Big Monkey is a dynamic, professional company dedicated to producing quality theatre for family audiences.
Imagination and fun are hallmarks of our work, and the annual summer shows in the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens are a highlight for locals and visitors alike. The ever-changing ensemble – which includes some of Hobart’s best actors – is supported by a strong production team working to the highest possible standards.
In a pantomime style developed over the past 25 years, the company has presented a range of original work and new adaptations of many classics, including: The Wind in the Willows, Alice in Wonderland, Treasure Island, Pinocchio and Aladdin.
Writer/Director – Les Winspear
Administrator – Christine Bowling
Marketing – Daryl Peebles
Schools Liaison – Christine Bowling
Production Manager – Mel King
Designer – Roz Wren
Musical Director – Craig Irons
Big Monkey Board:
Jeff Michel (Chair), Christine Bailey,
Les Winspear, John Xintavelonis,
Kiah Davey, Mel King, Daryl Peebles.
Big Monkey Theatre began in 1994 under the name of Theatre Alfresco. It was started by Kate Gaul who was the first producer and Les Winspear as writer and director, with financial assistance provided by David Lee.
The first production was The Wind in the Willows in the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens, with Jackie Hallam, Iain Lang, Nicole Parrams, Benjamin Winspear and John Xintavelonis, with Mark Hulsman as Musical Director. Both schools season and the public season were so successful that it became an annual event.
A couple of years later, Kate left to study directing at NIDA and Iain Lang took over the role of producer, with Les Winspear providing new scripts and direction each year. In 2003 the company re-branded as Big Monkey Inc. and continued producing shows in the gardens as well as creating theatre and roving acts for festivals.
In 2008 Kiah Davey joined Big Monkey Theatre and soon moved into the producer's role as Company Manager, expanding the company's activities resulting in new opportunities for work.