We rely on your help to support artists and reach audiences.
Donate here

The Hartlepool Monkey

Written by
Carl Grose
Created by
Carl Grose, Finn Caldwell, Toby Olié
19 Sep - 18 Nov 2017

Project History

Presented by Fuel, in association with Stratford Circus Arts Centre

An adventure story for sea dogs and landlubbers, children and adults alike.

A French ship runs aground off the coast of England. Only a cabin girl and the ship’s mascot, a chimpanzee, survive and make it to shore. But the townsfolk mistake the monkey, in its military uniform, for a spy, and condemn him to a life-or-death trial. What will the verdict be – and can the local children save the day?

The legend of The Hartlepool Monkey has survived the test of time, capturing the imagination of people of all ages for over 200 years, and landing here, on the shores of the 21st century, more relevant than ever. A boisterous crew told this timely tale through spirited sea shanties and mischievous puppetry from Gyre & Gimble, original puppeteers on War Horse, and the team behind Running Wild.

Founded by Finn Caldwell and Toby Olié, Gyre & Gimble places puppetry at the heart of storytelling. They create compelling characters that lead audiences through fantastical, improbable stories. Recent collaborations include Michael Morpurgo’s Running Wild at Chichester Festival Theatre/Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre and Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax at the Old Vic. You can find out more about the company here.

Age range 10+
1 hr 20 mins (no interval)

Supported by Arts Council England, Arts Council Wales, The Wellcome Trust, The Royal Victoria Hall Foundation, and The Stanley Thomas Johnson Foundation.

Written by Carl Grose
Created by Carl Grose, Finn Caldwell, and Toby Olié
Directed by Finn Caldwell and Toby Olié of Gyre & Gimble
Set & Costume Design by Samuel Wyer
Music by Adam Pleeth
Lighting Design by Matt Daw
Sound Design by Alma Kelliher
Puppet Design by Finn Caldwell and Toby Olié
Puppet Fabrication by Stitches and Glue LTD

"a tale bursting with vibrant comedy and tender tragedy suitable for all ages"

The Courier

"exquisite puppeteering"

The Stage

"an earnest and brilliant thing to watch"


ABB73C5B-A51C-4932-BDF3-C60C9D79146A Created with sketchtool.