January 17, 2023 Edge

Q&A: Ladies That Dig

Welcome to the first Q&A of 2023 and to kick things off, we’ve been lucky enough to have a lovely little natter with Kirstie Davis, the director of the hilarious and moving comedy-drama, Ladies That Dig.

All about the great outdoors and the people who enjoy it – read on to hear a little bit more about the show coming to The Edge from Thursday 16th – Saturday 18th February 2023 at 7:30 pm…

So, first things first, what brought about Ladies That Dig?

The team so enjoyed working together on Ladies That Bus that it was inevitable we would explore another topic. We were also really surprised and delighted by the response to Ladies That Bus. So we knew that the idea worked. But we were also having these discussions during a pandemic over zoom. It quickly became apparent how important outside spaces had become to the team and the more we thought about what to explore the more it became obvious that part of the way through those difficult times was embracing activities that took us outside. We started by talking to people on allotments and gardeners and this took us into other areas and other activities. We spoke to nearly 300 people and the stories flooded in. Many people told us how important it was to them to be able to be outside and how meditative it was. Digging for many people became a real lifesaver. 

How did you find blending the elements of theatrical drama and comedy with the real-life interviews you held during the creative process? 

The people we have met for both Ladies That Bus and Ladies That Dig have inspired us and got our creative juices going. Each time we have gone into this process without knowing what the stories will be or how they will shape the work. And each time we have been genuinely overwhelmed and amazed by people’s generosity at sharing their stories with us. Much of the comedy and drama comes directly from what we have been told. And although we have then gone on a theatrical flight of fancy all of it is rooted in a person or story that we have met or been told. For example, one of the archeologists that we spoke to told us it was the “closest thing to time travel” Just that phrase has inspired whole sequences and songs in the piece. And we had a real-time find of the century with our detectorist who has made the international news cycle with her extraordinary find, possibly linked to Richard The Third. 

What nugget of wisdom or words of persuasion could you offer to someone who is not in the slightest bit green-fingered but wants to embrace the great outdoors?

I am also not at all green-fingered. But I have been inspired by the many people we have met who are and what they get from being in a beautiful, outside space with other people. I think you just need to find your own way of embracing the outdoors – part of it is about being in the moment and finding an activity that allows you to just BE. So many people we talked to said that gardening or doing metal detecting or archeology really helps with their mental health and it doesn’t matter how good you are at the activity. For many of them, it is a vital part of their lives. 

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