Established in 2010 as a contemporary Drama School to provide a fresh and dynamic approach to professional actor training and challenge the status quo of traditional conservatoire schools.
As a Drama School, Fourth Monkey are committed to changing the face of contemporary actor training, by offering genuinely innovative and inclusive industry responsive training courses aimed at developing and empowering the next generation of professional actors and creative theatre makers.
Training with Fourth Monkey encourages connections between disciplines, practices and activities within the field of performance and creation. Our students “learn by doing” in a range of professional vocational classes, workshops, performance projects and public events that guide them to being industry-ready using the unique Fourth Monkey thematic training structure of ACT. MAKE. MOVE. COLLABORATE.
Fourth Monkey is also a critically acclaimed Ensemble Theatre Company renowned for its visually stunning and compassionate storytelling.
Our mission is to revolutionise the arts through innovative actor training, performance excellence and collaboration.
Our vision is to create societal and cultural change through performance and training excellence. It speaks to our values, the things that we think are important.
Industry Leading Professionals
Fourth Monkey is a close-knit collaborative community of core teaching staff, talented freelance industry professionals and of course our students. Our training team work alongside some of the finest national and international theatre practitioners to create a unique, dynamic working environment where individual expression is valued and celebrated.
Our training effectively facilitates an apprenticeship with leading practitioners from across a diverse range of fields. This hands-on and relevant approach produces a performer who is trained in multiple ways of working – a rounded artist who is confident to work with anyone and to create creative working methodologies of their own within an ensemble based repertory training environment.
Changing the Face of Actor Training
In 2010 we set out to create a training methodology which reflected the requirements of the performance landscape and one that gave a platform to a greater range of stories than were being presented in modern theatre and broadcast media. The goal of Fourth Monkey was, still is, and will always be – to create a world ignited by a visceral cacophony of bold and diverse voices and, since its inception, I believe that we have gone a long way towards making that happen. We are not there yet and neither is the industry, but we are advocates for positive change and also as well as an ever-more pivotal voice in recognising that change through our continued evolution and innovation. The industry has changed a great deal in the last ten years, as have we, yet we are relentless in our own pursuit of enhancement as well as enhancement and growth within the wider industry itself.
Our curriculum has been celebrated for its decolonisation by our accrediting partner Falmouth University and our students, working as an ensemble, are provided a space to celebrate and define their own individual voice within it. Our philosophy has often been imitated – as they say imitation should be seen as the greatest complement; but our genuine desire to challenge the status quo and our fearlessness in doing so is what sets us apart from those who choose to follow. We are not perfect – no-one is, but we are genuinely committed and striving to change the industry landscape within which we work to be a better and more inclusive space for everyone.
Shizaru is the seldom-quoted fourth monkey of the ancient Japanese proverb. Quite simply, Shizaru embodies the principles of ‘doing good’. This, alongside our training representing the primordial evolution of theatre training in the UK, is why we are known as Fourth Monkey.
Access to the arts begins at point of entry and this is why our work has been founded on a desire to reach new audiences through our expansive outreach work whilst enabling those who wish to audition for us to do so without paying a fee for the ‘privilege’ of the audition. Our auditions are proudly set as zero fee for all. We passionately believe that recruitment is our cost to bear and not that of the applicant ,and starting from this foundation enables us to create a truly accessible and inclusive space for our actors to train and allows our practitioners to push new boundaries within their work.
Fourth Monkey started life as a revolution. It has now become a genuinely visionary trailblazer and we are grateful to all of those who have been part of our journey and those we are yet to encounter.
Steve Green & Charleen Qwaye