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  • Writer's pictureAnuj Chaman

Maya Hallpike & Rosa Thomas - Edinburgh, Scotland

Updated: Sep 5, 2023

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the world's largest arts and media festival with over 3,500 different shows taking place across hundreds of venues spanning the month of August. It's a world-leading celebration of arts and culture, surpassed only by the Olympics and the World Cup in terms of a global ticketed events.

This sort of thing is right up my alley so I had to make it out this year. The first of 14 total shows I went to was Experiment Human. Skimming through the show description raised more questions than it answered. Even though I was a little confused I was a lot more intrigued.

Here's the description of the show so you can guage for yourself:

Blending dark comedy with the surreal, Experiment Human tells the story of Monkion, a non-human creature, curious to understand the world outside their laboratory in the attic. Having kidnapped the actor Benedict Cumberbatch at the height of his fame to protect him from the media, Monkion sets out to answer the ultimate question: what makes humans happy? Will the experiment succeed this time? What will happen if it doesn't? We'll find out...

After watching this immersive, dark, absurdist theatre I briefly met and chatted with Rosa - one half of the sister duo that produced and stared in the show.

Being so animated and captivating during their performance I was compelled to capture them in character as Monkions and learn more about them. Below is a carousel from a photoshoot I did just after one of their shows as well as a video chat we had where they touched on their journey and process as creators leading up to the Fringe.

Since chatting with them back in August, Experiment Human was nominated and won and the Brighton Fringe Award for Excellence and I couldn't be more delighted for them.

Maya & Rosa's Production Company: Hooky Productions.

Instagram: @hooky_productions


- Anuj Chaman

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