Making 'Truth or Tale!?'; or why glitter is important. / by Lenni Sanders

On Friday 25th we performed Truth or Tale!? Our audience enjoyed the opportunity to play our game/perform in our show, whichever way you want to look at it. We’ll be posting a blog about the idea of audience playing soon. Here, though, we wanted to share our experience of making the show.

We began with the collection that we were going to be working with, the Manchester Museum Culture Shocks handling collection. Without any knowledge of what we were going to see or found out about, Anna and Jenni from Manchester Museum introduced us to thousand year old Egyptian amulets, insects pinned to boards, Myhhr etc. It was an incredibly eclectic mix and we couldn’t make out how each of these would be used medically. We also noticed that the way we were being shown these, with two hands on at all times being moved around to be viewed at all angles, seemed very close to how a prize microwave might be flaunted on The Generation Game.

As soon as we sat down on the bench outside Manchester Museum, we immediately started talking about game shows. The audience would be the contestant, an immersive show which is audience led. In fact, the audience would write the show as they went along. They would take the role of a Professor on Truth or Tale!?, TVs only collections based gameshow.

After coming up with the concept, we realised that the set would be essential to set the tone. It needed to be seedy and naff but also well made. Lots of lametta and glitter. We found what we could, ready-made, including three big glittery star decorations from my work and also twitter. Anything that could sparkle, did. We threw glitter on loads of things. Loads.

We designed some signage and name badges that would fit the image of a 70s gameshow and we felt utterly complimented when a friend saw the signs and said they looked like adverts for sickly sweets. That’s what we wanted. Over the top. Seedy. Tasteless. Harry wore a suit, shirt open just one too many buttons down, and Lenni had on huge eyelashes and a glamorous dress; made all the more ludicrous when surrounded by wonderfully practical scientists.