Meet Holly Bond, 22, an English and Drama graduate who says work experience during her time at university helped set her on her future career path…
(Holly is in the orange!)
What did you think you'd be doing when you left university?
I did an English and Drama degree and mid-way through uni I started to be interested in theatre directing and producing. During my second year, I got onto The Almeida Theatre's Young Producers, where for six months, me and five other young people produced all the post-show events for the Almeida. I learnt so much from my time there, from really useful tools such as marketing and budgeting, as well as learning about ways in which we can make theatre accessible to younger people, it was great. I was shown everything from how to make posters to how much you price food in the café. I’d encourage any theatre students to look there for experience.
So how did you get involved in A Womb of One's Own?
Between first and second year I also did a The National Youth Theatre course. A group of women I met during my time there expressed an interest in creating work after the course finished. My friend Claire had also written a short dark comedy about her experience of having an abortion as a queer woman. I was interested in directing, and two other friends, Danica and Carla, were interested in acting. The play became an hour-long, four-person comedy and formed the basis of Wonderbox Theatre Company. Since then the script has been finalised by the BBC Comedy Writersroom. We became associate artists of The Space Theatre in East London and we’re now headed up the Edinburgh Fringe at Pleasance Dome!
What’s a typical day like for you now?
We don't have one producer in our company and it definitely takes up 90% of our work. On a typical day, if we have a show coming up, I can be emailing reviewers to come along, sending posters to print, updating social media or finding rehearsal space. Once we’re in the rehearsal room, all our focus is on the work and we’re rolling round, playing and improvising. Last rehearsal we spent an hour trying to become a big rowing boat on the floor....
What character do you play in the show and are you nervous about the performance?
A Womb of One's Own is about Babygirl, who is played by four different actors who show different sides of her personality. I play perhaps the most frightened version. I’m a bit nervous as I'm not usually one to get on stage, but having worked on the show for so long, it actually feels pretty special to finally jump inside it, instead of looking in.
How big is the cast and what have you learnt from everyone?
So it’s a four-person cast, made up of our small company, including writer and our actor/producers. The Wonderbox crew is constantly inspiring me to learn, work hard and have fun. They’re the most amazingly committed people and from them I have picked up so many skills. The dream team!
Tell us about The Charlie Hartill Fund…
The Charlie Hartill Special Reserve Fund is a fund that supports emerging comedians and theatre makers, to take a show to the Pleasance Theatre in Edinburgh for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. This year the theatre fund was given to another great company called Poor Michelle, and us. It’s a well-known award for emerging companies and we were so thrilled to find out we were one of the supported companies.
Finally, do you have any other projects in the pipeline?
A West End transfer? Joking! But after the Edinburgh Fringe there will hopefully be some exciting new opportunities for Wonderbox. We hope to continue doing what we do best, which is making those hard to talk about subject’s fun and engaging. In March this year we put on a play called FFS! which was a night of short comedies that looked at issues touching women today. We hope to expand one of these in autumn this year into a full-length production.
Go Holly! ??
If you’d like to see an Edinburgh preview of Holly’s show, A Womb of One’s Own, at Greenwich Threatre on 29th May you can pick up tickets here.