ShadyJane picked up the award for their show Sailing On, which turns a ladies' loo into a unique setting for storytelling. Based at The Point in Eastleigh, ShadyJane have been on their Associate Artist Scheme since 2009. This is the second year that they have performed at the Festival.
We were thrilled to be nominated and wouldn't let each other talk about or even contemplate winning, said Charlotte Cassey, who runs the all-female company with Deborah Lampard and Victoria Holloway. It's such a clichÃ© but we just kept saying how nice it was to be nominated, and we really meant it. We were stunned when they called our name.
All three members of the company studied BA Drama at the University of Winchester and then returned to study MA Devised Performance. We worked together consistently, added Charlotte. The staff really encouraged and supported us and we completed the MA as a company, which gave us the space and guidance to really shape our practice. Our experience at Winchester has been invaluable to the development of us as individuals and for the company as whole.
This year's Total Theatre category for Best Emerging Company attracted over 400 nominations. The University is currently a sponsor of the awards and also publishes Total Theatre Magazine which covers a wide range of contemporary practice from street arts through to puppetry to live art and theatre.
The success of ShadyJane follows on from another graduate company, The River People, winning an award in the emerging category in 2009. ShadyJane now hope to tour with Sailing On, taking it across the country.
A print-ready digital photo of Shady Jane is available for download by clicking here