MOBY DICK

about

gallery

press

video

A glorious mis-telling of the Herman Melville novel, on tour in the UK from September 2009.

 

“A masterclass in physical comedy, sublime lunacy and exquisitely silly wordplay by four of the greatest clowns currently working in British theatre”

Time Out

 

 

Four whalers find themselves trapped in the belly of a literary monster. As they ponder the irony of their fate they recount a story of Moby Dick, sparkling with their own fantastical flourishes. The novel’s epic examination of good, evil, fate and obsession is lost on them. And then, mysteriously, found on them again.

 

Will Ahab’s thirst for revenge be unhinged by the well-meaning but staggeringly inept attentions of his crew? Now that he has found true love, is Ishmael still fated to be the sole survivor of the Pequod? Can a mermaid figurehead get pregnant? And what does a cannibal harpoonist from Bavaria eat?

 

Gloriously anarchic, constantly entertaining. Inspired comic misrule. Moby Dick will give you a whale of a time The Times

 

Stuffed with invention and a delightful lack of respect for theatrical convention, Spymonkey’s Moby Dick brings together a remarkable team of creators, combining the hilarious physical comedy that has delighted audiences around the world with Music Hall, burlesque, dance, big show-stopping songs, puppetry, illusion, mentalism and a raft of stunning special effects.

 

Spymonkey’s award-winning brand of comedy is a 21st Century mix of Fawlty Towers, Marx Brothers and Mel Brooks, overflowing with brilliant characters, visual humour, slapstick comedy and outrageous naughtiness. Since their formation in 1997, Spymonkey have built a huge international following in 20 countries, with sell-out shows at Just for Laughs Festival Montreal, Sydney Opera House, Melbourne Comedy Festival and London’s Leicester Square Theatre. Spymonkey’s surreal, inventive and irreverent style is an uproarious highlight of theatrical culture.

 

“Must be the funniest show on any stage in Britain” Birmingham Post

 

Jos Houben was an original member of Complicité and director of physical comedy duo The Right Size for 10 years. Recent work includes Peter Brook’s Beckett Fragments and his remarkably successful one-man show ‘The Art of Laughter’. He is a professor at the École Jacques Lecoq Paris.

 

 

Venues in the initial UK tour in 2009-10 included the Royal & Derngate Northampton, Lyric Hammersmith, Liverpool Playhouse, New Wolsey Ipswich, Edinburgh Traverse and Bristol Old Vic.

 

The show toured to Finland in 2009 to Espoo Theatre, and made a 10-city Dutch/Belgian tour in 2011 in association with Baasbank & Baggerman Amsterdam, including the De La Mar Amsterdam and Schouwburg Bruges.

 

 

 

 

Performed by

Aitor Basauri, Petra Massey, Toby Park & Stephan Kreiss

 

Directed by Jos Houben & Rob Thirtle

 

Stage Design Graeme Gilmour

 

Costume & Prop Design Lucy Bradridge

 

Lighting Design Phil Supple

 

Original Music Toby Park

 

'Fecund'

music by Neil Filby & Toby Park, lyrics by Petra Massey

 

Sound Design Toby Park & Andy Purves

 

Choreography Barry Grantham, Janine Fletcher

 

Company Stage Manager Nick Hill

 

Technical Manager Andy Purves

 

Production Manager Bob Holmes

 

Company Production Manager Tanya Peters

 

Studio Photography Corné van der Stelt

 

Graphic & Web Design Tork

 

 

Spymonkey's Moby Dick is a co-production with the Royal & Derngate Northampton and was developed with the kind support of The Showroom at Chichester University and The Point Eastleigh.

 

 

Spymonkey's Moby Dick was made possible with funding from Arts Council England and Brighton & Hove City Council

 

 

Supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council of England

 

 

 

The Times

1 June 2010

'Sometimes you just come out laughing and spend days urging your friends to go, or kidnapping the depressed-looking ones for the evening because it is clear that they really need Spymonkey’s Moby Dick'

Libby Purves inaugural article as chief theatre critic

 

Time Out

27 April 2010

Review

CRITICS' CHOICE: 'A masterclass in physical comedy, sublime lunacy and exquisitely silly wordplay [by] four of the greatest clowns currently working in British theatre'

 

The Times

23rd September 2009

Review

FOUR STARS: 'Gloriously anarchic, constantly entertaining... Inspired comic misrule... Moby Dick will give you a whale of a time'

 

BBC Radio 4 - Midweek

21st April 2010

Interview

Libby Purves interviews Petra Massey mp3

 

Birmingham Post

22nd September 2009

Review

"Must be the funniest show on any stage in Britain at the moment"

 

Scotsman

12th February 2010

Review

FOUR STARS: 'It's laughter all the way at the Traverse this week...'

 

Glasgow Herald

12th February 2010

Review

FOUR STARS: 'It’s a neat trick, infinitely funnier than the sort of franchise the Reduced Shakespeare Company flog round the commercial circuit'

 

The Stage

25th September 2009

Review

"Extraordinary... Spymonkey present another fabulous creation"

 

The Guardian

26th April 2010

Review

"Plenty of the audience were having a whale of a time at Spymonkey's gleeful mistelling"

 

Spoonfed

27th April 2010

Review

"Highly recommended"

 

Whatsonstage.com Edinburgh

12th February 2010

Review

FIVE STARS: 'Hugely talented company of four'

 

Whatsonstage.com London

26th April 2010

Review

FOUR STARS: 'A delicious mix of clever, rude and downright ridiculous comedy, Spymonkey live up to their comedic reputation'

 

British Theatre Guide

27 April 2010

Review

'Deliriously daft, triumphantly silly, genuinely brilliant'

 

British Theatre Guide Edinburgh

12th February 2010

Review

'Let your copy of Moby Dick gather dust on your shelf as long as you like but see this piece while you have the chance.'

