The Truth to Power Project

Proto-type Theater The Truth to Power Project - Black serif text on white background.

The Truth to Power Project is a socially-engaged exploration of power, democracy, truth-telling, protest, privacy, conspiracy, and control.

The project began in 2015 as a response to the UK and global political climate and has since manifested as a wealth of
creative, cultural, and participatory activity that seeks to shed light on the complex, hidden systems that govern
how we live our lives.

“Proto-type’s team have such imagination and clarity of vision… a great antidote to [a] tangled political landscape”


Works in the series include:

The Truth to Power Trilogy

A trilogy of ‘stand-alone’ contemporary theatre pieces examining power, democracy, truth-telling, protest, privacy, conspiracy, and control:

A Machine they’re Secretly Building [2016- ]
Part of the British Council Edinburgh Showcase, long-listed for the Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award

The Audit (or Iceland, a Modern Myth) [2018- ]
AMTSB and The Audit published by Oberon Modern Plays (Bloomsbury/Methuen Drama)

Dead Cats [2022- ]
Now touring: MORE HERE

Using forms of devised and documentary theatre, new writing, and digital design, the works in the trilogy are made to be watched as individual pieces, or as a complementary sequence in any order.

“This is coolly reasoned theatre, produced by Proto-type Theater with stylish aplomb.”

Lyn Gardner, The Guardian

A Dangerous Thing [new for 2022]

A dangerous new work, for dangerous new times…

We’re working with our long-time collaborator, visual artist Adam York Gregory, to create a digitally distributed new work.

Mashing and melding animation styles, original sound and composition, contemporary performance and story-telling, A Dangerous Thing is coming, and it cannot be stopped.

The Forgotten Suffragette [2015]

A BBC commissioned radio series & week of broadcast programming focused on women’s rights & democracy.

Available via BBC iPlayer.

“A beautiful, sensitive production.”

Women’s Equality Party

MoTF X Proto-type – Manifestos for the Future [2020]

A free art school and knowledge exchange run in collaboration with Mansions of the Future encouraging radical and challenging approaches to creating work, culture and political activism.

The week included an invitation for participants to develop and share their own manifesto for change – artistic, personal, or societal. The curated programme included talks, performances, and contributions from walking artist Alison Lloyd; social artist and researcher Phoebe Davis; Latinx Trans artist Imogen-Blue Hinojosa; poet, playwright and performance artist Chanje Kunda; award-winning writer and performer Francesca Millican-Slater; folklorist and performance artist Arianne Churchman; and self-producing artist duo Chatum Tanning (Rohanne Udall & Paul Hughes). 

The Truth is Coming and it Cannot Be Stopped [2019]

An evening of films, talks & performance concerning democracy & rights,
for communities at the The Spring, Havant.

The programme was curated around the first two pieces in the Truth to Power Trilogy (performed back-to-back by Proto-type) and “formed the cornerstone of The Spring’s Autumn 2019 Season”.

Rich Tea & Currency – World Cafe Series [2018 – ongoing]

Working with and for communities across the UK, hosting simple and respectful knowledge-exchange cafes in familiar spaces.

The series is designed to open conversation around difficult political topics – asking the question: what is the change we want to see?

“[I learned] to be ambitious, to think bigger and more outward looking. I understood the moral power in taking responsibility for ones actions”

Participant Response

“This is what [we] need… It’s necessary, and it’s vital”

”I loved embracing the dissent”

Participant and Audience Response

Education, Training, & Knowledge Exchange [ongoing]

The Truth to Power Project has also delivered and inspired a range of workshops, mentoring opportunities, knowledge exchanges, public talks, lectures, and publications – some of which are detailed here:

See Writing About Proto-type for books, blogs, and journal articles.
A Machine they’re Secretly Building Oberon Modern Plays (Bloomsbury/Methuen Drama)
The Audit (or Iceland, a modern myth) Oberon Modern Plays (Bloomsbury/Methuen Drama)
Dead Cats Bloomsbury/Methuen Drama
— ‘Performing Protest’ in Making Post-Dramatic Theatre: A Handbook of Devising Exercises Edited by Tracy Crossley and Niki Woods, Digital Theatre Plus

The works have been presented at the following conferences:
— Performance Studies International (PSi) (Deagu, South Korea, July 2018)
— Theatre & Performance Studies Research Association (TaPRA) (MCR, Sept 2017)
— Irish Society for Theatre Research (ISTR) (Nottingham, June 2017)
— Collective Encounters: Rediscovering the Radical (Liverpool, Sept 2016)

— 2021 Internship with support from University of Lincoln
— 2020 Internship with support from Santander / University of Lincoln
2017/18 Midlands Artist Mentorship Scheme
2015/16 Graduate Artist Mentorship Scheme

Various events including Open Rehearsals: Newvolutions, Lincoln Performing Arts Centre, and devising/performance workshops for undergraduate artists at Falmouth University, University of Lincoln and Leicester De Montfort.

It made the professional dream real and helped us see the future of our little company a little more clearly.”

Mentored Artists

“It made me want to headbutt a bank.”

Audience Response

The Truth to Power Project has been commissioned and funded by:
ARC (Stockton), artsdepot (North Finchley), BBC Lincolnshire, Curve (Leicester), hAb/Word of Warning (Manchester), Lancaster Arts at Lancaster University, Lincoln Performing Arts Centre, The Lowry (Salford), Theatre-in-the Mill (Bradford), Oxford Playhouse, Tramway (Glasgow), Warwick Arts Centre, Mansions of the Future, The Britten-Pears Foundation, DCMS Culture Recovery Fund, The British Council, and Arts Council England through National Lottery Project Grants.

With thanks to the following organisations and venues who have supported and championed our work across the project so far:

AMATA (Falmouth)
ARC (Stockton)
artsdepot (North Finchley)
Attenborough Arts Centre (Leicester)
Axis Arts Centre (Crewe)
BBC Lincolnshire
Bite Size Festival – China Plate
The British Council Showcase
Cambridge Junction
Carriageworks Theatre (Leeds)
The Civic (Barnsley)
The Crucible (Sheffield)
CURVE (Leicester)
Derby Theatre
EnableUs – University of Sheffield Drama Studio
Farnham Maltings
Futures for Women
Greenbelt Festival (Northampton)
Harrogate Theatre
Lancaster Arts at Lancaster University
Lawrence Batley (Huddersfield)
Lincoln Performing Arts Centre
The Lowry (Salford)
mac (Birmingham)
Northern Stage (Newcastle)
Norwich Arts Centre
Nuffield Theatre (NST City, Southampton)
Oxford Playhouse
Performing House (York St. John University)
Pulse Festival – New Wolsey Theatre (Ipswich)
Settle Stories Festival
Slung Low (Leeds)
The Southbank Centre
The Spring Arts and Heritage Centre (Havant)
Summerhall – Edinburgh Festival Fringe
The Tron (Glasgow)
Theatre-in-the-Mill (Bradford)
Trestle Arts Base (St Albans)
Warwick Arts Centre
York Theatre Royal
Yorkshire Festival