ThisEgg’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe-First winner ‘’dressed.’’ comes to HOME in Manchester on Tuesday 4th to Saturday 8th June with all five performances will be caption subtitled. Celebrating trauma, the healing power of clothes, and the pleasures of female friendship.
After being stripped at gunpoint in 2012, 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 the clothes she had ever bought.
Friends since school, Josie Dale-Jones, a theatre-maker; Nobahar Mahdavi, a singer; Olivia Norris, a dancer; and Lydia Higginson, took this act of reclamation and self-liberation as the basis of ‘dressed.’ to celebrate the power clothes have to define, liberate, hide and embellish.
Made in conjunction with Made My Wardrobe, ‘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. The show is also nominated for a 2020 Offie in the Best Play/Musical/Other category (innovative, devised, experimental/atypical).
The intimate show created by four lifelong friends uses storytelling, live sewing, music, dance and clowning to turn a traumatic experience into something beautiful and resilient; a show about reclaiming one’s body, female friendship and the integrity of clothes to identity.
“We started making ‘dressed.’ in July 2017,” explains Josie Dale-Jones. “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.”
“When you devise theatre,” adds Lydia Higginson, “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.”