“Made me laugh so much my throat hurt” The Times



Laura du Lay arrives at a remote country house to uncover a tale of murder, love and mistaken identity. Is the handsome Forbes Murdston insane? Is his mysterious manservant Klaus who he says he is? And are Laura’s terrible dreams a warning of further tragedy?



“A perfectly paced hybrid of the Pink Panther and Psycho”

The Independent



In the best tradition of British comedy, from Monty Python to Fawlty Towers, Spymonkey ‘Cooped’ overflows with brilliant characters, visual humour, slapstick comedy, naughtiness and nudity – and features some of the funniest songs and dance routines you will ever see.



“One of the funniest pieces of theatre you will ever see” Time Out



A misty night.


A young girl arrives at a remote railway station in the heart of darkest Northumberlandshirehampton to take up her position as confidential secretary to the reclusive Forbes Murdston. Beautiful, fawn-like, swinging, but a hostage to passion, Laura knows now that life - and love - will never be the same again...


...And her an orphan!


She has ignored for as long as she can the unsettling rumours that surround her new employer, his ominous manservant Klaus and the ancient mansion. But Murdston’s violent moodswings can only signify one thing: INSANITY!


Her terrible dreams seem to warn of some impending calamity. If only she could get word to Inspector Judadench to warn him. In her desperation she turns to the trusty family lawyer Roger Parchment. How can she leave Forbes now, now that he is so close to finishing his memoirs? How can she leave him when she has grown to love him?


Yes, now... now she is truly... COOPED!


created by Cal McCrystal, Aitor Basauri, Stephan Kreiss,

Petra Massey, Toby Park


director Cal McCrystal


production design Lucy Bradridge


design consultant Graeme Gilmour


incidental music & sound design Toby Park


'4xinLove' written & produced by Neil Filby & Toby Park


diva remix by Jean-François Houle / guest vocalist  Corinne Zarzour


'Mr Sandman' original composition by Pat Ballard 1954

production: Toby Park & Jean-François Thibeault

drums: Larry Aberman

double bass: Simon Dolan

piano: Eliot Douglass


Love Sounds th'Alarm by GF Handel

harpsichord Peter McCarthy


voice coaches Peter Bugler & Eliot Douglass


video production Lorna Heavey

cameraman: James Nutt, Mat Baynton

video nun: Zoe Bywater


photographs Bernhard Fuchs, Tork, Sean Dennie, Jane Hobson


graphic design Tork


1st UK Performance 17th July 2001 at Komedia Brighton

Berlin 2014


Tagesspiegel Berlin - 6 Jan 2014

"Non-stop laughter"


Berliner Zeitung - 6 Jan 2014

"Wild British humour"


Morgenpost - 5 Jan 2014

review (subscription only)


RBB TV - 3 Jan 2014

"Monty Python on acid" live broadcast


RBB Kultur Radio - 4 Jan 2014

"No funnier way to start the new year"


Sheila Wolf Queer'lesque - 4 Jan 2014

"Masters of British comedy"


Cabaret Berlin - 5 Jan 2014

"Spymonkey have without doubt created their own theatrical genre"


Zitty - Jan 2014

Interview and article about upcoming Tipi run


Tagesspiegel Berlin - 20 Dec 2013

Interview and article about upcoming Tipi run







The Times - 14 March 2013

"Shriekingly, helplessly hilarious... Consummately executed... For all their gleeful, larky enjoyment wafting across the footlights like a blessing, these are serious virtuosi"



London Evening Standard - 6 Dec 2013

"Consummate farceurs... Panto of the perverse"



Broadway World - 5 Dec 2013

"Very very funny indeed - in danger of becoming something of a classic." - 21 March 2013

"Spymonkey are a national treasure" 5 STARS


The Upcoming - 21 March 2013

"Lighting up the West End with its unique and absurd humour. Don't miss it!" 5 STARS


Exeunt Magazine - 21 March 2013

"Brilliantly demonstrates why Spymonkey are regarded as being at the top of their genre"



Time Out - 14 March 2013



Northampton Chronicle & Echo - 20 January 2013

"A woman to my left was bent double slapping her husband’s leg over and over in silent laughter. A man behind me kept giving involuntary yelps of mirth. The elderly woman in front simply grinned widely because it saved time to not relax her smiling muscles. Tears were being dabbed from eyes everywhere. And this was the interval."






2005 - 2008


Globe & Mail Canada - 7 March 08

"If the malevolent gods of Toronto's extended winter have left you feeling a little cooped up, literally or otherwise, may I recommend a restorative tonic? It comes in the form of an 80-minute piece of extended insanity delivered by four hugely entertaining performers"


National Post Canada - 8 March 08

"If you do only five things this week..."


Toronto Eye Weekly - 5 March 08

"Our comedy is very edgy because we can take it really, really far. We’ve worked together pretty much non-stop for ten years” — including a two-year, 900-show run with Cirque du Soleil in Las Vegas — “and I think with that you get a certain telepathy and a certain understanding of how far you can go with it." - 22 July 07

"Among theatrical acts, UK troupe Spymonkey evoked comparisons with Monty Python and led to talk about bringing the show to such cities as New York and Toronto."


