Next week is the third, and final, r&d week on Light is like....

Last year we spent a week making initial explorations of the material and language we were working in - visual, aural, verbal, humour etc.

In May we spent a week at Pontardawe Arts Centre,  delving further into particular parts of the (potential) narrative, looking at the relationships and crucially working with young people from Mess up the Mess, to test some of the material. At the end of that week we spent the final day reviewing footage, talking through sections and trying to make sense of where we are going and what we're making.

Q - Trying to make sense of it - shouldn't you know what you're doing already?

A - No - if we knew what we were making, what it would look, and feel like to watch - we wouldn't need to have an r&d period.

In a previous blog  I tried to explain why r&d is important, but for me the outcomes of the day we spent talking at the end of week two demonstrate this best.

When we spent time envisaging (individually) what the piece might be like we came up with very different ideas of how it might work - but at the core there was a shared sense of what we were making and how it might work for an audience. Most importantly there were complete surprises - eureka moments - where our "...floundering in the dark" payed off and we suddenly realised what we'd been searching for and looking at.

There's now a narrative structure and a framework to go into this last week with - so that when people see a sharing on Friday - whilst they wont be seeing the show - we can give them a much clearer sense of what they will see/ sense / feel next year when they come back to see the show.

The other thing that r&d allows us to do is have a conversation with venues, and audiences we wouldn't normally be able to. So an artistic director/ programmer can come to a sharing and get a sense of what we're about and the work we're making instead of being asked to programme the work unseen from a 1 side pitch. We can also start a conversation with a potential audience about the work - so the input from Mess up the Mess has fundamentally altered the work and will hopefully continue into the next stage.


So we head into next week with the lights on, knowing what we're looking for and at - though this could all change of course...

For more info on the project visit

We Made This: Matt Ball, Paul Burgess, Catherine Dyson, Cis O’Boyle, Nia Skyrme & Morgan Thomas


We Made This gratefully acknowledge the support of Pontardawe Arts Centre, Creu Cymru, Mess up the Mess, WalesLab and the Arts Council of Wales.






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Comment by Matt Ball on July 12, 2015 at 23:59

Thanks Laura

Comment by Laura H Drane on July 12, 2015 at 21:38

Another great post on R&D. Thank you! And all the best for the week upcoming.

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