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'Monkey Magic' in Hobart, Tasmania

January 17 2005 at 11:57 AM
Foxy  (no login)

Just to let people know, there's an open-air theatre version of Monkey playing at the Botanical Gardens in Hobart for the next few weeks. Here's an article about it from the Hobart Mercury.




Monkey, monks set to offer mythical magic
THERE were seriously strange things happening at Hobart's Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens yesterday.

The usually tranquil Japanese garden was ringing with the cracking of sticks and loud martial arts shouts.

The hairy men leaping about -- monks and monkeys -- were putting on a preview of a spectacular theatrical production about to take over the gardens.

Monkey Magic is very different from Shakespeare or Wind in the Willows -- the usual fare for alfresco summer theatre in the gardens.

Iain Lang, chair of Big Monkey Inc, reminded us that this was the Year of the Monkey in the Chinese calendar.

"We've got a wonderful cast and two recent graduates of NIDA; director Ben Winspear and designer Kim Scott, returned home just for this show," Laing said.

Monkey Magic is a classic tale based on a collection of Chinese mythological stories.

It may remind some people of the cult television show of the 1980s, with its well-loved characters Tripitaka, Pigsy, Sandy and Monkey.

Sara Cooper, who plays Xuanzang (Tripitaka), looked wonderful yesterday as a shaven-headed monk and spent the time being a calming influence on her more boisterous colleagues.

She has worked in a variety of theatre forms, including film, television, radio and stage. Many of Hobart's favourites are in the cast _ including Robert Jarman and John X.

Lang announced yesterday that an extra performance has been scheduled on January 25, with the proceeds going to the Red Cross appeal for Indian Ocean tsunami victims.

Monkey Magic starts at the Botanical Gardens on Friday and runs until February 6

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