Roald Dahl 2016

National Theatre Wales and Creative & Cultural Skills are pleased to offer this opportunity for students in the National Skills Academy for Creative & Cultural. The following brief is based on the centenary of Roald Dahl’s birth which is being celebrated across the UK in 2016.

Students are invited to present a creative response to the following brief, which will be judged by staff from National Theatre Wales in March 2016.

About National Theatre Wales

National Theatre Wales has been making English-language productions in locations all over Wales, the UK, internationally and online since March 2010.

We operate from a small base in Cardiff’s city centre, but we work all over the country, and beyond, using Wales’ rich and diverse landscape, its towns, cities and villages, its incredible stories and rich talent as our inspiration.

One of the company’s goals is to tell familiar stories in unexpected ways, we’ll be putting this into practice with City of the Unexpected in 2016, a city-wide performance celebrating all things Roald Dahl, produced by National Theatre Wales and Wales Millennium Centre.

‘Expect to see everyday places utterly transformed - seen through the eyes of Roald Dahl - and get ready to meet some of your favourite characters in the most unexpected ways!’ – John McGrath – NTW’s Artistic Director 

‘Above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places’ - Roald Dahl. 

THE CHALLENGE: How would you do it?

This competition challenges you to come up with your own interpretation of Roald Dahl’s work; view the landscape around you through a lens of playfulness and surprise and embrace Dahl’s ability to create fantasy out of something which seems normal. Find the inner Dahl in you.

You should research historical buildings, for example, those at St Fagans or on Cadw sites and look at these buildings and imagine how Roald Dahl might be inspired by them. Would they be the setting for a story, would he imagine characters living there, what would he imagine goes on behind the closed doors?

Use your skills to create an original piece of work individually, or as part of a team. 

Your piece of work could be any one, or more, things from the following:

  • Digital & Media
  • Costume & Wigs
  • Lighting Design
  • Sound Design
  • Written (poem, extract of text, a scene)
  • Video & Digital
  • Set
  • Props
  • Ceramics and sculptures
  • Embroidery
  • Storyboard
  • Any kind of artwork (painting, collages, cartoons, screenprinting, ceramics)


  1. Show or talk about your inspirations and ambitions. Research other artists working in the areas you’d like to work in, draw on different disciplines and art forms for your plans. 
  2. Be prepared to present it.
  3. Show us what you did to get to your end result. As an artist, documenting your process is a good habit to get into. The way you make something fundamentally shapes the way that thing turns out, artists think carefully about their process, and get excited about developing and changing it. Documenting is an active process of remembering and evaluating; it allows you to build on good practice and change things that haven’t worked so well next time. It also allows outsiders to access the process after it’s happened, it helps more people understand the way you work.
  4. Trial and error - If things aren’t going as you’d imagined or turning out as planned, that’s ok. Doubt and risk are essential in making the most exciting work. You can’t fail as long as you’re creating. 

THE ONE RULE: Whatever you create must be displayable.   We want to exhibit your work.  Please explain how you would exhibit it, how will it be displayed, what will you need?

Judging will take place in the week commencing 14th March, shortlisted entries will be displayed in St Fagans National History Museum.