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Nicholas Collett on the success of The Six Sided Man at Edinburgh

Nicholas Collett is currently embarking on a successful UK tour of Your Bard, a play that provides a humorous and informal audience with William Shakespeare. Earlier this year he also received acclaim for his performance in The Six Sided Man, a darkly engrossing and engaging piece of theatre that received strong audiences at the 2016 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. We caught up with Nic backstage to get his take on the play as well as the chaging nature of the Fringe itself.

For the full interview simply click on the video above, and here are a few key highlights:

The Six Sided Man is based on The Dice Man by Luke Rhinehart (0:02)
It’s a cult novel from 1971. It’s never been out of print. There are lots of people all over the world who are dice livers. And the theme of the show, which Gavin [Robertson] into kind of a – just over an hour long play – is a psychiatrist who invents a form of therapy. You ascribe choices to a die, you roll the die, you do what the die tells you to do. Of course it’s the ultimate abrogation of responsibility, so it ends up with pretty messy results.

It seems like quite an unusual production? (0:52)
It’s just the two of us… there’s really no set, there’s a desk and a couple of chairs. There are three frames at the back that represent choice, fate, will if you like. So we don’t have any props. We mime everything in the show from handwashing in the sink to a photocopier.

And what made you take the show to Edinburgh this year? (2:34)
The show is quite physical. It’s a play with movement, we call it. So there are kind of movement interludes in between more traditional sort of text based theatre. So why bring it to Edinburgh when you’ve done it so many times? We’ve done it in Australia three times… we’ve done it in the USA three times… It’s toured all round. But, at the heart of it, it’s two friends who really enjoy doing the show together, so why not, y’know keep doing it?

And Edinburgh is a trade fair. So we are constantly aware and trying to look for opportunities to do the work in a new environment and in new surroundings and to a new audience, which is always emerging.

Finally, give us your take on Edinburgh (4:10)
There’s some really interesting stuff this year, and I think that the nature of the fringe is changing quite a bit. I think there were nearly 400 or 500 more shows here last year, which had a direct influence – the pound in people’s wallets just wasn’t going as far. So audiences across the board were up, but in terms of where they were up, you do realise that Edinburgh is driven very much by stand-up comedy. This year it feels busier, healthier, and certainly here at Assembly Roxy good audiences and a nice buzz.