“There is no exquisite beauty without some strangeness in the proportions” FRANCIS BACON
In 2008 Shady Dolls received a grant from the London Development Agency to develop their skills in projection and lighting design and worked alongside a number of leading theatre practitioners to develop An Ornery Tale the Company’s first self-written project. Continuing their fascination with the grotesque, and employing a keen sense of the perverse, the Shady Dolls conjured a world of distorted images in the tale of sisters Minnie, Ruby and Constance Hately, who found fame and notoriety upon the Musical Hall stage.
An Ornery Tale draws heavily on a breadth of influences including vaudeville, Grimm fairy tales, Angela Carter, the Wisconsin Death Trip, Spoon River Anthologies and Tom Waits. It is a constantly evolving piece which draws upon the full range of Shady Dolls’ skills in multimedia, improvisation, storytelling, cabaret and musical theatre.
Continuing the Company’s collaboration with playwright Steven Dykes and in association with New Cross Theatre (NXT), Shady Dolls produced his part Gothic fairy-tale / part polemicplay Deadstock, as the perfect accompaniment to An Ornery Tale, in a series of special platform performances in April 2008. The invited audience included a range of industry professionals, practitioners, students and collaborators, and tickets were also awarded as a thank you to those who had shown particular support to the Company over the past four years.
Shady Dolls continue to develop An Ornery Tale, performing scratch pieces at venues such as the Blue Elephant Theatre, and working towards securing funding for a second intensive developmental phase towards the end of 2009.