SBTD Collaborators 2007

Collaborators 2007Collaborators is the UK’s National Theatre Design Exhibition (Curated and organised by the Society of British Theatre Designers)

Entry : Free

Runs : Jan 10th – Feb 4th 2007

“This major new exhibition brings together a huge range of work made in the last four years by over 150 contemporary UK designers. Designs range from inventive fringe performances to grand international ballet and opera; from West End musicals to exquisite small scale touring productions in schools. Work featured includes the RSC Complete Shakespeare season, Forkbeard Fantasy, cutting edge company Quarantine, two Ring Cycles from English National Opera and the Royal Opera House, as well as performance space designs for Northern Stage Company, Wexford Opera House and Siobhan Davies Dance Studios.”

Scenography – The Theatre Design Website were lucky enough to visit the Waverley Building in December and meet with Kate Burnett (SBTD’s Honorary Secretary) and the team putting together both the exhibition and catalogue. The exhibition will be held in the Waverley Building’ 1851 Gallery and its Theatre Studio. When we visited in late December a team of carpenters and and technicians, lead by designer Mike Elliot, had already begun work on installing the exhibitions’ various plinths and booths.

Central to the exhibition will be three sculptures by designer and founding member of the SBTD Ralph Koltai; one of which will later be taken to the Prague Quadrennial. Kate Burnett (Honorary Secretary of the SBTD and Collaborators curator) visited Koltai at his London home to view maquettes of the sculptures in advance of their installation at Nottingham. Kate spoke of their meeting “Koltai interviewed me when I applied to study at Central St Martins. At the time I wasn’t able to communicate with the same vocabulary as Ralph; and here I was, all these years later, in his flat looking at a collection sculptures made from wood and rusting metal; I remember thinking to myself that I’d waited 34 years to have this conversation!”

Collaborators Catalogue

Accompanying the exhibition is a full colour catalogue. In marked difference from previous SBTD catalogues the 2007 edition will feature extended commentaries, statements and (we are told) poems by participating designers. Perhaps most exciting of all however are a range of essays by designers such as: Dody Nash, Fred Meller, Simon Banham, Paul Brown and Penny Saunders (Forkbeard Fantasy). Just like previous exhibition catalogues the 2007 Collaborators edition will most certainly be a valuable asset to any student or practitioner of modern British Theatre Design. Buy Collaborators Catalogue from Amazon.co.uk

Collaborators Theme 2007

The Society of British Theatre Designers have chosen COLLABORATORS as it’s theme for their 2007 National Theatre Design Exhibition. A theme which we at scenography think describes the process of theatrical and performance design rather effectively. Certainly it is an all inclusive description of the nature of the modern theatre designers role.

“Can one collaborate with space and place? Certainly one can respond to a place, make interventions, re-invent the space, pass lightly through it, bring one’s own space….”

The SBTD describe collaborators as the director, choreographer, composer, lighting, sound and projection designers, digital artist, costume or set designer. But they don’t stop there, they ask:

“How does the dialogue start, how do our different art forms / disciplines combine, collide…”

And at the “Nuts and Bolts” level:

“Key collaborations with production staff, the costume supervisor or buyer, scene painter, or engineer which might explore the process of realising a design or designs…”

The SBTD also identify collaboration with students, children and the importance of storytelling, “showing, making, facilitating, storytelling, swapping”. Those who attended the 2003 Prague Quadrennial may recall the “Heart of PQ” and the integral part that exploration, children, and in particular how a child percieved and “found” the event and it’s exhibits played in the events physical organisation and structure.

Waverley Building

Waverley Building - Nottingham TrentThe Waverly Building at the Nottingham Trent University (Home to the NTU School of Art and Design’s B.A. Honours Theatre Design course) will now act as venue for the exhibition. Situated in Nottingham City Centre the Waverly Building have long been associated with theatre design and is frequently host to a range of arts based events and theatre productions.


Panoramic View of the Waverley Building (BBC Website)

Nottingham – Venue City for Collaborators 2007

Nottingham is a vibrant city with a number of theatres, production companies and art centres. The city is also home to Nottingham the Nottingham Trent University’s B.A. Theatre Design course.

located in the East Midlands of the UK Nottingham is easily reached by train, the M1 Motorway and Nottingham East Midlands Airport (Located on the Derbyshire/Leicestershire border and requires bus travel to Nottingham City)

SBTD Membership

The SBTD offer reduced rates to students and graduates, for further details visit the SBTD website.

Related Links –



One thought on “SBTD Collaborators 2007

  1. Dear editor, thanks for the inclusion re Collaborators catalogue. further information of the current Listening Shell at Collaborators Exhibition at the V&A can be found on http://www.myspace.com/listeningshell.
    Many thanks

    Dody Nash
    Visual designer for music based performance projects

    Posted by Dody Nash | November 28, 2007, 6:51 pm


This website is now in an archived state
%d bloggers like this: