ThisEgg reflect on their R&D Residency

| Tue 10 Jan 2017

ThisEgg recently joined us for a week-long Creation Space R&D residency exploring ideas toward their new show Me & My Bee. We caught up with Josie Dale-Jones to find out how their ideas developed during their time here.

Can you tell us about ThisEgg?

I established ThisEgg whilst at Hills Road Sixth Form College in 2010 & have been self-producing shows with a variety of artistic collaborators since then. I am going to co-create and perform Me & My Bee with Joe Boylan, Lotte Tickner and Greta Mitchell. Recent media attention given to the plight of bees sparked conversations about how we can make a show about doing more to help - a show for children and adults alike?! Let’s see!

How would you describe the work you create?

In short, 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. It’s also usually a bit weird (in a comic way).

Which particular elements of the project did you focus on during your residency?

We actually tried not to focus on any one thing in particular, as not to close any doors too early on down the line. We jumped from writing to composing to choreographing to improvising to storyboarding as often as we could handle.

Were there any surprises? Did you make any new discoveries about the project?

Maybe how little we knew about the show we are making. In the best way. We really opened things up which feels really right (knowing we have explored all (a lot, at least) options) before we start making some more definite decisions.

Did you bring in any collaborators? 

Yes! We brought in loads of collaborators and it was brilliant to have so many amazing yet different brains and skills sets in the room. So many thanks to: Tom Penn, Philippa Hogg, Milly Rolle, Georgia Murphy, Nobahar Mahdavi, Abbi Greenland, Nasi Voutsas and Michael Clarke. Also to our designers, Lucy Adams, Lydia Higginson and Stefanie Muller, who we were able to get together as a team for the first time! I feel really lucky to have had the opportunity to bring both familiar and new artists into the process. I feel like there are lots of exciting future collaboration possibilities too…

Did this residency enable you to do anything that you wouldn’t have otherwise been able to do?

This residency not only allowed us to have space to try things out in and do all of the usual rehearsally stuff, it gave us a base - somewhere that was ours for 6 days that we could invite people to. It was a really nice change to feel grounded in a room for longer than a day - it sounds simple but knowing that you can pick up exactly where you left off the day before saves a lot of time (making more for play!).

What the most useful thing to have with you in the rehearsal room?

  1. post-it notes. we LOVE them.
  2. wigs. they make us feel idiot…
  3. loop pedal (maybe not most useful but super fun.)

What are your next steps for this project?

We have another week of research and development in Sheffield before a sharing at the Theatre for Young Audiences Programmers Consortium at the beginning of March. 

Next steps also include more grant writing - finding some money to help make this project continue. (Finishing the making of the show alongside tour booking.) We want to take the show to as many places as possible so as many people as possible can see it.

Thinking about the Edinburgh Festival Fringe...

What else are you working on at the moment?

Quite a few things! With ThisEgg I am about to start a period of research and development on a show that I am making with my mum. We did a 10 minute scratch of that here at artsdepot's room festival and want to see where it could go. That one is called Unconditional. I am also at the very beginnings of ideas gathering for two other shows with collaborators Lydia Higginson and Gemma Barnett. These have working titles of Dressed and The Anxiety Play. You can find out more about them on our website.

Twitter: @ThisEgg_
Facebook: /thiseggtheatre

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