The Hartlepool Monkey

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  • Project: The Hartlepool Monkey

The Hartlepool Monkey is a brand new show we are developing for families, schools and adults which will tour the UK from September 2017. Told using bewitching puppetry, thrilling physicality, and evocative sea shanties, Gyre & Gimble's imaginative take on the infamous coastal myth will appeal to sea dogs and landlubbers, children and adults alike.

Set during the Napoleonic Wars, The Hartlepool Monkey tells of a French cabin girl and the ship’s mascot, a chimpanzee, washed up on the shore following a shipwreck. The adults of the town panic at the arrival of these foreigners and mistake the military-uniformed monkey for a French spy, condemning him to a brutal life-or-death trial. 

This timely piece explores xenophobia - its causes and consequences – whilst celebrating mankind's innate ability to overcome prejudice. 

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+


Funded by Arts Council England, Arts Council Wales, The Wellcome Trust & The Stanley Thomas Johnson Foundation.  

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