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The 2013 Goodmonkey Awards

January 22, 2014

Hand them out… reviving the “Goodmonkey” awards, for the 2013 London theatre year, I present:

The Theatremonkey Gold Medal of Honour:
Citation: For valour.
The theatre staff, passers-by and all emergency services personnel involved in the Apollo Theatre accident. 

Citation: For services to the community. Disney  Theatrical Ltd. For instigating the very first “Autism Friendly” performance of a West End musical ever, both in London at the Lyceum Theatre and in Edinburgh, Scotland. Concurrently, blogger “ThroughAcceptingLimits” for the most moving theatrical blog of the experience I’ve ever read.

The Professor Brainstawm Diploma: to the young usher who used a key ring torch to power a solar calculator so they could add up a customer’s refreshment bill in a dark auditorium. Ingenuity, the new Mental Arithmetic. Who knew?

The Brittany S. Pierce Script: to the audience member commenting on an enchanting performance by Charlotte Wakefield, leading lady in “The Sound of Music,” ‘Seen bigger feet on a hamster.’ If that’s not a random comment, I don’t know what is.

The “Not Since Cats” silver bowl: to the cast of “Once.” For the most wonderful, original night at the greatest musical I’ve seen in 20 years or more. Ribbon clasp on the award to the entire cast for applauding us for applauding them.  Oak leaf on clasp to Flora Spencer-Longhurst, for her “see, just you look at that, now” reassuring facial gesture to her colleague – as they came on to warm applause at the start of the second half of an early preview. Amusingly sweet.

The John Napier Blueprint: to Darren Beaumont, for his brilliant piano set for the Jack Theatre’s “Love Story.”

A solo of “With One Look:” to Leigh Zimmerman for giving us an entire character biography for  “Sheila” in “A Chorus Line” with a single last brief glance at the auditorium.

The Ken Dodd Tickling Stick (for clean British fun):  to “Jeeves and Wooster – Perfect Nonsense.” Proof you can entertain an audience without requiring a single tasteless second of scripting. Concurrently, a Name in Lights to Mark Hadfield. Third billing, top performance.

Diamond studded Aircraft Directional Paddles:  Front of house team at Wyndham’s Theatre, for all their help guiding my confused father from car park to foyer when he got hopelessly lost on the way to seeing “Relatively Speaking.”

The Clegg Cup for Inanimate Objects: to the table in “Table” at the National Theatre. Elicited by far the most sympathy from the audience when the poor thing was attacked during the show by mad saw-wielding hippies. 

Newton’s Apple: to Luke Treadaway as Christopher in “The Curious Incident of the Dog In The Night Time.” His inventive scrutiny and disposal of a piece of falling confetti was an incredible bit of acting.

The entire Barnum and Bailey Three Ring Circus Corporation, plus Ringling Brothers: to Dewynters for the biggest and probably most effective advertising campaign ever mounted in the West End to mark the opening of “The Book of Mormon.”

The “Positive Mention because it won’t get a positive mention anywhere else” mention: to “Viva Forever.” Inventive set, hardworking cast, “2 become 1” – modestly entertaining even to the industry bunch I was with. Not all totally terrible, so why not say something nice about it for a change.

And finally…

An I-Spy Book:  to the first member of an audience I was part of, to ever spot “theatremonkey” as I was doing some “pre-show” sightline checks before a performance. Hope you thought I was polite to you!

As a summary of the year, I’ll have to declare it “The Year of the Buttock.” Not because I had any particularly uncomfortable seats, but because everything I saw, play or musical, modern or classic, seemed to feature at least one bared pair. Gender score was equal, but it was most odd – here’s hoping for more inventive directions next year.

And on that note, the academy completes it’s awards. Hope the winners enjoy them as much as I did handing them out.

  1. January 22, 2014 9:37 am

    A Gold Medal of Honour? Wow. Thank you, Theatre Monkey – I’m genuinely very touched x

    • Steve Rich permalink*
      January 22, 2014 9:45 am

      Deserved, and glad you are pleased 🙂

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