Who is Dorothy?
'My Name is Dorothy' is based on the true (?) story of Dorothy Lawrence, a British journalist who disguised herself as a soldier and spent three weeks on the Western front in France during WW1. After her discovery, she was banned from journalism but wrote a book about her experiences which was finally published in 1919. Later in her life, she claimed under investigation that she was raped as a child by a Church guardian and was consequently sectioned and spent the rest of her life in Colney Hatch Lunatic Asylum, later called Friern Hospital.
In the current exhibition on WW1 at the Imperial War Museum in London, she is represented by a single A5 photograph and a small description. Through this production, we question why her story has not been sufficiently recognised in British history.
The originality of the piece lies in the question of Dorothy Lawrence’s existence. The collective looked for information about her, but could not find any concrete details about her life apart from the book published under her name in 1919. Through her story, the collective confronts the difficult questions of propaganda, censorship, and the battle of the individual against institutional repression, which are all prominent issues today. Our piece - through the use of shadow and light and a black and white aesthetic - is an innovative and experimental set-driven production, which explores how a cast of two can take on the multiple characters and forces within Dorothy’s world.
The show has just premiered in London at Goldsmiths University on the 2nd and 3rd of June, taking the form of scratch performances for us to be able to improve and develop the piece further for our time in Edinburgh. We have received very positive feedback from our audience, including a few suggestions for improvement, and we will continue working hard to surpass ourselves!
Drew Rafton - Performer
Drew is currently studying English and Drama at Goldsmiths. Student Theatre and AmDram credits include Marius in Les Miserables - Musical, Mickey in Blood Brothers. Drew has also taken part in a number of notable original shows and played Chuck in Footloose at The New Alexandra Theatre in Birmingham. At university, he has enjoyed a plethora of performances as part of the Musical Theatre Society and has continued to develop an extensive theatre practice! He has collaborated with emerging production company Creative Vortex in their national tour of Devils on Horseback, revealing the secretive conscientious objector trials in South London.
Unfortunately, he's also a Birmingham City FC supporter!
Delphine Bueche - Performer and Co-Producer
Studying English and Drama at Goldsmiths, Delphine formerly spent two years in full-time acting training at the Conservatoire de Theatre de Genève, Switzerland, with roles ranging from Falstaff to Hecuba. This was evidently not enough training, so in 2016, she took the opportunity of attending the Shakespeare Summer School at RADA for 5 weeks. Last year, she directed and produced her first play, Cursed, inspired from the Greek tragedy The Oresteia and successfully brought the play to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe which was reviewed as ‘the coolest and most inventive work’ (Always A Critic). Delphine has joined Creative Vortex production company on numerous projects, including directing on Devils on Horseback.
Mila G. Lawlor - Co-producer and Set Designer
Graduating from the Theatre and Performance Department at Goldsmiths, Mila has developed an extensive experience as a stage manager. She has worked on more projects that we can count and is now a confident technician and set designer. She has also worked outside university, including a work placement with Oily Cart company as well as Cie Le Sillon in Paris, volunteering with Albany’s Young Creatives, and worked as lighting technician for Berg Collective Festival at Slam. Having joined Delphine on the production of Cursed last year, she has since emerged as a talented producer. She is the team's marvellous handywoman!
Aiden O'Beirne - Co-Director
Graduating from the Theatre and Performance department at Goldsmiths this year, Aiden can not seem to escape WW1 productions. He's done 5! FIVE!!! In three years! He has experience writing and directing shows based on research into the letters and lives of female volunteer nurses in France. He has also collaborated with emerging production company Creative Vortex in their national tour of Devils on Horseback, revealing the secretive conscientious objector trials in South London. Aiden is looking forward to staging the little known story of Dorothy Lawrence and developing innovative performance techniques to bring Crossbow Collective's artistic and social goals to Edinburgh, and beyond!
Frankie Thompson - Co-Director
Frankie is currently studying Theatre and Performance at Goldsmiths University. She is a clown and performance artist performing in South East London. She has performed as part of the Royal Court Youth Theatre and the prestigious Young Pleasance company, which achieved a five star, sell out Edinburgh run in 2015. Her short film ‘Romeo and Juliet’ was screened at the Barbican as part of the Chronic Youth Film Festival in 2018. She is currently performing a short clown routine ‘metamorphosis’ at various venues across London and continues to develop an innovative and experimental theatre practice.
