Conversation with Emily Dobbs: Actor & Founder of Jagged Fence Theatre Company

Copyright Charlie Carter

After training at Central School of Speech & Drama, Emily went on to found Jagged Fence Theatre Company. Their most recent production was a critically acclaimed adaptation of ‘The Seagull’ by Anya Reiss.

How did Jagged Fence come about? Did you always aspire to be a producer?

Well no, at first it was a vehicle for me to act really, me and a couple of other girls who I trained with at Central. But then I realised that I had a certain aptitude for producing and I began to enjoy that side of it more and more. After a couple of years of producing and acting in Jagged Fence productions, I then produced the first play that I wasn’t in, ‘Lizzie Finn’ at Southwark Playhouse.

How did you find taking a step back from acting for ‘Lizzie Finn’?

It completely changed my whole outlook, and actually I didn’t really enjoy that first process very much! But it was good in a sense, because it made me really differentiate between my job roles in different productions. Now, the ones that I exclusively produce, I can enjoy and focus on producing, and the ones I’m going to be in…I’m very clear about that from the beginning with both myself and the creative team.

Is producing something that’s grown on you then?

Yes. I feel now….that I don’t think I could be just an actress. I’d hate the life….I think if I hadn’t started producing, I’d probably still be trying to make a career in acting, but there’s no way I’d have done the plays that I’ve done, or have the agent that I’ve got, if I hadn’t started the company. I love the fact that now I have the freedom to create something from nothing. Continue reading