Rise Up: Flat 4 Theatre

“We started Flat 4 Theatre because we agreed that theatre isn’t telling women’s stories the way women deserve”, say Holly and Natasha behind the company.

The women met while working at a cinema, soon became housemates and over conversations complaining about the lack of theatre work, made their own company named after the flat they shared together.

We wanted to see full-bodied women on stage, strong women on stage, vulnerable women on stage. We wanted to see women being more than one thing on stage; to be as full and complex and as powerful as we are every single day in the real world.

Flat 4 Theatre

The pair agree that they want to essentially reflect the truth, which in the theatre industry thus far, has been dominated by men, and has therefore failed to do.

Though having started their company not even a year ago, Flat 4 Theatre have certainly hit the ground running, with their debut show Butterflies, by Natasha Brotherdale Smith, premiering at Vault Festival in 2019 to a sold-out audience.

Butterflies tells the story of “Three girls. Three bedrooms. Three phones. An endless stream of notifications. Witty and honest, Butterflies navigates the world of revenge porn, tinder bios and wagon wheels.”

Holly and Natasha agree that it was the hardest thing they have ever done and they truly jumped into the deep-end with it, but their hard work payed off, especially as Natasha says her highlight in Flat 4 Theatre so far was sitting at the back of the audience as the show started. She was also certainly relieved when the audience laughed, realising that other people found her writing as funny as she does.

After the huge success of Butterflies, Flat 4 Theatre are taking their story of Shannon, Frankie and Floss in interwoven monologues to Edinburgh at Zoo Venues, Playground 1. Taking a show to Edinburgh has been nothing short of a dream for Flat 4 Theatre, and they will be previewing the show at Theatre 503 on 15 and 20 July, and at The Lion and Unicorn from 22 – 24 July before they get to Edinburgh.

The team are hugely passionate about their show and truly believe in its importance. Being an intimate portrayal of young women today, with highs and lows and the resilience that keeps us all going, this funny show will make you laugh, cry and the cast are nothing short of brilliant.

Knowing that their work is resonating with audiences, Flat 4 Theatre hope to be in research and development for a new play in a year’s time, which is currently in its early stages of being written. They are keen to grow as a company and ensure that their work is causing a ripple in the theatre world.

This fully female-led company, largely LGBTQ in demographic with a felted llama as their mascot create work that reflect them and their understanding of the world, and it sounds like they are certainly getting things right in the work they produce.

Butterflies is a show made up of cast and creatives including Georgia Bishop, Chloe Hudson, Holly Hudson, Fizz Margereson, Milly Roberts, and Natasha Brotherdale Smith.

Quick-Fire Questions

  • In the theatre world, who inspires you? “Penelope Skinner, an absolutely brilliant writer, Headlong Theatre and Vicky Featherstone”
  • What is your favourite show that you’ve seen? “Either Linda by Penelope Skinner or The Anatomy of a Suicide
  • What do you think we need more of in theatre? “Diversity, minority representation and felted llama mascots”

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