is the seldom-quoted fourth monkey of the ancient Japanese proverb. Quite simply, Shizaru embodies the principles of doing no evil, or more simply, doing good. This, alongside the evolutionary association with our primate cousins and the way our training is a forerunner in the evolution of theatre training in the UK, is why we became known as Fourth Monkey.
We deliver a professional alternative to conservatoire training from our bespoke company training base in North London.
We have a diverse group of alumni who work in the creative industries, with 97% of these currently in artistic employment. Since it was formed in 2010, Fourth Monkey has created challenging, original and visceral work and continues to promote diversity through the industry. Fourth Monkey became a Registered Charity in England and Wales in 2015 (no. 1164406).
In an industry that is in a constant state of transformation, actors of today must be ready to learn, adapt and collaborate within any number of professional environments. This is why at Fourth Monkey, we believe that training for the world of contemporary performance requires an innovative, inclusive and forward thinking approach.
Our training programmes centre on equipping each individual with the wide variety of skills they will need for a career as a professional actor, whilst focusing on the strength of the collective and empowerment of the ensemble.
We deliver two actor training courses that get you industry-ready in just one or two years.
Two Year Rep
Year of the Monkey
A Personal Audition Process
We want to celebrate every individual who comes through our doors and escape the often intellectual and exclusive attitude towards actor training in the UK. Our approach looks to celebrate your humanity, encourage your passion and help you to seek out physical and emotional truth.
We also believe strongly in the power of the group dynamic and ensemble ‘play’. We develop collaborative, open performers and creative individuals who are not driven by the pursuit of stardom or the individual spotlight, but by the desire to deliver bold, visceral and collaborative work.
Access to the Arts
We want to discover talented actors and offer them access to exceptional training. We are especially keen to find those actors who may not have thought a career in the arts was something they could pursue. Our aim is to demystify theatre training and show enthusiastic young creatives that a career in the arts is open to them. If you would like to receive a free Fourth Monkey Introduction to Drama School workshop, just drop us an email.
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.
Left: Shane Dempsey, National Theatre Connections Director and Practitioner on 2nd Year Play Project & Contemporary Production
We believe that actors-in-training should benefit from as much practical experience of performance as possible, which is why our Two Year Rep students take part in six repertory seasons across their training. In the final eight months of training, all productions are open to the public to showcase our students’ performances to the wider industry.
Once a Monkey, Always a Monkey
Many of our alumni will pursue the traditional paths of agent representation once they have completed their training with us, with the majority successfully signing with an agent upon graduation. At the same time, many of our actors also benefit from the company’s particular focus on giving students the tools and empowerment to create professional work, a theatre company or ensemble of their own.
We work across all areas of the industry, with an alumni retention rate of 97%* over five years (*2012-17). In addition, a number of our graduates go on to work as part of the Fourth Monkey professional ensemble, a successful Arts Council funded touring company comprised entirely of graduates from the training programme.
The Onward Journey
We always look to develop our actors and their work beyond the training programme, offering additional elective short courses, weekend intensives and professional development through the Evolve programme. This is an important part of the commitment to our alumni – they are not pushed out of the nest upon graduation and forced to fend for themselves – we make sure that our training develops alongside the needs of our actors as they encounter the demands of a changing industry.
This is one of the many reasons that makes training with Fourth Monkey refreshingly different. It represents a true progression in the current approach to actor training, and we are proud to be at the forefront of this evolution within the contemporary industry.