REVIEW: ★★★★ Dressed, Battersea Arts Centre

After a successful run at Edinburgh Fringe 2018, ‘dressed’, opens its UK tour at Battersea Arts Centre.

Told with a tender intimacy, ‘dressed.’, is a true story told by four women who have been friends since school. It is a celebration of overcoming tragedy through friendship and creativity. After being stripped at gun point, Lydia set out to redress herself with a new healing set of armour. Lydia now only wears clothes she has made. 

It begins with the four dancing around the stage, interacting with the audience and playing with each other. It is a moment of joy and complicite and opens the show with much intrigue. A touching scene follows with the explanation of how the four met at dance school, and the big reveal of the dance routine that they used to do together.

With the use of a microphone, and getting the audience to close their eyes, Lydia tells her story. It is then followed by the howls of women, and collectively like the howls of a wolf pack, we all share in her pain.

Using her sewing machine, Lydia explains how after her attack- she locked herself in her attic and began creating four costumes. She had no idea that they were ever going to be used, but with the help of her friends- they are brought to life. The four each have their specialty. Olivia is into movement, Josie-comedy, Nobahar-singing, and Lydia making clothes. They each use their strengths, and get to showcase their skill in a mini variety show which is an extension of Lydia’s imagination.

An equally heart-wrenching and heart-warming moment, comes near the end when Lydia is in a ball surrounded by her costumes on the floor, and is joined by Nobahar singing a song of recovery and strength to Lydia. The girls support each other, laugh and cry together, and we understand that they will be ok- together.

It’s Lydia’s story; and she takes ownership at the end. She explains how she found strength in creating her own wardrobe by hand, and now tutors other women in sewing. She has a blog, and wants her story to be heard. 

Victoria Margaret

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