Carla Mardle, BA (Hons)

Job title

Lecturer, Course Leader Scenic Art, BA


I am the Course Leader of BA (Hons) Theatre Practice in Scenic Art and a freelance practitioner in the Scenic Art 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 learnt the foundations needed to become a professional Scenic Artist and I was lucky to be taught by the legendary Sue Dunlop. The course enabled me to gain professional contacts and work experience whilst studying and blend seamlessly into the industry after graduation.

Post Central, I enjoyed a varied and successful freelance career leading many of my own projects in the UK and Europe within Theatre, Film, TV, Murals, Window Displays, Events and Advertising. I have also worked assisting others to paint across many genres. I enjoyed working 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.

The majority of my work has been here in London, throughout the West End and other venues such as Regents Park Open Air Theatre, ITV, Sotheby’s, Madame Tussauds, Sadlers Wells, the Young Vic, the Unicorn Theatre, Hammersmith Apollo and the Donmar Warehouse. in 2017 I have worked in conjunction with Dot Young painting 7 Oxfam heads as part of their political campaign of world leaders for the G7 and G20.

In 2008 I returned to Central as a visiting lecturer whilst continuing my active freelance career. In 2012 I joined the BA (Hons) Theatre Practice team as a permanent, part-time member of staff and continue to actively paint, draw and research my subject. I also pursue a career in fine art and am regularly receive private commissions as a freelance Scenic Artist. I love working at Central in such a specialist environment and with small focused year groups.  I have found each year brings new ideas to the course which is constantly evolving with research into current industries, new technologies, ideas and products.  

The staff and professional working directors, designers and visiting lecturers which are brought in to work alongside the students on public productions, seminars and taught skills at Central keep the courses current and help towards our world-leading status. 

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
  • Photography
  • Texture & surfaces
  • Paint frames in London and their demise.


2017. Freelance scenic artist Oxfam. Painting sculpted fiberglass heads of Donald Trump, Justin Trudeau, Theresa May, Emmanuel Macron, Paolo Gentiloni, Narendra Modi and Jacob Zuma.

2017. Painting an ultra violet sign for Rosco Paints.

2016. Experimenting with new products, paints and textures for Bristol paints.

2016. Commission painting, private client.

2015. Commissioned mural, private client.

2015. Supervising students painting a cloth for the 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 Painting for Stage and Screen, BA