Who are you?
You mean you’ve never heard of us! Random Accomplice are Julie Brown and Johnny McKnight.
Johnny McKnight trained at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (formally RSAMD) and works across arts practices as a director, performer, writer and educationalist. As a director he has worked for National Theatre of Scotland, Scottish Opera, Tron Theatre, Horsecross Arts, macrobert, Play Pie and Pint, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
He has been described in the press as the ‘vanguard’ of the Scottish pantomime having currently written 14 commissions for Tron Theatre, macrobert, Byre, Glasgow Life, Royal Lyceum Theatre. He is currently under commission to National Theatre of Scotland, Tron Theatre and Macrobert. Johnny has currently written 8 episodes of BBC River City. He is in development with Big Talk Productions for a new comedy series.
Julie Brown trained at Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (previously RSAMD) on the BA (Honours) Contemporary Theatre Practice course. As a Performer, Director, Producer and Project Manager her work has lead her across Scotland and further afield to the Czech Republic, Holland, Italy and New York.
She has worked with a varied range of Companies and Artists including National Theatre of Scotland, Tim Crouch, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Arches Theatre, Bard in the Botanics, macRobert and Scottish Opera. Most recent credits include: performances in The Snow Queen (Cumbernauld Theatre); The Incredible Adventures of See Thru Sam (Random Accomplice CATS Award Winner); Fester (Frances Poet & Team Effort!). Directing credits for Pop Up Theatre Royal (Scottish Opera); Tips (Random Accomplice); Der Jasager & Down in the Valley (Scottish Opera Connect Company); Cinderella (macrobert); West Side Story (Harlequin Eastwood Theatre for Youth).
When and why did you form the company?
The company formed in July 2002 with the inkling of an idea for a show. By May 2005 we were a registered company with two productions under our belt and a third and fourth in pre-production. After graduating from the Contemporary Theatre Practice course at RCS, we were looking to create projects that not only excited us but challenged our ways of working. Six months later we presented our debut piece NOTHING TO FEAR ANYMORE at the Arches Theatre.
Do you provide educational projects?
Co-Artistic Directors of Random Accomplice have a strong educational drama background, having delivered educational programmes for a variety of clients groups (from 3yrs old to University level to adult participants). We are committed to providing educational packages for each project (tailor made to the client group) on request. Please email us if you’d like to discuss Random Accomplice creating and delivering an education project for you.
How do you decide who to work with?
We have no set policy on this. Each project has a different feel, a different inspiration. We look to employ artists with an enthusiasm for the work and the ability to work collaboratively.
How can I work with the company?
Send us your CV. Invite us to showings of your work. Ask to meet us. We don’t bite (unless very hungry). We were given a lucky break once so why shouldn’t we return the favour? If we do want to work with you then you’ll receive a lovely handbook that outlines our working practices and Equal Opportunity/Child Protection policy that we adhere to.
Do you offer work placements?
The company is project driven at present. This means that we can’t offer work placements all year round. However, we would be very interested to hear from students or those looking for an internship. If your placement coincides with our latest production or plans we’ll happily meet with you to see if we’re compatible.
How are you funded?
At present we are project funded. Our last touring production was financially supported by Scottish Arts Council and Glasgow City Council.
Where do you get your ideas from?
We normally start with a theme and build the idea outwards through extensive research and artistic brainstorming. For example NOTHING TO FEAR ANYMORE began with us making a show about couples who kill: Fred & Rose, Myra & Iain, Julie & Johnny. We got to thinking…. what would it take us to kill and why would we do it? Given that we were sharing a flat at the time, the show transformed into the tale of two flatmates with murderous intentions towards each other.
What influences your work?
Everything and anything. Music, theatre, TV, literature, film, real life, our imaginary lives. We’ve been inspired from all sorts of sources including: David Lynch, Five Star, X Factor, Friends, Forced Entertainment, Johnny’s P5 Christmas Nativity play, Paul Thomas Anderson, Morecambe & Wise, Julie’s love of chocolate, Todd Solondz, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Tim Burton and Bobby Baker.
What does the future hold?
Look around the website, we’ve probably been mouthing off about what’s next. We’re not known for our ability to keep secrets!
How would you classify the work you make?
Live Performance on Anti-Depressants / Coffee / Helium*, Theatre without the Fourth Wall, a really bloody fabulous piece of new writing, an old play that’s done with fresh eyes, good old fashioned entertainment. It’s always to difficult to classify the work we make – its best viewed as post-modern performance in that it takes elements and inspiration from a variety of sources: live art, traditional theatre, pantomime, comedy and cabaret.
* delete where appropriate
Can I get hold of scripts or DVDs of the work?
The script and DVD’s are available to programmers. Please see our youtube channel for clips of the performances.
Where did the name come from?
We needed a name for an Arts Council application. We wrote down a list of words that we liked (from haberdashery to buoyant, collective to raging) and then narrowed the list down. We liked Random Accomplice better than The Haberdashery Collective.