presenters

Toby Park

Toby began a lifetime of working in theatre with inspirational drama teachers Bill Stanton and Stella Webley at Trinity School Leamington Spa.

 

BA (hons) in Drama from Hull University (1987).

 

Trained at National Youth Theatre (1983), Fool Time Circus School, Bristol (1987-88), and at the École Philippe Gaulier et Monika Pagneaux in Paris (1990-91).

 

Toby has worked in music and theatre as a busker, actor, variety performer, circus artist, Las Vegas porn-clown, improvising musician, composer, musical director, creative producer, graphic designer, director and physical comedy consultant.

 

Early work included solo street performance and membership of the German circus/rock-n-roll/comedy group The Jumpin' Juggins (1988-90). With fellow Gaulier students he formed Comecon, a polyglot physical theatre company based in Cologne, producing UBU ROI (1991) and UROBORUS (1992). From 1994-97 he was musical director and actor with Karl’s Kuhne Gassenchau, the lZurich-based site-specific performance company, creating with them the quarry-based spectacles S.T.E.I.N.B.R.U.C.H (1994, 1997), R.U.P.T.U.R.E (1995) and GRAND PARADIS (1997).

 

In 1997 he formed Spymonkey with Aitor Basauri and Petra Massey, with whom he has performed all of their shows to date, including STIFF (dir. Cal McCrystal 1998), COOPED (dir. Cal McCrystal 2001), ZUMANITY (with Cirque du Soleil 2003-05), BLESS (dir. Cal McCrystal 2007), MOBY DICK (dir. Jos Houben & Rob Thirtle 2009), LOVE IN (dir. Christopher Green 2011), OEDIPUSSY (dir. Emma Rice 2012), EVERY LAST TRICK (dir. Paul Hunter 2014), THE COMPLETE DEATHS (dir. Tim Crouch 2016), A CHRISTMAS CAROL (dir. Ed Gaughan 2018).

 

Other performance work has included The Walking Orchestra’s OTHELLO MUSIC (dir. Tom Morris, BAC 1999); member of the Improbable Theatre LIFEGAME company (1998) which ran off-Broadway in 2000, and ANIMO (1999); Sandi Toksvig and Ronnie Corbett's CHRISTMAS CRACKER at the Royal Festival Hall (2009). TV appearances include Cirque Images’ 2003 series SOLSTROM for Bravo Cable Network and BBC2 HYPERDRIVE.

 

Toby is an acclaimed teacher of clown, physical comedy and music, including Central School of Speech and Drama, National Theatre Connections programme, National Drama Teachers Conference, University of Kent, University of Winchester, LIPA, Hull Truck and New York Clown Festival.

 

Trustee of Tall Stories Theatre Company since 2002.

 

 

DIRECTING & PHYSICAL COMEDY

 

  • physical comedy director, JACK ABSOLUTE FLIES AGAIN (National Theatre, dir. Thea Sharrock, in developement 2020/21)
  • physical comedy director, Vaudeville Productions' UNBELIEVABLE (in development 2020/21)
  • physical comedy director, TARTUFFE (National Theatre, dir. Blanche McIntyre 2019)
  • physical comedy director, MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR (RSC. dir. Fiona Laird 2018)
  • physical comedy director, MACK & MABEL (Chichester Festival Theatre dir. Jonathan Church 2015)
  • physical comedy consultant to Sacha Baron Cohen for GRIMSBY (Columbia Pictures 2015)
  • physical comedy consultant for ALADDIN (Lyric Hammersmith, dir. Ellen McDougall 2016)
  • physical comedy consultant for FANTASTIC MR FOX (Nuffield Southampton, dir. Maria Aberg 2017)
  • director and co-creator of FABULOUS BÄCKSTRÖM BROTHERS, a clown chamber opera (Finland 2014), and BIG BANG SIEGFRIED, a symphonic version for Orchestra Hagen (Germany 2016), and A FABULOUS CHRISTMAS CAROL Kapsäkki Theatre, Helsinki Finland (2020)
  • director of YOU AREN'T DOING IT WRONG IF NO-ONE KNOWS WHAT YOU'RE DOING by Rachel Blackman, a Brighton Festival 2020 commission
  • co-director and composer for THE GAMES (2010) and SINK OR SWIM (2013) for Spike Theatre Liverpool
  • co-director with Maria Aitken of Georgia Pritchett’s TELLING TALES, for ATG (2015)
  • co-director with Will Kerley of ENTER THE DRAGONS by Emma Edwards & Abigail Dooley (UK touring 2017, Best Show Brighton Fringe 2017)
  • co-director of Hijinx's THE FLOP (Total Theatre Award nominee 2018) and THE OPENING / THE CLOSING (2012)

 

MUSIC

 

