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ThisEgg's award-winning dressed. - BAC and on tour

ThisEgg's dressed. Photo credit: Camilla Greenwell.

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

ThisEgg’s award-winning show dressed. will tour the UK from February 25 to June 8, 2019.

About reclaiming one’s body, female friendship and the healing power of clothes, the tour opens at Battersea Arts Centre, where it runs from February 25 to March 2.

dressed. premiered at the 2018 Edinburgh Festival Fringe to critical acclaim, winning a Scotsman Fringe First as well as a nomination for ThisEgg for Total Theatre Awards’ Emerging Company 2018.

This intimate show, created by four school friends (Josie Dale-Jones, Lydia Higginson, Nobahar Mahdavi and Olivia Norris), uses storytelling, live sewing, music, dance and clowning to turn a traumatic experience into something beautiful and resilient.

After being stripped at gunpoint, Lydia Higginson sought to redress herself by creating her entire wardrobe from scratch. In 2016, Lydia, a seamstress and costume designer, gave herself a year to make all her own clothes, after which she gave away all those she had ever bought.

Friends since school, Josie, a theatre maker, Nobahar, a singer, Olivia, a dancer, and Lydia, took this act of reclamation and self-liberation as the basis of their show to celebrate the power clothes have to define, liberate, hide and embellish.

Josie Dale-Jones said: “We started making dressed. in July 2017. In November 2017, the Harvey Weinstein allegations broke out. This changed both everything, and nothing; in the way we made the show, in what we were exploring, and in how we saw ourselves as women in the world. When #MeToo gained momentum though, it did feel like a rally cry, a howl back to keep going; amongst the wider movement for change, there was a need to hold on to personal journeys, for individual voices to be heard”.

Lydia Higginson added: “When you devise theatre, you are trying to create a world that the audience can believe in. For the last decade, the three women I created dressed. with have been rebuilding my world into a place I can believe in. Last year we decided to create dressed. for women whose worlds have been shattered, and for all the friends who have helped rebuild them.”

ThisEgg is Josie Dale-Jones who self-produces shows with a variety of artistic collaborators. ThisEgg makes intimate theatre that connects with audiences, moving them to laugh, cry and imagine; prompting them to ask big questions about the world we live in. ThisEgg devises original work which mixes theatrical styles, celebrating different forms of entertainment.

Me & My Bee was the winner of the inaugural Les Enfants Terrribles Stepladder Award 2017, The Fringe Sustainable Practice Award and Brighton Award for Excellence. Goggles won the NSDF Edinburgh Emerging Artists Award 2016.

Lydia Higginson has worked alongside directors, producers, technical crew and performers providing bespoke costumes for theatre, dance, circus and live performance. Her credits include working on wardrobe for Sadler’s Wells, Tobacco Factory Theatres and Bristol Old Vic. When she is not working on commissions, she teaches others how to sew from her studio Threadworks.

Image: ThisEgg’s dressed. Photo credit: Camilla Greenwell.

NB: This show explores themes of rape and sexual assault which some audience members may find distressing. It is suitable for ages 16+.

Tickets (BAC): £15, £12.50 concessions. To book, call the box office on 020 7223 2223 or visit www.bac.org.uk/.

Time (BAC): 7.30pm.

Running Time: 60 minutes.

Following the Battersea dates, dressed. will tour to Tron Theatre, Glasgow (March 14 – 16), Shoreditch Town Hall, London (March 26 – April 5), Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh (April 11 – 13), Tobacco Factory Theatres, Bristol (May 21 – 23), The Garage, Norwich – as part of Norfolk and Norwich Festival (May 24 – 26) and HOME, Manchester (June 4 – 8).