Amy chats to Clé Holly as she prepares to take her show Four to the Fringe.
Hey Clé- here’s your chance to give an elevator pitch, can you give us a brief synopsis?
First off, thanks for the opportunity to give FOUR our Fringe in FIVE! It is September 2019, in the heart of New York City. FOUR opens with three members of the Renowned String Quartet, playing the first notes of Faure’s Requiem, “In Paradisum”. Suddenly, the door opens – the quartet’s brash manager enters, employing his impulsive solution to keep the group together. Will his quick fix keep the quartet going, or break it up for good?
What inspired the show?
I am, before, anything else, a musical theatre fanatic (laughs). But in the early months of the pandemic, I lost my ability to create music. I didn’t compose or write a song for almost five months, and that silence forced me to write plays and incorporate outside music into my work. In FOUR, you will hear tunes as varied as “Auld Lang Syne” and “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”. Now that my abilities have returned, I’m songwriting and composing again, and it’s a joy for me to have composed the interludes in FOUR, as well as the piece for string quartet – which, in this production, will be played by a duet. The pandemic reminded me to appreciate everything and to take nothing for granted.
How important is the Fringe for new work? And how does it feel to be at the Fringe this year?
The Fringe is invaluable for new work – it’s vital for a playwright to see a new work performed on a stage. It’s only through interpretation and repetition that a show can grow and evolve. And, the audience is a big part of show development. We want to see our work through your eyes! Please know that FOUR is a brand-new show – the first word on the page was written in September 2021, but I began writing in earnest in February 2022 after a personal loss, and I completed the first draft in July 2022. The Gilded Balloon read the script in February 2023 and immediately offered The Wine Bar venue, and we are eternally grateful for its support.
What are the main themes within the production, and what can audiences expect?
FOUR is certainly a drama! It will resonate particularly with anyone who has ever loved and lost someone special. Grief, loss, the family you make, and how, when, and – especially – if, to move on. And, of course, there’s music! This particular production will incorporate music in a couple of different ways, as most of our current cast members do not play instruments. That wrinkle happens to be part of the journey, and we appreciate your understanding!
Finally, with so many shows at the Edinburgh Fringe, why should people book a ticket to this show?
FOUR is simply a beautiful story. It’s a love letter to New York City, told here by Angelenos as we’re coming straight from a run at the Hollywood Fringe. It’s unique. It’s organically diverse, in gender, culture, and religion. It’s the world of a working string quartet that just wants to do what it loves – perform. And, we really love the show. It would be wonderful to share it with all of you!