Getting to know 'Theatre with Legs'

By Lucy Bairstow and Jess Murrain, creators of DIGS

March 13th, 2017

We make work that is devised, experimental, feminist, a little bit dyslexic and always inherently live. You’ll probs find us moving vigorously upstairs in the rehearsal room at Platform or chatting over some image board whilst devising our newest work (that more often than not involves lots of stage glitter and Red Stripe cans). Looming over a loop peddle and last minute lunches, we’ll be talking late into the afternoon about family rows and the meaning of love. Pop in and say hey? We’re chatty after 12pm once those morning blues have subsided.

As emerging theatre makers, the journey since graduating from drama school (we met whilst training as actors at Central) has been a total surprise and an adventure at every turn. Our work and the making of it has been littered from the start with deep and passionate conversation in the pub and in our kitchen, endless bank balance worries, dancing, loss of our possessions during those particularly frantic moments and gorgeous collaborations with our artistic family and friends. But most importantly, the material and the founding of the company itself has flourished from a deep rooted and loving friendship between two best mates who share a particular sense of humour. Our performance history pre-dates nervy scratch and spoken word nights in basements and began instead one rainy afternoon in a rehearsal room in Swiss Cottage.

I mentioned collaborations, and therein lies the heart of Theatre with Legs. We’ve been championed and supported along the way by our wider network of mates and artist friends, many of whom are emerging makers and practising artists themselves and are nurturing their own ventures whilst balancing another four jobs or something crazy like that in the meantime. Casj.

These collaborations stem often from a mutual love in the others’ work and we’re lucky enough to have been supported in the very early days by the likes of poet and DJ - James Massiah, fine artists Eleanor Watson and Barley Beal, housemate and all round creative being Tashy Maffioletti, Etch. And of course the glorious Brainchild who spotted us when they came to see our very first show 'Maybe I Should Freeze my Eggs'. (Brainchild Festival is marked with a big fat cross and glitter in our calendars every year)…

It's been pretty lush since then. We’re still making stuff. We’re still seeing stuff. We’re hoping to hit Edinburgh Fringe with our latest show 'DIGS' in August which was made at Platform, amongst other artists in the building who always accommodate our vibe and our energy. The show itself is for anyone who has ever loved, lost or shared a house. We’re thinking maybe a concept album on death and gender will follow? Something raw and sonic… whatever that means. Who knows! In the meantime though, we feel incredibly lucky to be a resident company at this wonderful multi discipline project space. We’re supported at Platform, given a private place to get on making, with creative ears and eyes to listen to new material. Being invited into a communal building that is buzzing with new work, conversation and art makes it all the easier to produce theatre that we like.

No surprise either that we’ve ended up making a show about the very nature of shared space.

‘DIGS’ is on at Camden People’s Theatre 23-24th March
And again at Pleasance (London), 6th-10th June