Spymonkey’s friend, longstanding collaborator and irrepressible clown genius Stephan Kreiss has died. He passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on Monday 16th August, following a short illness. Spymonkey’s close collaboration of the core creative ensemble made up of Toby Park, Petra Massey, Aitor Basauri, Stephan Kreiss and designer Lucy Bradridge has been at the heart of everything they’ve created in over... View Article
We’ve just added two European dates to our workshop schedule for autumn 2021: Spymonkey Clown, Vienna We’ll be running a 5-day workshop on Spymonkey Clown in Vienna, led by Aitor Basauri, 29th Sept – 3rd Oct. The week will be our first partnership with Vienna Volksoper. Full details here. The Musical Clown, Helsinki 5-day workshop for singers and musicians keen... View Article
We are announcing a new round of bursary awards for our upcoming workshops in London and Brighton in Autumn 2021. We are committed to supporting the development of the next generation of comedy performers. Our professional training workshops are delivered by the artistic directors and associate artists in the UK and across the world. Participants develop techniques of clowning, comedy,... View Article
We are delighted to offer 3 Spymonkey courses in London and Brighton this September/ October. Spymonkey Clown: 6th-10th September, London Spymonkey Devising: 13th-17th September, London Spymonkey Music & Comedy: 25th-29th October, Brighton We will ensure that measures are in place to make the workshops COVID safe. We ask that you provide evidence of double vaccination or evidence of daily lateral... View Article
Over the last 12 months Spymonkey’s team have continued to support the creative and business development of theatre-makers. We might all be Zoomed out now but it’s been a privilege to have run 22 webinars, for 355 individuals and offered session fees for the whole programme on a sliding scale to ensure freelancers’ affordability. We gave 57 free places to... View Article
We are delighted to announce that Spymonkey have been successful in their application to the Cultural Recovery Fund. MEDIA RELEASE DATE: 2nd APRIL 2021 Spymonkey to receive £68,871k from second round of the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund Spymonkey is among more than 2,700 recipients to benefit from the latest round of awards from the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund This... View Article
Spymonkey’s HD version of COOPED/HYSTERIA (2019) has been selected as a finalist in the ONCOMM awards, the UK Off West-End online awards, in the category of Best Pre-Lockdown Recording. The show was recorded live in June 2019 at the Liverpool Playhouse. Cooped tours under the title HYSTERIA in the USA. Full credits and information here. The HD recording is available... View Article
We would so love to know how to plan for 2021. No deal is going to make it impossible for us to exist, as a major part of the company is non-UK. Some have Leave To Remain, but some of us are not eligible for that, as they’ve always been based out of the country and come to the UK... View Article
Spymonkey Music, Clown & Comedy, Brighton
Exploring how Spymonkey use music to lead us into unique and totally original comedic territory.
25th-29th October / 10am – 4 pm / Cost £320 (inc of VAT), early bird before 15th August £280 / 18 people / Ralli Hall in Hove (opposite Hove Train station)
Led by Toby Park, joint Artistic Director & Musical Director Spymonkey
Suitable for students to seasoned professionals. Musical ability is not essential.
To apply please fill out this online booking form: https://www.spymonkey.co.uk/wordpress/brighton-music-application/
Music has always played a huge part in the Spymonkey creative process – we think early on in our writing about what the show might offer in the way of deliciously inappropriate original songs, musical theatre genres that we want to explore, unlikely cover versions of existing songs, speciality variety acts, original music in a range of genres and styles to inspire us to new choreographic heights, sound effects that establish their own theatrical conventions (and then break them hilariously).
In this 5 day workshop we will explore how Spymonkey use music to lead us into unique and totally original comedic territory. We will explore Pleasure: the clown’s pleasure of being ridiculous on stage, the generous pleasure of playing with our friends, the pleasure of performing music together, the pleasure of pursuing grand ambitions, of unlikely choices, of aiming high, of making terrible mistakes and failing woefully! The pleasure of making an audience laugh their socks off.
How do you start to build a musical speciality act? How do you create a brilliant dance routine? How do you write a song that will make people piss their pants? How can music unite a disparate group of performers into one vibrantly harmonic unit? (And then have it all fall apart again catastrophically?) Using the principles of clown that will be familiar to students of Spymonkey’s work – vulnerability, generosity, pleasure, optimism, complicity – we will explore all these things and more.
YOU DON’T NEED TO BE A MUSICIAN TO DO THIS WORKSHOP! You need only a sense of curiosity about how far you can stretch the limits of your performing, and the willingness to put yourself into difficult situations in order to make other people laugh at you too.
If you have an instrument we’ll ask you to bring it with you. But you won’t need to know how to play it with any degree of proficiency, or to sing, or to have done a Spymonkey workshop before, to stretch your musical and comedic sensibilities in order to create new work unique to you.
“The music and comedy workshop with Spymonkey is absolutely glorious! I can’t recommend it enough. I have been teaching Drama for 12 years and this is the best workshop I have done on both a personal and professional level. You don’t need to have to able to play an instrument, sing or even be funny – just bring a sense of fun and willingness to give it a go. It changed my teaching and it changed my life. It may not change yours – but at least you’ll have a walloping good time!”
Jess Gill head of drama, St Mary’s School Hertfordshire
“As a writer, words are my ammunition. Without them and armed only with your face and physicality, it can feel strange – scary even – but under Toby Park’s magical guidance I began to push through the boundaries. With the use of funny improv exercises, discussions and musical instruments, a group of us performed songs and one man acts to a hell of a lot of laughter. I left the Toynbee studios feeling I’d shed 15 years of my life. If you ever get a chance to embark on a Spymonkey clowning workshop – be brave and jump at it – no red noses or big flappy feet required.”
Gemma Rogers UK, singer/songwriter & performer
We will ensure that measures are in place to make the workshops COVID safe. We ask that you provide evidence of double vaccination or evidence of daily lateral flow tests. Full information on or COVID safety policy will be available upon booking.
If you have any questions please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Brassmonkey Bursary Scheme
Spymonkey support the development of the next generation of comedy performers. In recognition of the lack of diversity in comedy performers on our stages, we will be running a bursary scheme for these courses, to support people to participate in our workshops. The bursary places will be offered to Black, Asian, mixed heritage and other racially or ethnically marginalised people. For more information about how to apply for, or to donate to the scheme see the Brassmonkey Bursary page here.