Theatr Clwyd’s new production Truth or Dare showcases some of the finest writers from across Wales. Ten writers have written 10 short plays along the themes of ether Truth or Dare to tantalise and delight, with a range of murder-mysteries, local legends and courtroom comedies. A cast of 20 actors take on the challenge of performing these plays, with audiences providing different objects that are used in each performance keeping the actors on their toes!
Behind the scenes are the incredibly talented creative team who’ve been hard at work to bring the show to life, one of which is Millie Lamkin.
Millie (currently training on the RWCMD and Theatr Clwyd Traineeship for Designers, supported by Theatre Artists Fund Creative Workforce Pilot Programme) is Designing this show. We sat down with her to find out more:
Everything we see on the stage for Truth or Dare has been designed by you, how do you start creating a design for the show?
The design process for this show was slightly different from my usual approach, because I knew the main element of the set from the start of the project. The plinths! As part of the Theatre Green Book initiative, the theatre wanted to reuse the set from a previous show, The In-between. A more typical design process starts with the script, which I read again, and again, and again! While reading, I start to scribble down sketches of how I’m imaging a space and the characters. Having the plinths from day one for Truth or Dare, meant that when I was reading the scripts for the first time I was much more focused on how the plinths could work for each of the plays and what exciting things we could do with them.
Truth or Dare is a huge show with 10 different plays. Does this make designing a set more challenging?
Definitely! I spent a long time identifying an overarching theme that connected all the plays, which could somehow be represented visually on the plinths. However, after trying out different visuals for the plinths I realised that simplicity was best. I didn’t want to create a space too specific to any one of the shows and found a way of allowing each play to speak for itself.
Audience members are encouraged to bring in an object which will be used as a prop for a part of the show. How did this impact your design?
This is one of the most exiting parts of the show for me. The random prop connects each of the plays and it makes every show unpredictable and fun. The prop concept was central to most discussions I had with the directors, especially in the early planning stages. We wanted to make sure that however the props enter the space, the prop always remains a mystery to the actors until they use it for the first time during the play. Adding doors to a variety of the plinths really helped with having plenty of hiding spaces!
You’re currently on a training scheme at Theatr Clwyd, how have you found that?
I could not have imagined a better first job after graduating from RWCMD last year. I’ve already had the opportunity to work on a variety of different shows and within the different departments at Theatr Clwyd. Fabric sampling for Gatsby and having the opportunity to make the Dame’s ride for Robin Hood (a pink and gold horse/mobility scooter) are up there with some of the most entertaining jobs I’ve had so far. It has been such a welcoming environment, and I’m really grateful for the connections I’ve built already. I would 100% recommend this scheme.
Whilst at Theatr Clwyd you have also worked on shows like The Famous Five and Robin Hood. How have you found working on these shows?
For both of these shows, I worked in the scenic department and had a great time. Katy Salt, the resident scenic artist is brilliant and was more than willing to help me improve my scenic skills. I learnt loads working with her for the first few months of my traineeship—from priming sheets of MDF, mixing paint to get the perfect colour, to painting a flawless fleur de lis!
What will you be working on next after Truth or Dare?
I’ll be assisting on The Great Gatsby next. Rehearsals start a week after Truth or Dare finishes, I can’t wait started. Lots of fun set dec and painting to get stuck into!
What would you say to anyone who hasn’t booked a ticket yet for Truth or Dare?
Come get a ticket! Truth or Dare is full of joy and feels like a celebration of theatre. With 5 10-minute plays in each show there is something for everyone to enjoy. Also, who doesn’t want to see the actors squirm as they try and figure out what on earth your prop/object is mid show?
Truth or Dare will be performed at Theatr Clwyd until Saturday 13 May in Theatr Mix.
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