This week I caught up with the Ted half of ‘Holly&Ted‘, a brilliant new theatre duo taking to stages across the UK this summer – in this interview I find out all about their exciting new show ‘Pond Wife’, as well as their aspirations as a company and journey so far.
- Tell us about your company Holly and Ted. How did it start, and how did it come to be what it is now?
Holly&Ted was born out of a combination of things, firstly Holly & I both trained at Playbox Theatre Company in Warwick as children, and their amazing training really helped to guide us towards making devised work, and focusing on our own personal strengths, then when we continued our training at Falmouth University we explored these skills in a more contemporary theatre context.
Once we graduated, it was hard to find a time when a large group of people could meet top rehearse, and so inspired by amazing companies like Rash Dash, and our Falmouth peers Clerke and Joy – we became a duo.
- What kind of work do you love to make?
We wanted to make the kind of theatre that we wanted to see, theatre that embraces pop culture, theatre with a message, theatre that can make a difference, but mostly theatre that is fun. There is nothing worse than boring theatre, We’d rather make bad theatre than boring theatre.
- What are you working on at the moment?
Our current project is a show called Pond Wife, which is an adaptation of The Little Mermaid, set in a bathtub in 1997. We both love fairytales, and the magic that they contain but are often left feeling a little disapointed by the female representation in them. You’re usually either an innocent ingenue or an evil queen, and you always need a man to rescue you. With this in mind we’ve adapted the story in our own way, there is no longer a love interest. instead of falling in love with a Prince, and sacrificing her voice and tail for him, she does it because she hears music for the first time when she swims ashore, and she falls in love with music.
- What should the audiences expect?
Audiences should expect some terrible dance routines, an amazing soundtrack of Nineties/early naughties pop, and a really fun night out.
- What do Holly and Ted hope to achieve with their work?
Most of all, we just want our work to be seen! We’re so early in our careers that it’s hard to have an aspiration beyond that at the moment.
Ultimately we’re both quite political people and i think we’d like to use our medium of cheesy fun theatre to help us to process our opinions on the current state of the world, and to start a dialogue with the audience. We’re going through massive upheaval at the moment politically, and Pond Wife is playing over the election weekend, so who knows what the country will be like when we open in Oxford!
- Late last year you were accepted on to the ‘No Strings Attached’ scheme. Tell us about what it is and what it meant for you as a company.
No Strings Attached is a grant scheme from Farnham Maltings, which offers £1000 on a ‘no strings attached’ basis, so each company that recieves the grant can use it in whichever way helps them. They also pair you up with a mentor, and we got very lucky with our mentor! We managed to produce an entire show with the grant and used that as our previews for Pond Wife.
- Where can we see you next?
We’re taking Pond Wife on a mini tour:
Otherplace at the Basement: The Pit, Brighton
Sat 2nd – Mon 4th May – 4.30pm
New Wimbledon Studio, London
Thurs 7th – Sat 9th May – 8:30pm
The Old Fire Station, Oxford
Friday 22nd May, 7pm and Saturday 6th June, 4.30pm
- If you could make any piece of theatre, no limits at all, what would it be, where would you stage it and how would you do it?
We’re both passionate about community engagement, and taking theatre out to places where people often wouldn’t see it, so i think we’d love to go to a remote rural village somewhere and work alongside the community to make work that resonates with them.
Thank you so much for speaking to us Teddy, we’re incredibly excited about catching your show soon!
Links: www.hollyandted.com for all major information
Follow them on Twitter at: @hollyandted