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Monkey History

20th July 2009 by Martin Gibbons

History of creative work
Monkeywood Theatre Company was set up in 2003 by four young, professional actors.

Our first production was Closer by Patrick Marber, which we produced at Platt Chapel (a rather unlikely theatre venue) in Fallowfield in October 2003.

Following this we toured our own brand new play, Coach G by Stephen Morris in 2005 which received rave reviews, described by the Manchester Evening News as “Hip…edgy and watchable…a compelling and intriguing new play…well-served by a talented young cast.”

In 2006 we produced another new play, A Song For The Lovers, written by Sarah McDonald Hughes. The play was selected to be part of the third 24:7 theatre festival of new writing in Manchester.

The play was then redeveloped and redirected and opened The Lowry’s first ever Studio Season in October 2008, receiving fantastic responses from audiences and reviewers alike. A Song for the Lovers was named as one of What’s On Stage’s top productions of 2008. Click here to see more

Monkeywood ended 2009 by taking part in the Royal Exchange’s Pub season. Written by Sarah, Last Orders saw the familiar company take up their favourite positions – at the bar!

Maine Road, by Sarah McDonald Hughes, was premiered in July 2009 at the 24:7 Theatre Festival. A radio version of the play was also shortlisted for the BBC’s prestigious Alfred Bradley Bursary Award 2009 and aired on BBC radio 4 in January 2010. In Spring 2010, the Arts Council England funded tour of Maine Road went national and was highly acclaimed (including unanimous 4* reviews and sell out audiences) for its authentic voice, excellent writing and superb performances.

Monkeywood and their associate writer Sarah McDonald Hughes are currently developing Once in a House on Fire, based on Andrea Ashworth’s book, recipient of the 1999 Somerset Maugham award. It will undergo a series of rehearsed readings and Script in Hand performances this Autumn, with a national tour planned for Spring 2011. The production will help to support Women’s Worldwide Web, an online platform that empowers women, their families and communities, through microfinance, education, mentoring and social networking. For more information visit

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20 Jan 2022

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