Variety - 22 July 07

"Extra shows were added for Danny Bhoy, Billy Connolly, Eddie Izzard and for the British comedy troupe Spymonkey, which Bruce Hills [of Just For Laughs] said was "a real breakout," with interest in reproducing the show in Toronto and New York as well as some film and TV buzz."


Montreal Gazette - 13 July 07

"Engaging, ridiculous and very very funny… Judging by the audience reaction (a standing O), it could be a crowd favourite this year [at Just For Laughs]"


The Argus Brighton - 27 June 07

"'I have enjoyed many performances at the Brighton Theatre Royal over the years but watching Spymonkey take command of the full Theatre Royal audience was really inspiring' - Judith Hibberd, head of performing arts, Arts Council of England South East"


The List - 23 Aug 06

HITLIST *****5 stars "Jaw-achingly funny"


THREE WEEKS - 18 Aug 06

***** "Everything about this sensational show works brilliantly. An absolute triumph of comedy and theatre"


The Times - 5 Aug 06

"After three years in ‘Sin City’, Spymonkey are bringing it all — minus prosthetic penises — back home, says Lucy Powell"


Hairline Magazine - 23 Aug 06


"Trust me folks, this show even has the critics going back for seconds and believe me it’s just as funny second time around!"


The Scotsman - 23 Aug 06

****4 stars "Puerile yet sophisticated, genre-conscious yet wildly unpredictable, constantly inventive"


Total Theatre Magazine - Aug 06

"Grannies blushing at the naughty bits, kids hooting with laughter, twenty-somethings on a date holding hands and grinning, teenagers from the local sixth-form colleges clutching each other in glee."


The Stage - 9 Aug 06

A STAGE 'MUST-SEE' "Just go to see Spymonkey and laugh. That’s all that needs to be said. Go. See them. Laugh."


Scottish Television - 10 Aug 06

"...each performance is precisely played and every punchline timed to perfection"


British Theatre Guide - 10 Aug 06

"...a deliciously over-acted murder mystery is played out by the charming Spymonkey" - 18 Aug 06

"The perfect Fringe show" - 9 Aug 06

*****5 stars


The Stage 25 May 06

"It is simply not possible to have more fun at the theatre than this. The End. Oh all right then, you want to hear a bit more. Well, be prepared. Your face will ache from laughing."


Melbourne Herald Sun 19 Apr 06

"The genius comedy of Spymonkey deserves to be one of the hottest tickets around at this year's Comedy Festival"


The Melbourne Age 19 Apr 06

"Spymonkey are very, very, very, very, very funny - and I'm not just saying that because I'm paid by the word." *****5 stars


The Melbourne Age 13 Apr 06

"The weirdly assorted members of comedy troupe Spymonkey create big fun in their own places of pain, writes Stephanie Bunbury."


The Groggy Squirrel 13 Apr 06

"“A deliciously demented Gothic thriller” is what Spymonkey’s 'Cooped' is advertised as and by George, they deliver!"


FFWD Magazine Calgary 3 Nov 05

"Hysterically funny... Stuffed to bursting with sight gags, inspired slapstick and hilariously incongruous musical numbers. These four gifted performers seem equally capable of witty character comedy as well as broad physical clowning." 1 Nov 05

"A must-see show. The consensus among the people I talked to is that this evening was one of the funniest things they've ever seen. Mel Brooks. Monty Python. Spymonkey ranks right up there. They deliver. And deliver. And they keep delivering until you're ready to yell "Enough! I can't take it!"


FFWD Magazine Calgary 27 Oct 05

"compared to everyone from the Marx Brothers to the Muppets..."






2001 - 2003


Daily Telegraph 23 Jan 03

"Effortlessly combines the farcical ineptitude of British am-dram with the expertise of four performers who know exactly how to entertain us. It is a dreary definition of culture that demands to parse the 'intellectual value' of the secret of making an audience laugh its head off."


Independent on Sunday 19 May 02

"Cal McCrystal is the brains behind some of the funniest theatre in the last five years" Brian Logan's interview with Cal McCrystal 22 May 02

"Spymonkey promise a 'carefully crafted brand of lunacy' and they deliver. I

defy you to maintain a straight face! Highly recommended. On the first night, and the whole house was totally reduced to uproarious laughter"


The Times 20 Jul 01

“So funny it would be ridiculous to miss it... There are puns, sight gags, a disco song, a peerless parody of Crouching Tiger’s martial magic and a nude pastoral dance that made me laugh so much my throat hurt.”


The Independent 06 Aug 01

“Utterly infectious... a perfectly paced hybrid of The Pink Panther and Psycho”


Metro 23 Aug 01

*****5 stars “One of the best most hilarious shows seen on the Fringe, Cooped is not to be missed...Almost made me lose control of my bladder”


The Scotsman 21 Aug 01

****4 stars "A creativity explosion... A wonderfully, woefully miscast cast”


The Herald 10 Aug 01

“Imagine Mills & Boon rewritten by Monty Python. Or the muppets doing a cover version of a trashy American Gothic soap. Fling in a fig leaf or three and some brilliantly ditsy clowning and whey-hey! You’re close to being Cooped with Spymonkey... SEE IT!”




EXCERPTS #1 - 16 mins


If you'd like to see the whole 'Cooped' shabang, it is available on our Video-on-Demand service, details on our shop page.














EXCERPTS #2 - 13 mins





















Spymonkey's famous naked ballet from the

Melbourne Comedy festival gala 2006

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