinese-themed outfits ranging from a beautiful tiered Chinese lampshade to a Willow Pattern cup- and-saucer in exquisite oriental fabrics – teamed up with Doc Martens of every colour to match. This entertaining family panto does everything you could possibly ask for – it’s the best one I’ve ever seen.”
Coventry Telegraph

“Ian Westbrook’s set designs are wonderful, bursting with colour, with beautiful costumes to match (designed by Cleo Pettitt). Widow Twankey’s costumes are definite highlights in the fashion department including a ‘Vampish’ washing powder outfit for the laundry slosh routine and a pagoda-style dress worn in the Royal Palace.”
Broadway World

“Every set is stunning and detailed and a joy to look at while the lighting changes manage to enhance them further. Put an energetic cast of adults and children in front of it in equally beautiful costumes and you have a spectacular stage.”
What’s on Stage

‘Behind the scenes look at the Aladdin costumes’, Coventry Telegraph 2014

Robin Hood

Watford Palace Theatre, UK 2013

“If you want one word in which to sum up this year’s pantomime at the Palace Theatre, Watford that word would be ‘stylish’. This ‘Robin Hood’ takes us to Sherwood Forest – with a difference. Director Brigid Larmour and designer Cleo Pettitt keep the action on the move with enough decorative touches, especially in the costumes, to keep the eye as well as the ear involved in the action. It all looks splendid.”
Anne Morley-Priestman, What’s On Stage

“This production of Robin Hood definitely hit the bullseye with plenty of style and a touch of Glee. I was stunned by the sparkling sets, which featured beautiful, bold flowers and a dazzling gold throne room and managed to capture both the modern feel of a Disney cartoon and romance of a traditional fairytale book.”
Laura Enfield, Watford Observer

Puss in Boots

Greenwich Theatre, UK 2013

“Cleo Pettitt’s colourful set revolves to transport the characters on their journey as her Dame costumes revel in playfulness, scene after scene… the show is aesthetically richer than previous years.”
Simon Sladen, British Theatre Guide

“A special word has to be said about the set. At times I found myself so transfixed by the beautiful, ice-cream coloured art nouveau panels on display that I missed a line or two of dialogue and couldn’t help but have a chuckle at the shop names in La City including Le Top de la Shop…”
Amanda Willard, Greenwich Visitor

Pirates of Penzance

Anchorage Opera, Discovery Theatre, Alaska 2013

“Pettitt’s final product features a lively and comic proscenium decorated with images of old seaside postcards and tattoos, looking something like R. Crumb cartoons or the illustrations from the classic humor magazine Punch. The tooniness matches the mood of Gilbert and Sullivan’s farce in which modern day buccaneers confront bumbling bobbies and – in the best English tradition – class, privilege and patriotism overcome all obstacles. In addition to humorous depictions of Victorian beach-goers and topless mermaids (“We’re going to add some strategic starfish” Pettitt said) the designs also hint at cogs, springs and other parts of mechanical toys known as ‘automata’ once found at penny arcades.”
Mike Dunham, Anchorage Daily News

Read the full article here.

South Pacific

Earl Cameron Theatre, Bermuda 2013

“Cleo Pettitt, yet again, did a fantastic job with the set – evoking the tropical island paradise simply yet effectively.”
Sarah Langan, Bermuda Sun

“For over a decade, Cleo Pettitt has wowed local audiences with her magnificent and often complex set designs. You may have seen her adventurous set from last year’s show The Producers where revolving floors and lavish backdrops wowed the audience. This year she is back for G and S’s South Pacific. We asked her what goes into the process of set design from idea to opening night.”
Sarah Langan, Bermuda Sun

Read the full article here.

The History Boys

City Hall Theatre, Bermuda 2010

“The set design by Cleo Pettitt was simple but well done and encapsulated the classroom atmosphere. There was no change in the set, a blackboard and two doors just different bits of furniture were moved and removed by the various students. All I can do is urge you to go and buy a ticket to see either tonight or tomorrow night’s show because this is Bermuda’s theatrical talent at its very best.”
Sarah Langan, Bermuda Sun

The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas

City Hall Theatre, Bermuda 2010

“The props, sets and costumes shone in this production. Set designer Cleo Pettitt was up to her usual high standards. The whorehouse itself was a full-blown porch on stilts with doors to the girls’ rooms. They were carefully veiled so you could get the slightest glimpse of what was going on behind them but never actually seeing inside … with the standard of all the elements mentioned above, it’s the best little production Bermuda has seen in some time.”
Bermuda Sun


Watford Palace Theatre, UK 2010

“Alexander Delamere is a no-nonsense type of Dame carrying off some of Cleo Pettitt’s more outrageous costumes, notably a dragon-writhing one for the walk-down … the sets and costumes look lavish.”
Anne Morley-Priestman, What’s On Stage


Watford Palace Theatre, UK 2009

“Credit should also go to designer Cleo Pettitt for the bright, colourful sets and costumes.”
Lisa Martland, The Stage

The Mystery of Edwin Drood

Warehouse Theatre, Croydon 2007

“Cleo Pettitt’s designs are a marvel, conjuring the Victorian Theatrical setting, the cobbled streets of Dicken’s cathedral City of Cloisterham, a pungent East End opium den and even the startling on-stage arrival of a steam train.”
Sam Marlowe, The Times

“It is much aided by Cleo Pettitt’s atmospheric set that instantly turns the Warehouse into the Music Hall Royale with a cut-out representation of Cloisterham High Street brilliantly created behind the prosc arch… resourceful and intimate.”
Mark Shenton, The Stage

“Cleo Pettitt’s picture book design evokes exactly the right two-dimensional backdrop for the flamboyantly non-sensical drama that follows.”
Time Out

“Designer Cleo Pettitt’s intimate proscenium arch setting conjures up the lost world of barnstorming.”
What’s On Stage

Ladies’ Cage

Royal Exchange Studio, Manchester 2007

“Performances are enhanced by a simple yet thoughtful set design by Cleo Pettitt.”
Extra! Extra!, Fiona Doyle

“The Ladies’ Cage, a screen keeping women observers apart in the House of Commons, stands for their oppression in politics, society and history. Cleo Pettitt’s overarching, wooden structure aptly encloses characters between two banks of audience, towering over them officiously.”

