Curious Monkey is an international award winning theatre company founded by artistic director Amy Golding. We create outstanding theatre inspired by people we meet and connections we make in our local community and around the world. We listen to people whose stories are rarely told. Collaborating with a team of award winning artists, we shape these stories into fresh, direct theatre that is rooted in the experiences of the people we work with. Our work shares rarely told stories widely with audiences, decision makers and influencers; and deepens engagement with audiences and participants. Our artistic programme gives a voice to under-represented people and raises awareness of the issues that they face. Our audiences are often young and new to the theatre. We make people welcome and we speak in a clear and open language that reflects our principles of inclusivity. We make theatre that provokes and inspires audiences to connect with each other, with the ideas that we explore and with the stories that we share. Working with specialist partners, we use theatre to engage with influencers and decision makers to help create positive changes in the world.
We have 5 main activities:
Curious Monkey in Lockdown - a message from Artistic Director, Amy Golding
Hello from Curious Monkey HQ – which is currently a series of bedrooms, living rooms and kitchens across the North East. Despite the physical distance we are still very much a hive of activity connecting with each other regularly – our staff team, our team of associates artists and freelancers and of course our co-creators and community members.
At a time when we cannot be together with people to share ideas, play, explore and be together to watch shows and share meals and conversation in physical space we are doing all this in new and different ways using the good old internet. We have made sure that everyone we work with has access to internet, food and creativity at this time – our current basic needs. Delivering food parcels, laptops, data packages and creative activities to our groups. We are also spending time as a team to reflect, take stock, think about who we are as a company and where we are headed in this new world we find ourselves in, exploring the possibilities and positives that might come out of this as well as riding all the challenges and uncertainty it throws at us together. We’ve also been connecting with other artists, theatre companies and cultural institutions across the country and the world to do some bigger thinking about what COVID-19 means for our sector in the future.
What our groups are up to…
Troupe (our group for young people with experience of the care system) are still meeting every Wednesday on Zoom to take part in workshops, working towards their new show with a team of brilliant artists as well as playing and having fun, supporting each other and keeping each other’s spirits up. There are also some individual members who we are supporting to create their own work, using poetry and spoken word to explore their life experiences. We continue to sign post people to extra support for mental health and other personal challenges through this time.
Arriving (our group for sanctuary seekers) is meeting twice a week on zoom – once for a workshop (a mixture of drama, theatre for change, writing, dance and yoga) with a team of Curious Monkey associate artists and once every Friday evening for a social. We will be delivering recipes and ingredients so we can all cook together and eat meals at the same time and we will be breaking the fast together during Ramadan. Some members of our Arriving group involved in The Happiness Project are running their own initiatives which we are supporting and co-creating (a food bank, salsa classes and setting up as an online yoga teacher).
If you, or people you know, want to connect with these groups, please do get in touch. We always welcome new people.
New ideas are bubbling….
We have been bubbling a new idea for a while which we will be busy planning over the next few months, carrying out consultation for new 360 films that put you in the shoes of another person with different life experiences – it will give the viewer an immersive experience and will be used for training and conferences as well as a new creative project for us to get our teeth into.
We are busy plotting and planning for our second Care about Care? event in care leavers week this October – exploring how we can make this accessible to people all over whether they can physically be there or not.
And of course, we are working out when and how we can bring our show HERE to our audiences who sadly missed out this time round due to cancelled performances. It’s ready and desperate for an audience so watch this space for news of when it will be out there in the world! In the meantime if you want to hear about the show and the process of making it – have a listen to this podcast recorded with Northern Stage.
We hope you will continue to support, get involved with and spread the word to those interested and who might benefit from our projects.
We are extremely grateful to our funders – The Kavli Trust, BBC Children in Need, Arts Council England Project Grants, The Newcastle Fund, The Community Foundation Tyne and Wear and Northumberland and The Esmee Fairbairn Foundation – who have all been really supportive through this crisis and continue to support us to connect and create with our communities.
From us monkeys, from our homes to yours, we send you love and positive vibes during this unsettling time. Keep in touch, keep creating (or don’t if you’re not feeling it right now) but mostly take care and we’ll see you on the outside sometime soon.