Elle Dillon Reams and Joseph Clowser

Please tell us who you are and what you’ve been working on recently.

We started working together artistically whilst training at East 15. Since graduating we have teamed up on various projects over the years from their early days collaborating on Work Bard Play Bard with Smooth Faced Gents at The Pleasance to recent ACE funded digital R&D ‘PASSING’. This piece explored ideas of ‘code switching’ and ‘passing’ experiences, allyship and solidarity in LGBTQ+, BIPOC and Working Class communities, whilst also finding new ways to devise as a collective in the midst of a pandemic brought together only through digital means.

Joseph has worked professionally as a theatre maker and performer for nine years in devised pieces, ensemble-lead new writing and immersive projects across the UK including socio political community pieces ‘Talking To Hackney’ at Chats Palace Arts Centre and ‘A Search For Lost Causes’ at Frieze Fair. He has produced and lead projects such as short film ‘Klaus & Shelly’ and site specific promenade production ‘Cardboard Broadcasters’ with an ensemble of six at Secret Garden Party as well as various collaborations at Theatre503, The Pleasance, New Diorama and LGBTQ+ focused work at Above The Stag. He’s currently developing his practice to working more consistently as a producer & theatre-maker: spearheading socio-political projects focusing on Working-class & Queer themes, culture & history with a growing focus on recovering forgotten events and recounting them through a modern lense.

After winning the Imperial and Genesis Poetry Slam, Elle’s debut poetry book ‘Maladaptive’ will be published with Verve Poetry in January 2022. She is writer in residence at Tramshed, currently working on her debut novel, retainer signed with Janklow and Nesbit. Her debut play ‘HoneyBEE’ won 5 star reviews as well as both The Three Weeks Editor’s award, and ‘Best Newcomer’ from the Scotsman. Her upcoming play ‘MEAT’ will be released as part of Flugelman Theatre’s audio play season ‘MAKE ME’ in November 2021 before being staged at VAULT festival in February 2022.

What drew you to each other’s practice?

Already having formed a strong friendship whilst training there is an innate trust with each other that allows for honest, blunt and open discussion of ideas, the material we create and a shared sense of humour which is often present in the work created.

We bring out the best and bounce off each other, always motivating and inspiring to push forward.

We both bring different skill sets that have complimented our pairing together through various projects in the past whilst also sharing a similar mindset and taste, enjoying innovative form and more experimental structure in the work we make and see.

Verbatim based storytelling, uncovering lost history and individual stories is something that really excited the both of us. Elle recently worked on ACE funded Experimental Words album, in collaboration with Dr. Sam Gallivan – a piece of spoken word poetry exploring the parallels in preparing for medical surgery and  before going on stage as a performer – we are looking forward to finding ways to use the science central in the Carringtons story to inform the structure and the mood of the material we create together.

How will you use the 1:1 FUND?

This fund will allow us the time and space to try out new techniques in location-based research: visiting the location of the stories in Churt, visiting the archives in Woking and the surrounding landscape of the Devils Jumps & Surrey Hills which all feature in the true events to inspire our devising processes.

Challenging ourselves to try new techniques and follow our gut especially where we don’t necessarily think something is the obvious route. Staying open minded, playful and brave. Finding new ways of creating, storyboarding, writing and devising around the idea and themes and then rehearsing and workshopping any material created.





Joseph Clowser. Image by Ben Wulf.
Elle Dillon Reams. Image by Rosie Kernohan.
Joseph Clowser. Image by Ben Wulf.