Touring – reviewed at Tobacco Factory Theatres,Bristol
Lydia Higginson has the best friends of anyone in the world. They’ve been dancing together since they were at school. And now they’re making theatre. Not just any theatre.
The catalyst for dressed. was an assault. A group of men, armed, forcing Lydia, the person, not the actor, not the character, the person, the woman to strip. Comfortable? Don’t be.
dressed. is an unflinching, deeply personal, deeply political insight into the horror of assault, both physical and psychological. A heady mix of theatre and performance art, dressed. is messy. At times, this chaos is purposeful, dynamic and fearless. At times, less so. That doesn’t matter. dressed. is as personal at it comes.
As a cast of four, Josie Dale-Jones, Lydia Higginson, Nobahar Mahdavi and Olivia Norris inhabit every inch of the stage. They take us through the journey from school dance choreography to post-assault catharsis via a series of carefully curated and fiercely provocative moments. Not all of these moments work as theatrical devices, however that is as personal as the production itself and ignores the greater purpose.
F**k Steven Berkoff and his one man show. F**k David Mamet and his John Malkovich vehicle. These stories don’t belong to them. They belong to ThisEgg, Made My Wardrobe and companies who are bold enough to confront the patriarchy and take charge of their own narrative.