Broadway Baby talks to Fourth Monkey, the biggest company at the fringe with a huge team of 80 actors and 10 crew! This year they are bringing a plethora of Grimm tales. Broadway Baby finds out more.
The festival is a beautiful bubble and a youth elixir all rolled into one, so why not? The attraction in all seriousness is the ability to showcase new work and share that with a truly active and engaged theatre and creative community, there is nothing like it on the planet.
Tell us about your shows
A season of grim tales inspired by the iconic works of the Brothers Grimm.
Why did you decide to take your shows to Space UK this year?
We’ve been coming to the Space now for too many years to remember and wouldn’t go anywhere else! We’ve had a number of requests and opportunities to do so, but to us The Space is the best managed venue at the fringe and the one that captures the true spirit of what the fringe is all about. Charles and his team are exceptional and it feels like a genuine home from home when we are there.
What are you most looking forward to at this year’s festival?
The weather, it’s the time of year I annually buy an umbrella, lose it, buy another and take it back to London…before losing that and buying another one at the following year’s fringe. Last year my colleague Anthony Hollis did a dash in the rain to grab an umbrella for each of us whilst we were in line at the ‘meet the press’ day and returned with the most bizarre selection of umbrellas I’ve ever seen! One a Japanese parasol and another the campest thing imaginable…this year, I’ll be buying my own I think!
Why Edinburgh? What’s the attraction?
The festival is a beautiful bubble and a youth elixir all rolled into one, so why not? The attraction in all seriousness is the ability to showcase new work and share that with a truly active and engaged theatre and creative community, there is nothing like it on the planet. Yes it cost’s a fortune, yes it is never easy and fills you with fears each year, but it is what theatre is all about. The good, the bad and the ugly, but there is much more good than bad and the ugly is gorgeous in itself!
Have you brought a show to the festival before?
Yes, many times. This will be our fifth year at the fringe with Fourth Monkey, and with three sell-out years behind us we feel we are starting to get the hang of it thankfully. We feel we are rising to the changing challenges with less stress and drama, each year offers something different and this year is exactly the same but we’re looking forward to it.
What makes your show unique amongst the thousands of others at the festival?
The sheer size of our ensemble of actors at the fringe, we are without doubt the biggest company at the fringe with a team of 80 actors and ten crew. Bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better of course, but we pride ourselves on our ensemble ethos of working and love the community feel of our company, which fits so well with that of the fringe, something our actors immerse themselves in year on year.
What has been the biggest challenge in getting your show ready for Edinburgh?
Logistics. Producing four shows, with a company of 80 actors takes a lot of planning, but thankfully thus far we are hanging in there!
Have you been to other venues at the festival?
No, and as I say we wouldn’t do so - the Space is literally home to us and suits our work. Charles and his team really support our work and that is invaluable and profoundly appreciated.
How did you create your show?
All our work this year is original and devised work, devising with a dramaturge in the room to create the script, so collaborative by design and it’s been a fun and rewarding process.
What’s the main thing you want to get out of the festival this year?
A great experience for our actors in training first and foremost, that is what it is all about in many respects coupled with a desire to find life beyond the fringe for some of our work if possible. A number of our previous works have transferred or toured afterwards and it would be good to recreate that this time too.
Can you tell us a bit about your company’s background?
Fourth Monkey is an actor training company based in London, we also have a professional touring company, which is borne out of our graduating actors.
If your show does well in Edinburgh, what do you want to do with it next?
Touring would be great again as mentioned above, or simply transferring it back to London, any opportunity to give a production a second life is an opportunity worth taking and one we would welcome.
Show Name: Fourth Monkey’s Grimm Tales (Four productions: Rapunzel, Hansel & Gretel, Little Red Cap & The Bloody Countess)
Production Company: Fourth Monkey
Venue: Niddry Street & The Space Triplex
Dates: 7-29th August
Times: From 4.30pm-midnight daily.
Twitter Handle @FourthMonkeyTC