Francis trained at Wimbledon School of Art and his designs have been seen nationally and internationally. Opera designs for Opera North, ENO, Strasbourg, Berlin, Switzerland and the US. Previously for Buxton: Maria di Rohan; Luisa Millar; Roberto Devereux; Lucrezia Borgia. Recently: Noyes Fludde in Lowestoft; Rusalka (Nürnberg/ Monte Carlo); Pinocchio (Bonn), Moses (St Gallen, Switzerland); also Silent Night (Minnesota); Flying Dutchman & Wut (Bern); Benzin (Chemnitz). Designs for Grange Park include: Peter Grimes; Fortunio; Eugene Onegin; Capriccio; La fanciulla del West; The Magic Flute; Don Giovanni; South Pacific and Iolanthe; and for Garsington include: Vert, Vert; Die Entfuhrung; Perichole; Il Turco in Italia; A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Recent theatre includes : Aristocrats (Abbey, Dublin); The Price, An Ideal Husband, Mrs Warren’s Profession (Gate, Dublin); Private Lives (Lyceum, Edinburgh); High Society (national tour). Numerous productions for the Royal Shakespeare Company include A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Love’s Labours Lost and Written on the Heart. Designs in New York and on Broadway include The Beauty Queen of Leenane, Translations, The Cripple of Innishmaan, The Silver Tassie (Druid Theatre, Galway).
Awards include 2 Irish Times Awards, Boston Globe and Critics Circle Award. His designs for the opera Pinocchio nominated for Der Faust Prize, Germany.