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Interview: Come play with us

“Duncan’s the oldest in the group and he’s been bringing work with schools and youth groups since around the Middle Ages.”

WHO: Roland Reynolds

WHAT: “On average, 12 men take their own life every single day. Rooted in true experiences and deep exploration of mental health, 5 Out of 10 Men invites men to be open – to journey unabashedly into themselves. With a fun, interactive style and a penetrating dark humour, a mixed ensemble leads a wounded man as he weaves a confessional hymn to his dead brother, torn between the man he is and a man he strives to be.”

WHERE: theSpace on Niddry St (Venue 9)

WHEN: 16:55 (60 min)

Is this your first time to Edinburgh?

As a band of theatre practitioners it’s our first time to Edinburgh, yes – it’s our first project together!

But among us there’s a fair amount of Fringe experience. Duncan’s the oldest in the group and he’s been bringing work with schools and youth groups since around the Middle Ages. He has a long relationship with theSpaceUK and has worked for and alongside them in a number of capacities over the past 10-15 years.

Roland wrote, produced and directed his first show at the Fringe when he was 16 back in 2008. It was a rain-soaked, empty-bellied, back-breaking experience and he knew he’d be doing this for the rest of his life. A glutton for punishment, he returned to Edinburgh with another show the year after and came on board an opera the year after that.

Tell us about your show.

The show is a new piece about men, masculinity and mental health. It’s been written by me, and is produced and directed by me and Duncan Alldridge.

Our company formed out of a year’s research & development process including some ensemble-based workshop auditions this spring. There are some statistics that were the spark for this work: 76% of suicides in the UK are men; suicide is the major cause of death for men aged under 45. We were inspired to come together to create an honest, intimate playing space where we explore these devastating facts and some of the roots beneath them.

5 Out of 10 Men will premier in Edinburgh; we’re already in discussions to bring the work to London in the months after the Fringe and we’re looking to have more conversations with venues and potential collaborators all over the UK to see where we can take this. It’s fun, visceral, inclusive, important, relevant work representing an often misunderstood voice.

What should your audience see at the festivals after they’ve seen your show?

This year’s programme at the fringe is all about defying convention and we’re hunting out the shows to see that are breaking down boundaries on all levels of engagement.

At theSpaceUK there’s exciting work surrounding women’s issues being produced, with Killer Cells dealing with the agony of miscarriage, Broken Fanny, a comedy on adapting to life with a new baby, and more.

We’ve also been long-term followers of the work produced by Northern Stage, especially since the tenure of Lorne Campbell began; this year they’re based at Summerhall, a venue that immediately caught our interest when it opened a few years ago. This year’s highlight for us is Two Man Show by RashDash, a playful new show about gender and language.



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