About Big Monkey
Big Monkey is an innovative, professional Tasmanian theatre company that has become a favourite with family, festival and school audiences thanks to shows including Wind in the Willows, Alice in Wonderland, Treasure Island, Aladdin, Sindbad the Sailor, Chaos at Cooee Creek, The Lizard of Oz and Pinocchio. Imagination and fun are Big Monkey’s hallmarks.
The annual Big Monkey summer shows in the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens are a highlight for locals and visitors alike. Children and adults follow entranced as the story unfolds in various beautiful garden settings. The shows are also performed for Camp Quality kids to great delight.
The company performs for thousands of people each year. Among its acclaimed projects are specially developed theatre programs for the spectacular Australian Wooden Boat Festival in Hobart, which draws crowds of more than 50,000.
The maritime theme also featured in Roundabout or Trim’s True Travels Around Terra Australis. This remarkable show, which tells the story of explorer Matthew Flinders through the eyes of his cat, was mounted aboard a ship, The Windeward Bound, which circumnavigated Australia stopping for performances in ports around the country.
Big Monkey is flexible and able to adapt to audiences of all ages, as well as indoor or outdoor venues of any size. The cast and crew vary as needed for each show.
Key participants in Big Monkey’s development include:
- director Kate Gaul, who was crucial in establishing the company as it is today;
- playwright, actor and director Les Winspear, who has been principally responsible for Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens family shows for many years and whose inspired adaptations for classic tales are Big Monkey audience favourites;
- actor and producer Iain Lang;
- actor and stalwart supporter John Xintavelonis (aka ‘John X’);
- designer Roz Wren;
- musical directors and performers Tania Bosak, Carmen Falk and Craig M. Wood;
- stage managers Tania Bennett, Andrew ‘Ghost’ McDonald, Jamie Unicomb and Kiah Davey;
- Sara Cooper, Jeff Michel, Fiona Blackwood, Rebekah Robertson, Barry Kay, Andreas Litras, Robert Jarman, Mark Hulsman, Paul Levett, Ben Winspear, Jackie Hallam, Matt Skinner, Mel King, Tom Holloway, Craig Wood and the many other actors who have been a part of the team;
- publicists including Meri Robson, Darryl Peebles and John Unicomb;
- administrator Christine Bailey;
- and volunteer board members Bob Broughton, Jayne Wilson, Miriam Whittington, Jeff Michel, Rebecca Greenwood, Kiah Davey and Christine Bailey as well as Les Winspear and John Xintavelonis.