The Hartlepool Monkey

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  • The Hartlepool Monkey Trailer ~
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  • Project: The Hartlepool Monkey

Fuel, in association with Stratford Circus Arts Centre, presents Gyre & Gimble’s

The Hartlepool Monkey

Written by Carl Grose. Created by Carl Grose, Finn Caldwell and Toby Olié

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 tell 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

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