John Macfarlane, was born in Scotland and studied at the Glasgow School of Art. He began work as Resident Designer at the Young Vic Theatre in London.

For Birmingham Royal Ballet John has designed Le Baiser de la fée (Michael Corder), Cinderella (David Bintley) and The Nutcracker (Peter Wright).

He has designed for most of the world’s great contemporary and classical ballet companies. In recent years he has designed Liam Scarlett’s Asphodel Meadows (Olivier Award nominated), Sweet Violets, Frankenstein and Swan Lake (all Royal Ballet) and Hummingbird (San Francisco). John also designs extensively for opera including Tosca, Flying Dutchman and Agrippina (Metropolitan Opera, New York).

John exhibits as a painter in the UK, USA and Europe and his works hang in prestigious public collections. He was created a Chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (2006), is a judge of the Linbury Prize for Theatre Design, and was made a Benois de la Danse Laureate at the Bolshoi (2015). He is a Fellow of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. In 2021 John received the Outstanding Creative Contribution Award from the Critics Circle at the National Dance Awards.