DMU performers debut their first show on campus since the pandemic

Risky encounters, embarrassing moments and wistful reflections are all part of a captivating student performance taking place at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU).


Final-year Performing Arts students have worked closely with dance theatre company Lost Dog to produce Skinned, a show which cleverly overlaps the students’ personal stories with tales of selkies, mythological beings that transform from seal to human form by shedding their skin.

In a blend of physical theatre, original dialogue, live music and song, the students will offer a glimpse into what it’s like to be in their skin.

Free tickets can be reserved online for performances at DMU’s PACE building on Thursday 11 and Friday 12 November, and a live stream will also be available for remote access.

The experience has given students the chance to work with professionals as they prepare for their future careers, developing key skills from storyboarding and directing to editing and marketing.


Among the 16 students involved in Skinned are Isobel Thurston, Corey West, Molly Kelly, Philippa Sansome and Emilija Dicpetryte, who have all taken on additional responsibilities to promote and market the show.

Isobel, who is managing the show’s dedicated Twitter account, said: “It’s been a very valuable experience. A proper look into a professional setting, working how we would if we were part of a company.

“The biggest challenge was bringing 16 people together and keeping us all focused. Thanks to Lost Dog though, we learned to work as an ensemble and the show has a bit of all of us in it, so it feels really special to us all as individuals.”

The all-important website, containing information about the show and cast, as well as glimpses from behind the scenes, was designed and set up by Corey.


“Lost Dog’s approach to performance-making took me by surprise. I had a preconception that working with a professional company would be strict and rigid, but they were really nice and easy to work with,” he said.

“They specialise in making all different styles of and instead of looking for the next big thing, they create work that feels right and tells a story. It’s been a really interesting process and they’ve helped us to learn a lot about ourselves and our strengths as performers.”

Responsible for running the show’s Instagram account, Molly said: “It’s been interesting learning to use the platform in a professional way and it’s actually made me consider a marketing career path within the arts sector, which is something I’d never thought of before.

“Working with Lost Dog has taught me so many new skills. They treated us like professional artists, while both challenging us and playing to our strengths. I’d love to get a job with a company like them when I graduate.”

Philippa set up the Eventbrite page for bookings and manages the show’s Facebook page. “It’s been such an amazing experience,” she said.

“It’s given us a real-life flavour of what it’s like to work in industry and we now know what to expect after university. I’ve never worked with a company that’s encouraged the use of our own stories and it’s such a lovely thing. It’s made everything feel so personal and special.”

For updates, follow Skinned on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.

Posted on Monday 8th November 2021

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