The Stage Scholarships 2018: Fourth Monkey Actor Training Company
Fourth Monkey offers two half-scholarships, which include a trip to Italy to work with Antonio Fava. It has a graduate touring company, 95% employment rate and a host of industry contacts, says Lisa Martland
Last year, 21-year-old Carla Cuscito, from Bari in Italy and Naomi Denny, 23, from Brighton, won The Stage Scholarship for Fourth Monkey Actor Training Company. On hearing the news, Cuscito said: “At Fourth Monkey you can be whatever you want to be, people support you and become your family. I knew after I took my first step in the Monkey House that it was the place I should be.”
Fourth Monkey has a unique role as part of The Stage Scholarships scheme, offering “innovative, relevant and inspiring” actor training for the contemporary world of performance, with an emphasis on repertory, ensemble and working with established practitioners.
Successful applicants are invited to learn their craft as part of an ensemble repertory company at Fourth Monkey’s purpose-built venue in Finsbury Park, the Monkey House.
There are two half-scholarships (worth a total of £20,000) available and an opportunity to pursue the company’s accelerated two-year actor training programmes, working across four terms a year for 40-plus hours a week.
Alongside its tuition, Fourth Monkey actors benefit from travelling, studying and performing overseas (students spend a sabbatical commedia dell’arte course working in Italy with Antonio Fava) and throughout the UK.
Students also participate in four showcase seasons of productions in London in repertory before completing their training.
The company places an emphasis on physical theatre and collaboration, with partners including Complicite, Told by an Idiot, Theatre Re, All In and Canterbury’s Marlowe Theatre.
Underpinning the approach is the creation of a strong and diverse ensemble made up of artists versatile enough to work as actors as well as theatremakers, with numerous successful alumni companies delivering work nationally and internationally.
Notable alumni companies include Les Enfants Terribles, Human Zoo Company, the all-female ensemble About Wolves, absurdist and experimental creative partnership Attila, and site-specific company Shrink.
Former students are working extensively in theatre (recent credits include roles in the West End, Shakespeare’s Globe and London’s National Theatre), TV, film and commercials. In September 2017, the school boasted a graduate employment rate of 95% and an industry retention rate of 93%.
An ongoing investment in students’ creative prowess continues well beyond graduation. Upon completion of training, Fourth Monkey actors go on to work in all mediums of the industry as well as for the Monkey Ensemble, its graduate professional touring company.
Fourth Monkey’s artistic director Steve Green says: “We want our training to have a contemporary resonance for what we feel the industry requires now, and for our actors to be industry-ready in two years, but the training also encourages them to develop the knowledge and ability to create work for themselves, something we see as essential and valuable to both the actor and the industry itself.”
Last year’s other Fourth Monkey winner, Naomi, sums up what the opportunity means to her: “Fourth Monkey has such a great attitude towards the changing world of the arts. The chance to experience training at such a great school is something that wouldn’t have been possible without this scholarship.”
Course: Two-year rep-accelerated actor training programme
Educational level: Post-school
Number of scholarships offered: Two half-scholarships
Value of scholarship: £10,000 per half-scholarship (£20,000 total)
What costs are covered? Fees, travel to Italy for the residential commedia dell’arte course with Antonio Fava
Where is the school? Seven Sisters Road, London
Likely audition date: March 3 – for the all-day audition applicants are asked to prepare a two-minute classical and contemporary speech and ensure they wear comfortable movement clothing for the physical workshop.
How do I apply? Visit the audition page (fourthmonkey.co.uk/auditions) and complete the online form, inserting The Stage in the ‘where did you hear about us’ drop-down question. A non-refundable audition fee of £25 is payable.