Clare Phelan - Choreographer
Clare is currently studying English and Drama at Goldsmiths. She has previously trained with NODA award-winning group WOW Youth Musical Theatre and Weymouth Dance Studio. Theatre credits include: Tracy Turnblad (Hairspray), Scaramouche (We Will Rock You) and Tiffany (Back to the 80s). Whilst Clare continues to perform, she has recently stepped away from the stage spotlights. Most notably, she was President and Choreographer of Goldsmiths Musical Theatre Society, which produced Our House the Musical, winning 'Best Society Event of the Year 2018'. Clare was a part of the original research and development process of ‘My Name is Dorothy’ and has lent her voice for the piece's voice-overs.
Who are we?
Crossbow Collective works with the medium of devised theatre, striving to provide an interactive experience for our audience through heightened performance style. We bring to life non-fictional stories of individuals in direct or indirect opposition to the system and institutions they dwell and live in. We explore these by bringing to light the strong antagonism which exists between individual narratives and the dominant media opinion, focusing on different forms of censorship.
We are a small and dedicated team. Most of us met last year at the occasion of The Samurai! Company's Cursed, which successfully ran in Edinburgh for a week last year thanks to the generosity of our wonderful backers! From last year's experience, some of us decided to join once more and we have devised an entirely new show. Delphine, Mila, Frankie and Aiden have all worked on Cursed! Drew, Clare and Delphine worked last year on a 10 minute piece inspired from Dorothy Lawrence's book, Sapper Dorothy. Following the success and positive feedback received for the piece in June 2017, we decided to transform it into a full length play, My Name is Dorothy.
My Name is Dorothy is a piece collaboratively devised by the collective, mostly based on Dorothy Lawrence's book, and partly inspired from writer Inés Lozano Palacio's text, Sapper Dorothy.
We have had the chance to meet with MA filmmaking students at Goldsmiths who happened to be working on Dorothy Lawrence as well, and they have made a 15 minute short film on her story, taking a very different perspective, check it out: Sapper Smith.
The collective hopes, after the run in Edinburgh, to continue performing with this piece in London in late 2018 as well as 2019 in various local festivals across the city, and hopefully be able to bring the piece to Geneva and/or Paris in the near future. We have the chance to be an international company and it would be an incredible opportunity to showcase our work outside the UK. In the future, we are also hoping to work on a double bill with the wonderful film crew mentioned above, to give our audiences wider perspectives on the topic.
How can you help us?
The Edinburgh Fringe being the financial venture it is, we will need your support to cover our costs out there! This year, we will be performing at Greenside @ Royal Terrace, in Jade Studio!
We will be living in Edinburgh for three weeks, as we will reach the city on the 31st of July and leave on the 18th of August! The show will run for two entire weeks ( 6-11, 13-18 August, with previews on 3rd, 4th, and 5th August) Your support will help us throughout our Edinburgh experience!
Venue: £2393. This would cover the entire venue costs.
Accommodation: £3107. This will help us cover most of the accommodation costs for the cast and crew!
PR + Marketing: £500. This will help us for printing and publicity costs, hopefully including some professional PR costs.
Thank you for your support!
Concerning our costs on costumes, scenography, set etc. we have received funding from Goldsmiths University Alumni and Friends fund this year, which has helped us create the entire project from scratch! Thank you!
Check us out on social (propaganda?) media ...
and email: firstname.lastname@example.org
AND TO CONCLUDE!
Well, if you have reached this sentence, we hope it means all of this was of much interest to you, please do not hesitate to contact us through Kickstarter or other forms of media(...) if you have any more questions! You can also send us an email on email@example.com
Once more, a big thank you, and if you cannot help us financially, please do share our work around you, come see us in Edinburgh, send us your good thoughts, and by any means, keep in touch and we shall too!
Risks and challenges
Both the cast and crew kept in mind the challenges of a festival such as the Edinburgh Fringe. Most of us are not first-timers anymore thanks to last year's production, during which we have learnt enormously, and we are ready to hit the road again, but remain more than ever aware of the risky venture that is the Edinburgh Fringe.
We will strive to stand out, once more, from the crowd, by enhanced publicity, particularly on the Royal Mile, and by taking every opportunity to get the collective known over our two weeks at the festival! We are ready to take on a lot of work to get the best chances of success!
We will be in Edinburgh before the official start of the festival which will maximise our chances in terms of publicity, as we will attend press events and reach out to reviewers early on.
The upcoming months will be dedicated to make the piece stronger after our scratch performances at Goldsmiths a few days ago!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)