Carla Mardle, BA

Job title

Lecturer, Course Leader Scenic Art


I am the course leader of BATP Hons in Scenic Art and a freelance practitioner in the scenic art theatre industry.
I graduated from the BA Hons Theatre Practice, Scenic Art course at Central in 2001. When I first discovered the course, I was excited at the prospect of studying in such a creative and focused environment that would fuel my creativity, imagination and abilities. During my three years at Central I learned the foundations needed to become a professional scenic artist and I was lucky to be taught by the legendary Sue Dunlop and Emma Troubridge, now the Head scenic artist at the Royal Opera House.  The course enabled me to gain professional contacts and work experience whilst studying and transition seamlessly into the industry after graduation.  
Post Central, I enjoyed a varied and successful freelance career, as a scenic artist, leading projects in the UK and Europe within theatre, film, TV, murals, window displays, events and advertising. I also assisted some of London’s most established scenic artists such as Andy Greenfield, Eugenie Neilson and Julie Perren. I worked at London’s Drury Lane paint frames for five years assisting to paint cloths for many pantomimes.  Whilst there, I was lucky to observe and learn from many of the other talented scenic artists such as Gordon Aldred, Alastair Brotchie, Frances Waddington, Hillary Vernon-Smith, Richard Nutbourne and many more.
The majority of my work has been here in London, throughout the West End and at other venues such as, Regents Park Open Air Theatre, ITV, Sotheby’s, Madame Tussauds, Sadler’s Wells, the Young Vic, the Unicorn Theatre, Hammersmith Apollo and the Donmar Warehouse.
In 2008 I returned to Central as a visiting lecturer whilst continuing my active freelance career.  In 2012 I joined the BATP team as a permeant, part time member of staff and continue to actively paint, draw and research my subject.  I also pursue a career in fine art and regularly receive private commissions as a scenic artist. I love working at Central in such a specialist environment and with small focused year groups. Each year I can bring new ideas to the course with research into current industries, new technologies, ideas and products. 

Teaching Areas

  • Scenic Art
  • Theatre Crafts

Areas of Expertise

  • Scenic art industry staying current with products and new technologies 
  • Scenic art within Theatre / Opera / Ballet
  • Murals
  • Theming industry 
  • Window displays 
  • Events 
  • Film
  • TV
  • Advertising 
  • Texture & surfaces
  • Paint frames in London and their demise.


My practice includes workshops, commissioned drawings, industry masterclasses, and the supervision of cloth paintings. Recent work includes:

2016. Commission painting, private client.

2015. Commissioned mural, private client

2015. Supervising students painting a cloth for Pantomime Dick Whittington, Watford Place Theatre (designer Cleo Petitt).

2015. Industry master class, introducing scenic art to primary education

2014. Workshops for young children 'drawing large' 

2014 Industry master class, paint and texture workshops with years 5&6

2014. Supervising a cloth painted by students for Pantomime Sleeping Beauty, Watford Palace Theatre (designer Cleo Petitt)

2014. Commission painting, private client


Scenic Art, BA