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White Light Top of the Lighting Class for Fourth Monkey
UK – Based in North London, Fourth Monkey Theatre Company offers innovative and inspired actor training for the contemporary world of performance. It is also a repertory theatre company, with productions being performed throughout the UK and overseas. Its original and alternative approach to teaching drama has made it one of the most reputable drama schools in the UK. Last year, the company set up its own premises in Finsbury Park to house both its training and productions. They recently approached White Light who worked with them to supply a range of state-of-the-art lighting equipment.
Fourth Monkey has been running for six years and was formed by current artistic director Steve Green. He comments: “With Fourth Monkey, I really wanted to create an alternative approach to actor training. As a student myself, I found that traditional acting methods were missing something. Everything seemed far too grounded. I wanted to create an environment that was about collaboration and ensemble; where students were learning naturally, on the job as it were.”
Fourth Monkey offers both the one year ‘Year of the Monkey’ course alongside the ‘Two Year Rep’ course. There are more than 100 current students and the company offers two full scholarships every year in partnership with The Stage.
Steve adds: “For us, we want the actors we train to engage with the audience as soon as possible. We don’t believe in a two year build up to that one showcase performance. We want our actors onstage, performing throughout their time with us. Similar to the old-fashioned Rep style of theatre, we believe the best way of learning is to do so by constantly performing on a stage.”
As a result, the company has several performances each year; many of which are housed in its London base. Steve comments: “It’s fantastic that we are able to host so many different productions in one place. It really allows us to ensure that our ethos is implemented and that the students get the most out of their time here. That said, we want to ensure that the facilities the students have are of industry standard. Therefore we approached WL to upgrade our existing lighting set-up.”
As a result, Fourth Monkey worked closely with WL to decide which lights would suit their London base. This saw them drawing on Martin Aura LEDs, Selecon Acclaim Fresnels and ETC Source Fours.
Steve states: “What was great about working with a company such as WL is that their attitude is reflective of ours. They were extremely collaborative and supportive; providing us with the advice and guidance we required. The lights in our main spaces have simply transformed any production that has taken place in there and we are also using their equipment as we tour our shows across the UK.”
Unlike other drama schools, Fourth Monkey is the only one which has a graduate touring company that consists, exclusively, of graduates at the very beginning of their careers.
Steve adds: “The whole purpose of the graduate company is to ensure we guide actors through the transitional period of finishing their studies to joining the world of being a performer. It’s important that, for us, we create collaborative relationships that are sustainable and that will simply develop over time. We believe that we have achieved this with WL and are extremely grateful for all of their support.”
photos: Anthony Hollis
11th July 2016
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