Following a highly successful run at Edinburgh Fringe 2017, Joe Sellman-Leava’s highly-acclaimed one man show Monster embarks on an exciting UK tour in 2018. Monster is a dark but humorous exploration of gender and masculinity – with intimate storytelling at its heart, Monster looks at a young man’s struggle to make sense of love and anger.
With its examination of male attitudes towards women, and male role models celebrated in society, the play has gained new relevance since its Edinburgh debut in the wake of recent sexual assault allegations against a string of celebrities. Monster importantly sheds light on our perceptions of gender, violence and aggression.
Experimenting with form, Joe Sellman-Leava’s performance includes a play within a play, and a narrative split across multiple characters and timelines converging at the play’s climax. Playing with the very premise of presentation and performance, the play features the words and personas of known figures including Mike Tyson and Patrick Stewart.
Brimming with earnest, intelligent energy and jumping between threads seamlessly, deftly reconstructing scenes, arguments and interviews with nothing but a pair of red steel chairs for a set (★★★★ The Stage).
Sellman-Leava has previously had phenomenal success with Labels, which has been touring nationally and internationally since 2015 and won a Scotsman Fringe First. Monster was critically acclaimed during its Edinburgh Festival Fringe premiere in 2017, and is going to VAULT Festival this January 2018.
Joe graduated from the University of Exeter in 2010, and is co-artistic director of Worklight Theatre, with whom he co-wrote and performed I Think I’m a Feminist and How to Start a Riot. His one-man play, Labels has been touring since 2015 and won five international awards, including a Scotsman Fringe First in 2015. Joe has also acted for The Bike Shed Theatre, Clockwork Marketing, Bitpod, Cambridge University Press, Onatti, Jetstream Media, Creaking Door, Mischief Labas and Peel Roleplay. He completed Soho Theatre’s Writers’ Lab in 2016 and is currently part of BBC’s London Voices and Soho Theatre Writers’ Alumni Group.
Yaz is a theatre and film director from the north west. He is co-founder of Smooth Faced Gentlemen, Artistic Director of Underground Venues and one third of Three’s Company, Recent theatre directing credits include: Dead Reckoning (Young Vic, Five Plays); Boris World King (Trafalgar Studios, Pleasance Queen Dome); Othello and Titus Andronicus (for Smooth Faced Gentlemen, Underbelly, Pleasance King Dome, York Theatre Royal and touring); Not The Messiah (Theatre 503 and touring). He recently finished working as the Jerwood AD on Midsummer Night’s Dream at The Young Vic.
Worklight make new theatre which is deeply personal, politically charged and highly visual. Founded in Exeter in 2011, their debut show How to Start a Riot received critical acclaim and two awards during its Edinburgh Festival Fringe premiere and subsequent national tour. Their second show I Think I’m a Feminist also toured nationally. Worklight’s third show – Labels – is written and performed by Worklight’s co-artistic director Joe Sellman-Leava, and has won five international awards since 2015. In August 2017, Worklight premiered two new shows at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe: Fix, an ensemble play with music, exploring behavioural addiction, and Monster, a one-man play about masculinity and violence.