An interview with Josie Dale-Jones from ThisEgg
The founder of ThisEgg Josie Dale-Jones talks to Mandy News about how the company came about, their work on the two most recent productions UNCONDITIONAL and dressed plus we get an insight on whats to come.
Tell us about how you started out as a company and got your name out there initially.
ThisEgg was founded at Hills Road Sixth Form College in Cambridge in 2010 by a group of young women passionate about creating their own work. Since then, I have continued to self-produce shows with a variety of artistic collaborators under ThisEgg:
In 2012, I took a show up to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Then I did the same in my summer holidays in 2013, 14, 15... After finishing uni, I did my first ACE app. That's when Gemma and I finished making Goggles in 2016. And, of course, we took it to Edinburgh before doing a mini tour. Then Me & My Bee was made. Took that to Edinburgh in 2017 and it has been touring ever since. This year I took up two shows, UNCONDITIONAL and dressed.
How did you put dressed together? What’s the show about? What were the challenges you faced putting the show on, technically or otherwise?
In 2017, Lydia asked me if we could make a show together. We knew what we wanted the show to be about and we knew we would need help. We asked our friends Imogen Mahdavi and Olivia Norris to join the team. This meant that there was a theatre maker (me), a costume maker (Lyd), a singer (Imogen) and a dancer (Olivia) in the room; when text can’t conjure up the feeling, we sing. When words can’t describe the feeling, we move. We play ourselves and when that’s too much, we put on costumes.
Simply put, the show is about friendship and healing. It is about creating something beautiful out of something dark and traumatic. It is about reclaiming a story. It is about hope.
So many challenges. Always. This show was knotty and complicated and so full of all of that (above). It needed more care than anything I have ever tried to make. And, of course, funding...
What made you want to put on this production in particular?
Perhaps a non answer but it just needed to be made.
Explain to us the importance of brilliant schemes like NDT’s Untapped Awards in terms of supporting independent theatre?
We wouldn't have gone to Edinburgh with dressed. if we hadn't won the untapped award. The stage ThisEgg is at in it's development, coupled with this show and all it is needed extra support. Schemes like NDT's Untapped Awards are fundamental to the sustainability of the next generation of independent theatres and makers.
What are ThisEgg’s future plans?
We will be touring dressed at Battersea Arts Centre in London, Shoreditch Town Hall, Tobacco Factory in Bristol, HOME in Manchester, The Tron in Glasgow & Traverse in Edinburgh in Spring 2019.
With Joe & Greta (Me & My Bee team back together), I am beginning to make a new family comedy called The Family Sex Show - about sex & pleasure originally commissioned by the egg, Theatre Royal Bath for the Leverhulme Arts Scholarship.
What advice do you have for theatre producers or companies, starting out and wanting to succeed?
Make and see as much as you can. Say yes.