REVIEW: Brighton Festival: SpyMonkey

May 19, 2016

TCD-email-signature-ttSpyMonkey & Tim Crouch

Brighton Festival

May 13th

Theatre Royal

Performed by Spymonkey: Aitor Basauri, Stephan Kreiss, Petra Massey & Toby Park

Directed by Tim Crouch

Well, what‚Äôs not to like about all of Shakespeare deaths rolling out in front of you for an evening‚Äôs entertainment. Certainly when it‚Äôs done with such aplomb and style as the Spymonkey crew have. All of the Bard’s 74 scripted¬†deaths¬†in one show but in a myriad of styles which just adds to the pure electric delight of this wonderfully talented group of performers and the tight watchful eye of director Tim Crouch, it‚Äôs a pairing which takes all their talents and kicks it up into the high stratosphere¬†of utter daftness.¬† This was quality clowning done with serious love for the subject matter and I was horrified as much as I laughed. Spymonkey make us focus on the actions more than the effect of the violence and this brings home the awful imagination of Mr Shakespeare and his infinitely unpleasant mind.

See full details for this show here

spymonkey complete deaths bloodhands-5054 ls-cropFrom the Roman suicides in Julius Caesar to the carnage at the end of Hamlet.  From snakes in a basket in Antony & Cleopatra to young Macduff. There were countless stabbings, severed heads, poisonings, two mobbings and a smothering. Enorbarbus just sits in a ditch and dies from grief. And then there’s the pie that Titus serves the Queen of the Goths.


It felt close to a Tudor night out too, grand old space, deadly seriously comedy, loads of blood, endless smutt and silly sexual stuff, farts and gurglings of every type and a baying, up for it crowd. Spymonkey are a superb group of performers and this show was a delight from it’s first to last gasping, broken breath.

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This is a solemn, sombre and sublimely funny tribute to the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare‚Äôs death, who – so it’s said- ¬†died himself of the ill affects of a hangover. One never imagined the Bard to be such a lightweight.

More on Spymonkey on their website: 




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