meet dimba damba -the latest theatre company to come from Made in Bristol initiative

5 Jul 2024
Photos by Jamie Davies

On 4 July, Dimba Damba began their debut show Dead on Our Feet.
The new company, made up of 11 young theatre-makers at the start of their careers have been working together for 12 months as the 14th cohort of Bristol Old Vic's hugely successful Made in Bristol (MIB) project.

We caught up with them to see how it's been going.

  • Hi Dimba Damba! Did any of you know each other before coming together for MIB?


Yes, quite a few of us knew each other through Young Company as well as being friends outside of Bristol Old Vic. But those who didn’t know each other have become close as a company over the course of this year and Dimba Damba are now a company of friends making theatre.


'Dead on Our Feet' production photo

  • How did you come up with the name Dimba Damba?

Dimber-Damber is an old English phrase meaning the chief Rogue of a group who is cunning and wily. Whilst we aren’t a group of thieves (as the phrase was originally used for) we certainly are a cunning and wily group that has fun creating work to show you!



  • What does Dead on Our Feet mean in context of this show and why does the subject matter to you?


Dead on Our Feet is a show about overworking in today’s world. We recognise the struggle we all go through just to be able to keep our neck above water. As young theatre makers we experience the grind of having to have lots of different jobs to be able to have somewhere to live and to have the possibility of being able to stay creative which is utterly exhausting. Dead on Our Feet speaks to the fact that no one should have to sacrifice money or a job just to be able to be happy and to do what you want.


  • Is comedy important to you as part of your work? Why?


Comedy is very important to us as a collective. We have alot of fun in the rehearsal space and we feel it is important to reflect that in our work because we want to make people laugh; it’s who we are.


  • How did you put the show together? What was the process? Who did what basically!


We started the process at the beginning of June where we found a subject that we all wanted to explore that universally affected us all. Once we landed on that we started generating material and getting things on their feet. Eventually we established roles and the writers began writing a script with a collective story in mind. 

As a group we then edited the script to make it a piece that fully reflected all of us. It was a very collaborative process but we all had our areas of specialism that were in charge of leading said area, such as music, movement and set design before we landed on a final decision. 


  • If someone else was thinking of doing the Made in Bristol scheme, what advice would you give them?

Have fun! It’s such an intense creation process that sometimes it’s easy to forget what an incredible experience and opportunity Made in Bristol is. It’s a free theatre making course that teaches you so much, you have the opportunity to make your very own show with the Bristol Old Vic completely at your disposal. So make sure you enjoy it because there are no programmes like it and you’ll learn so much about the theatre world and how making a show actually works. 

Find out about how you can be part of Made in Bristol