Review: dressed. by ThisEgg

From an act of violence comes an affirmative tale of sisterhood, recovery and clothing

★★★★
theatre review (edinburgh) | Read in About 2 minutes
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dressed. by This Egg
Published 07 Aug 2018

The show begins in joy, as four young women dance casually around the stage even before the audience have taken their seats. Within minutes, once the music has stopped, one of them has told us about her being stripped at gunpoint during a burglary while she was abroad. It's a heart-freezing moment of human fear and sympathy but—this wonderful show seems to say from deep within its bones—it isn't a reason for the dancing or the joy to end.

That Lydia Higginson is telling her own autobiographical story is reason enough for the audience to find their hearts in their throats, but the manner in which this touching and vibrant piece of work has been brought to life escalates it to another dramatic level. Higginson has achieved some level of viral fame through her blog Made My Wardrobe, with which she traced her attempt to dispose of her off-the-rail clothes and sew her own entire wardrobe in a year. She did it partly for ecological reasons and partly, as we discover, to distract herself away from what must have been a long period of post-traumatic stress.

She’s joined here by her three best friends from school: singer Nobahar Mahavi, artist and dancer Olivia Norris, and theatremaker Josie Dale-Jones, the head of producing company ThisEgg. Through a sophisticated combination of dance, song, dramatic vignettes, costume changes into Higginson's own creations (each apparently representing an idealised self-image of her own womanhood), the audience is left with something unexpectedly lively and joyful, a declaration of strength in sisterhood and in women owning their own image and experience.