'The Shopping Whisperer' - Secret Platform Theatre
Dorothy first became interested in devising in the 1980's through Joint Stock Theatre. Exploring real life stories and events through improvisation and theatre games and crafting these into a script meant that plays could emerge from exploration by groups of actors as well as through the more traditional vein of writer-led theatre. In the late 80s Dorothy created and ran the Women’s Theatre Company Visible Difference. The company devised, The Cradle Will Rock, working alongside playwright Jane Beeson. The play explored the idea of the maternal instinct. Was it nurture or nature?
The Lions Part placed an open letter in Saga magazine, "Calling All Land Girls", asking members if any of them had been in the Women’s Land Army in the second World War and inviting them to send reminiscences and material about their experiences to the Lions part. The response was over-whelming. We were flooded: photos, bits of costume, drawings, songs and 150 letters, most of them were written by hand, one comprised 24 double sides of A 4. It was an outpouring of untold stories. A year followed of meetings with Land Girls, getting them together to meet each other in workshops and generally immersing ourselves in their experiences and their world. An ACE grant for the R&D and first tour led to the script of Lilies on the Land. The play was structured around one farming cycle, but covered 7 years of the war. It transferred to The West End in 2010, toured Nationally 3 times and was later published by Nick Hern Books. It has since been staged all over the world, one year playing in Australia and California at the same time!
"Dorothy Lawrence makes a caustic, tough, bleakly funny Nancy: she also has the astonishing emotional reflexes required to tip the audience from heartbreak to gallows humour in the course of Lavery’s short scenes"
Time Out Critics Choice (4 stars)