  • Original score and songs for Spymonkey's COOPED (2001), BLESS (2007), MOBY DICK (2009), LOVE IN (2010), THE COMPLETE DEATHS (2016)
  • Original score and songs co-written with Neil Filby for Spymonkey's OEDIPUSSY (2012 dir. Emma Rice)
  • Original score and songs co-written with Ross Hughes, Ed Guaghan, Marcus Penorse for Spymonkey's CHRISTMAS CORKER (2014) and CHRISTMAS CAROL (2018)
  • Exstatic - original score for 1080 ORIGINAL GRAVITY (Edinburgh 1993)
  • Karl's Kühne Gassenschau - joint musical director S.T.E.I.N.B.R.U.C.H (1994, 1997), R.U.P.T.U.R.E (1995) and GRAND PARADIS (Zurich & Montreux 1996)
  • Mimbre - original score for SPRUNG (1999), THE BRIDGE (UK tour 2006)
  • Guy Dartnell - original score for WOULD SAY SOMETHING (UK tour 1998, winner Best Show Time Out)
  • Walking Orchestra's OTHELLO MUSIC - performer (dir. Tom Morris BAC 1999)
  • Improbable Theatre's LIFEGAME - performer (1999-2000 international tour & off-Broadway)
  • Graeme Gilmour / Northern Lights - original score for site specific KIELDER WATER (2006)
  • U/Z Events' FIRHILL BASIN - original score for site specific commission in Glasgow (2008)
  • National Trust / Northern Lights - original score & site specific installations for THE ELECTRIC ESTATE (2010)
  • EVERY LAST TRICK (Royal & Derngate Northampton 2014) original score & songs, dir. Paul Hunter
  • ADVENTURES IN MOOMIN VALLEY original score and sound design (South Bank Centre & UK tour 2018)

physical comedy showreel

SPYMONKEY

 

COOPED / THE COMPLETE DEATHS / STIFF / CHRISTMAS CAROL

 

Mack & Mabel (CFT 2015)

 

Merry Wives of Windsor (RSC 2018)

 

Fabulous Backstrom Brothers (2015)

music for theatre showreel

SPYMONKEY'S CHRISTMAS CAROL

SPYMONKEY / LIVERPOOL EVERYMAN & PLAYHOUSE 2018

 

HALF A PIECE OF COAL

lyrics and music by Toby Park, arranged by Ross Hughes, performed by Sophie Russell / Toby Park, band Ross Hughes / Marcus Penrose / David Insua Cao

directed by Ed Gaughan

THE COMPLETE DEATHS

SPYMONKEY / ROYAL & DERNGATE NORTHAMPTON / BRIGHTON FESTIVAL 2016

 

directed by Tim Crouch, written by Tim Crouch and Spymonkey, performed by Spymonkey

 

RICHARD III

music composed and recorded by Toby Park

 

CLEOPATRA

music composed and recorded by Toby Park

 

DEATH COME GRIN ON ME

words by William Shakespeare

composed and arranged by Toby Park

 

HECTOR (ONLY YOU)

song by Yazoo / arranged for boomwhacker by Toby Park

 

FUNERAL OF THE FLY FROM TITUS ANDRONICUS

Fly Theme composed and recorded by Toby Park

A Closer Walk With Thee arranged by Toby Park

OEDIPUSSY

SPYMONKEY / ROYAL & DERNGATE NORTHAMPTON 2012

 

directed and adapted by Emma Rice, written by Carl Grose and Spymonkey

 

OEDIPUSSY THEME

words and music by Neil Filby and Toby Park

 

I AM BLIND (BUT YOU ARE THE ONE WHO CANNOT SEE)

words and music by Toby Park

 

OEDIPUS BLINDED

words and music by Neil Filby and Toby Park

FABULOUS BACKSTROM BROTHERS

KAPSAKKI THEATRE HELSINKI 2014

 

Clown opera performed by Jouni Backstrom, Petri Backstrom and Jukka Nykanen, a collsion of particle physics, modern opera, Wagner and Johnny Cash.

 

Toby devised and co-directed with Aitor Basauri, and wrote the libretto and co-composed with Jukka Nykanen the original music. The show was later recorded for YLE (National Finnish Broadcaster) and was the Finnish entry for the Prix Italia Television Award 2018.

 

Toby Park talking introduces the show for YLE in 2017:

 

CUPS SONG / RITE OF SPRING

This mashup of Stravinsky and the cup-song meme has had 650k views on Facebook and 180k on YouTube:

 

BIG BANG SIEGFRIED

HAGEN SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA, GERMANY 2016

 

This symphonic version of the Backstrom Brothers' show was created at Theater Hagen in 2016. Orchestral arrangements by Jonne Valtonen.

 

THE GOD PARTICLE

libretto by Toby Park, music by Jukka Nykanen & Toby Park

 

WE ARE THE QUARKS

libretto by Toby Park, music by Jukka Nykanen & Toby Park

 

WE DESTROY EACH OTHER

libretto by Toby Park, music by Jukka Nykanen & Toby Park

BLESS

SPYMONKEY / ONE YELLOW RABBIT CALGARY CANADA 2007

 

TILL WE'RE MARRIED

lyrics, music composed and recorded by Toby Park

 

EVERY LAST TRICK

ROYAL & DERNGATE NORTHAMPTON 2014

 

Feydeau's classic farce 'Le Systéme Ribadier', reimagined by Tamsin Oglesby, directed by Paul Hunter.

 

BOOM BOOM BOOM GOES MY HEART

lyrics and music by Toby Park

OLD MAIN

COMMISSION FOR MARSHALL UNIVERSITY, WEST VIRGINIA 2017

 

'A capella' close harmony choral piece celebrating the oldest building on the Marshall University campus

 

Words and music by Toby Park

 

THE FLOP

HIJINX / SPYMONKEY 2018

 

Hijinx are one of Britain's leading neurodivergent theatre companies

 

The Flop was a co-production between Hijinx and Spymonkey, directed by Ben Pettit-Wade & Toby Park

 

web design by TORK

 

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

 

 

 

 

Office: Unit 7b L3N, New England House

New England St, Brighton BN1 6DW UK

info@spymonkey.co.uk

 

 

 

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