 

ItsOnItsGone.com

12th February 2010

Review

FOUR STARS: 'Feels as fresh as a sea breeze'

 

Blackpool Gazette

18th February 2010

Review

'Whale Tale a Real Hoot'

 

Lancashire Evening Post

18th February 2010

Review

'Perfect comic timing and delightfully risqué moments'

 

Independent on Sunday

27th September 2009

Critics' Choice

 

Whatsonstage.com Northampton

25th September 2009

Review

FIVE STARS: "Marvellously anarchic talents... Genius"

 

Whatsonstage.com Bury St. Edmunds

25th September 2009

Review

FIVE STARS: "A brilliant piece of physical theatre... Two hours of magic"

 

ThisIsKent.co.uk

3rd November 2009

Review

"Fantastic"

 

Liverpool Daily Post

21st October 2009

Review

"Deliciously reckless... A highly polished performance"

 

Liverpool Student Media

20th October 2009

Review

"Catch this fantastic night of comedy whilst you can!"

 

The Argus Brighton

20th October 2009

Review

"Genius... Endlessly inventive and very, very funny"

 

Suit Yourself Magazine Bristol

14th October 2009

Review

"Oh my good god!! Unpredictable, hilariously surreal and utterly bonkers"

 

BristolListings.co.uk

14th October 2009

Review

"Glorious"

 

Southern Daily Echo

30th September 2009

Review

"The audience of land lovers were rocking in their seats with mirth "

 

Northampton Chronicle & Echo

25th September 2009

Review

"A whirlwind of laughter, in-jokes and delightful theatre puns had the Royal auditorium rolling in the aisles"

 

Northampton Herald & Post

24th September 2009

Review

"Sublime absurdity... An exceptional collection of skills and smartness"

 

Leighton Buzzard Observer

29th September 2009

Review

"One of the funniest and most surreal comedies of the year."

 

Plymouth Herald

15th June 2009

Review

"Spymonkey have taken Herman Melville's heavily symbolic epic novel and turned it into an hysterically funny entertainment."

 

Helsinki Sanomat Finland

18th March 2010

Review

'Laugh until your jaw hurts'

 

Hufvudstadsbladet Finland

19th March 2010

Review

'Deliciously irreverent'

 

 

 

Features & Previews

 

Venue Magazine Bristol & Bath

Feature

9th October 2009

"Daft surrealist supertroupe Spymonkey are about to bring their huge comic talent to bear on the might Moby Dick"

 

East Anglian Daily Times

Feature

26th September 2009

"The essence of our work is to make theatre as funny and imaginative as possible"

 

The Stage

1st October 2009

Showpeople - interview with Petra Massey

 

The Times

19th September 2009

Article

The Secret of Comedy: Relationships

 

The Independent

28th August 2009

Preview

"If laughter is the best form of therapy, then the British-based physical comedy troupe Spymonkey are just the tonic."

 

The Guardian

13th June 2009

Preview

"A bellyfull of laughs"

 

Liverpool Daily Post

7th October 2009

Article

"Merseyside choir to appear in spoof version of Moby Dick at the Liverpool Playhouse"

 

 

THEY DON'T HAVE STAIRS WHERE HE COMES FROM

 

Cannibal harpooneer Queequeg gets to grips with life on board the Pequod.

 

Excerpt from Spymonkey's Moby Dick, recorded live at the Lyric Hammersmith, April 2010, with Stephan Kreiss & Toby Park.

 

Full-length DVD of MOBY DICK available in our online shop.

WHAT THE AUDIENCE THOUGHT

 

Voxpops recorded on the opening night of Moby Dick at the Lyric Hammersmith March 2010, carema/edit Mark Morreau.

CALL ME ISHMAEL

 

Excerpt from Spymonkey's Moby Dick, recorded live at the Lyric Hammersmith, April 2010, with Aitor Basauri, Stephan Kreiss, Petra Massey & Toby Park.

 

Full-length DVD of MOBY DICK available in our online shop.

THE MERMAID'S SONG

 

Excerpt from Spymonkey's Moby Dick, recorded live at the Lyric Hammersmith, April 2010, with Aitor Basauri, Stephan Kreiss, Petra Massey & Toby Park.

 

Full-length DVD of MOBY DICK available in our online shop.

BRIGHT EYES FINALE

 

Excerpt from Spymonkey's Moby Dick, recorded live at the Lyric Hammersmith, April 2010, with Aitor Basauri, Stephan Kreiss, Petra Massey & Toby Park.

 

Full-length DVD of MOBY DICK available in our online shop.

 

OFFICE: UNIT 7B LEVEL 3 NORTH, NEW ENGLAND HOUSE

NEW ENGLAND STREET BRIGHTON BN1 4GH UK

T: +44 (0)1273 045039

E: info@spymonkey.co.uk

 

 

 

web design by TORK