“The production has many merits, notably the staging and the cast… the traverse set is innovative.”
Alistair Smith, The Stage

“John Terry’s slick production, along with designer Cleo Pettitt, brought together the two contrasting worlds of 1880s Ireland in a striking way.”
Peter Latham, British Theatre Guide

Missing Persons

Trafalgar Studio 2, West End 2006

“Performed by Greg Hicks on Cleo Pettitt’s set of timbers twisting skywards, which suggests both a shipwreck and a staircase between past and present, the work intrigues.”
Sam Marlowe, The Times

“For this production, designer Cleo Pettitt has flooded the Trafalgar Studio 2 stage. Above the water sits a platform of planks, fluid and arching from wall to floor. Very few props are used; very few are needed. All we need to know is expressed through Colin Teevan’s visceral verse and Hicks’ performance. In the intimate confines of Trafalgar Studio 2, one can see, more than ever, the nuances and style that grew Hicks’ reputation.”
Matthew Amer, Official London Theatre

The Snow Queen

Creation Theatre – BMW Group Plant, Oxford 2005

“A car factory makes an unusual place for a Christmas show, but BMW’s faithful relationship with Creation Theatre gives them a cavernous industrial space that the designer, Cleo Pettitt, has filled imaginatively, with a soundscape from Peter Lole to match.”
Robert Hewison, Sunday Times

“The Crystal Maze-like pipes and sheet metal are fashioned into corrugated ice-sculptures, creating igloos out of industry and a magical Lapland from the magnificent setting, with twice the depth of an ordinary theatrical stage.”
The Stage

“All this is presented in a visually gripping fashion – the goblins’ faces are first seen leering through holes in an enormous black cloth, which is then stripped away to reveal a vast stage area behind (20m wide by 30m deep). Clusters of ominous icicles stretch back into the far distance…”
Giles Woodforde, The Oxford Times

“When designer Cleo Pettitt’s giant fridge is revealed in all it’s glory, it takes your breath away as surely as a sleigh ride at 40mph.”
Oxford Mail

“… haunting, inventive and visually powerful.”
Guardian Guide (Top 5 Must See shows)

Around the World in Eighty Days

Liverpool Playhouse, 2003

“a complete delight”
Guardian Guide (Pick of the Week)

“Designer Cleo Pettitt has created a unique and ingenious set.”
The Big Issue

“A runaway success… the production craftily suggests it’s various means of locomotion, including the elephant”
The Times, Jeremy Kingston’s Choice

“Designer Cleo Pettitt’s set of cogs and ratchets, surmounted by a gigantic hot air balloon, is aided by Mervyn Millar’s puppet design… this show at the Playhouse melts into a fantastical smash hit.”
The Stage

“A miniature train trundles across the stage, a mini ship sails the imaginary waves, a fantastically ingenious elephant shows up… and a big balloon sails over… a lovely show packed with team spirit and skilfully brought to life.”
The Mail

“The backdrop of clock mechanisms constantly turning to track Fogg’s progress… becomes marvellously versatile in the hands of designer Cleo Pettitt. Using props including a hot air balloon and vivid costumes we are taken into the Indian jungle, seedy backstreets of Hong Kong and across the American Wild West. … a brilliantly imaginative and polished production.”
Joe Riley, Liverpool Echo

The Only Girl in the World

Hoxton Hall, 2002

“The set, a raised platform like a boxing ring, fittingly frames the sparring couple in their bedsit and, with floorboards stained with fish images, easily doubles as Billingsgate Market. A well judged, resourceful, theatrical, dark tale.”
Mark Espiner, Time Out

Blood Royal

Kings Head Theatre, 2002

“An ingenious and colourful design by Cleo Pettitt.”
John Thaxter, Theatre Review

“Cleo Pettitt provided an attractive set that resembled a patchwork of medieval painting.”
The Independent

“Cleo Pettitt’s lavishly painted backdrop.”
Evening Standard

Johnson in Love

Battersea Arts Centre, 2000

“That we don’t become tired of Thomas’s London and Johnson’s life is due to Cleo Pettitt’s cleverly designed, candle-lit setting and Tim Heath’s direction.”
Ian Johns, The Times

“A strong and gifted design team.”
Time Out

The Roaring Girl

Finborough Theatre, 2000

“Cleo Pettitt’s design scrupulously follows a 1590s drawing of the Swan Theatre. Nobody actually sits behind the stage but seating extends down both sides and the full house on opening night turned the onstage doings into something of a family party.”
Jeremy Kingston, The Times

“Cleo Pettitt’s design is admirable in its evocative simplicity.”
Paul Balohan, The Stage

“Abigail Anderson’s well-dressed (Mia Flodquist), well-draped (Cleo Pettitt) production is further evidence that the company is one of the most vital in the capital – if not the country.”
Joe McCallum, What’s On