Josie Dale-Jones on dressed: 'We were determined to be heard and it felt like the world was open to listening'
- Gareth K Vile
- 1 March 2019
Rare fusion of the theatrical and the material from ThisEgg
Based on Lydia Higginson's experience of being stripped at gunpoint, and her subsequent project to recreate her wardrobe, dressed is a rare fusion of the theatrical and the material. The play brings together ThisEgg's distinctive dramaturgy, the skills of a seamstress and a timely, feminist, political intention. For Josie Dale-Jones, the company's founder who frequently works with diverse collaborators, this unique merging of skills allows the performance to escape the predictable. 'Putting a sewing machine on stage is big, it's heavy, it's loud, it's very intimate and it is theatrical,' she notes. 'It is also kind of dangerous.'
While work on the production was in progress, Dale-Jones recognised its clear connection to the rise of #MeToo: 'We wanted to be part of the conversation. It suddenly felt like our show could be more relevant than ever. As #MeToo gained momentum, we couldn't ignore it. It felt like a moment to really say something. It's such a shame that the catalyst for all this has come from something negative, but a space seemed to have been created for women to express themselves. We were determined to be heard and it felt like the world was open to listening.'
Following a successful run at the 2018 Fringe, the return of dressed is a reminder that serious political commentary can be matched by an experimental and adventurous approach to theatre-making. ThisEgg draw on powerful storytelling techniques as well as a willingness to explore unique formats, telling stories that are personal, grounded in real-life experience but also tackling wider social concerns.
Tron Theatre, Glasgow, Thu 14–Sat 16 Mar; Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, Thu 11–Sat 13 Apr.