The Society of British Theatre Designers

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T&R Exhibition Cardiff 2011:

Transformation & Revelation

Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, The Castle Grounds, North Rd, Cardiff, CF10 3ER

Monday – Friday 9.30am to 8pm
Saturday and Sunday10am to 5pm

Entrance to this exhibition is free to the general public.

Click here for a preview trailer of the exhibition.

Click here for a full list of exhibitors.

On March 18th The Society of British Theatre Designers will present the National exhibition Transformation & Revelation’ UK Design for Performance 2007 – 2011 at the RWCMD in Cardiff. This is a unique opportunity to preview this extraordinary collection of work before it travels in part to represent the UK at the 2011 Prague Quadrennial International Exhibition this summer. A selection of designs will be on display at the V&A from 17th March – 30th September 2012 and will also be available as a UK touring exhibition.

A selection of the most innovative and ground breaking designs for performance realised between 2007 to 2011 by some of the UK’s most talented and prolific theatre designers will be on display.

The exhibition will include drawings, paintings and photographs, 3D artefacts, scale models, specialist props, costumes and puppets, and there will be extraordinary interactive exhibits from Lighting, Video and Sound designers, Theatre Consultants and Theatre Architects.

The total number of exhibitors anticipated is over 200. It will include notable designers such as Marie-Jeanne Lecca, Paul Brown, Bob Crowley, and Yolanda Sonnabend to name but a few. Designs on display will range from Antony Gormley’s Sutra with Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and the Shaolin Warrior Monks for Sadlers Wells to Es Devlin’s designs and projections for the Lady Gaga Monsterball Tour. Ian MacNeil’s new designs for the New York version of Billy Eliott will be shown alongside Lion King designer Richard Hudson’s latest works for opera. The exhibition also includes work from emerging talents such as the very latest winners from the prestigious Linbury Biennial Competition. In addition the ACTD (Association of Courses in Theatre Design) schools exhibit will show the best work from UK design schools and colleges.

A full programme of Workshops with exhibiting designers will be taking place with local schools, colleges and community groups throughout March and April 2011. If you would like more information about the educational programme please click here or email

Design concepts for well known classics will be displayed alongside new works, stimulating engagement and imagination of both Industry professionals and public visitors.

The theme of Transformation & Revelation specifically aims to explore the ideas and processes behind the final designs. The exhibition will provide an insight into how an idea becomes a design, and how it then reaches the stage in a realistic form. Exhibitors will explore the process that takes them from an initial idea to research; from 2 dimensional sketches and computer generated imagery to a 3 dimensional model, and finally to full size build and performance.

Entrance to this exhibition is free to the general public

Further Information

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Exhibitor Information



The exhibition also offers an exclusive sneak preview of the new RWCMD landmark Arts building currently under construction which is due to open later this year. The exhibition will take place in a number of spaces including the newly built Richard Burton Theatre, and will mark the first public event to be housed in this exciting venue. Read more about this building development here.

Theme: Transformation & Revelation
As with past exhibitions, the intention of the theme is firstly to create a journey through a wide range of work, with headings and questions that stimulate a dialogue with the work on display. Secondly, the theme is designed to provide handles with which designers can reflect upon and present key aspects of their work.

An important part of the concept for this particular exhibition is to show not only the final outcome of the production but also, where possible, preparatory drawings and other work which demonstrate the designers’ journey through ideas and working process.

Working from the premise that the function of design is not merely to illustrate the performed text, music or movement, but to provide a further layer of visual narrative, it is the scenographer’s job to make us ask, “What am I going to see next? What will be revealed?” It is through this process of constant visual and aural transformation and revelation that we experience a work of theatre.

The following headings are offered up for consideration by UK designers and artists as they select and prepare their displays:

  • The transformation of ideas into reality – the designer’s/scenographer’s working and conceptual process.
  • The transformation of space using structures and objects to reveal narrative.
  • The transformation from one scene to another to show the stylistic, aesthetic and thematic progression of the design.
  • The transformation of the performer into character and the visual journey of that character during the performance.
  • The transformative qualities of light.
  • The transformative qualities of sound.
  • The transformation that occurs in a location when it is used as a site for performance.
  • The transformation that happens to an audience’s perception of a location when it is used as a site for performance.
  • The transformative quality of a visual metaphor on an audience’s imagination.

Read more about our 2007 National Exhibition “Collaborators”
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