When Harriet and I started Dot and Ethel we simply wanted to make exciting work that we hoped would appeal to the commonality of us all. Theatre that places an audience at its heart and isn't trying to replicate any style or ethos but is completely artistically ours and connected to us as people and how we like to work. It was a simple premise. We knew that we would find things out about our practice on the way and that felt the right thing to do. Rather than setting up flashy websites and mission statements. We wanted the work to speak. So set about making.
What has erupted very quickly has been a cacophony of activity and ideas and meetings and partners and creativity. What's more, through out this time we've had moments of delight and panic, tears and bliss.
I suppose this blog post is meant to be a little more reflective than some of the others. The last few weeks have allowed us to really think about the work we want to make and how we like to make it. Having just spent a weekend in Appledore together, after various days training, working intensely on applications and trips to London, we stumbled across things which we now know we respond best to. We are taking steps towards identifying the environment in which we thrive.
- We really value each other's company. This has been key to making the work. I respect Harriet and her work excites me. That ensures that there is an unspoken quality in the room.
- We are always aiming high (sometimes this is a dangerous distraction) and looking for the original.
- We like time for ideas to germinate and then focused making periods.
- We love the outdoors. Being stuck inside just doesn't work for us in the same way.
- We like working with people who get it. This was so clear on our recent training weekend with fellow Leverhulme Scholars attached to the egg. A group of artists who really gels and connects. Who are honest, warm and open. In this environment our creativity flourishes.
- We like talking, mostly informally in the pub or at home with a pot of tea, but we like making more! We're enjoying finding things out through getting up and working it out rather than objectifying through discussion.
As I sit back on yet another train to London. I look into the diary and realise this is it. Dot and Ethel with the right focus and room to thrive could very well be a brand, a digital presence and a really thrilling cultural offer. But only as long as we remember the simple premise that we must breathe, keep getting up and find our way through making.