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The 2017 GoodMonkey Awards

January 24, 2018

And it’s that time again. Voted for by the actual public – well, just me actually – and thus bias-free, all those things that no other awards ceremony wishes to cover, as their voters are too busy watching the stage – or are simply too sane. So, let The 2017 GoodMonkey Awards ceremony begin:

The serious bit:

The Theatremonkey Gold Medal. To the Front Of House Team at the Barbican Theatre at “The Tempest” in July 2017. Somebody was taken seriously ill in the stalls during the first half. An ambulance was summoned, and the surrounding audience quietly filed out of the row mid-scene to let a paramedic deal with the situation. The play continued, all carried out without fuss or most being aware at all. Well done to them, and indeed the audience members around the poor person. Concurrently, for the same reason, to the team at the Apollo Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue in September 2017, with an Oak Leaf to Sienna Miller for remaining “in character” yet choosing to ask from the stage if the person was all right.

The Theatremonkey Silver Medal. To the Front of House Team at the Alban Arena, and Elaine Paige. During “Elaine Paige In Concert” a young woman with clear special needs approached the stage mid-show to say “Welcome to St Albans, Elaine, and thank you so much for such a wonderful show.” Unruffled, Ms P replied, “thank you, but I’m only half way though the show, glad you are enjoying it.” At which point security quietly escorted the youngster back to her seat, and let her stay for the rest of the show. Also a note for the senior lady usher was not only delightfully friendly to everyone, but was a little ‘ninja,’ ducking into rows to deal with photo takers and phone users throughout the show.


And now the fun stuff:

The Comedy About A Bank Robbery Safe (for craziest security policy) to: The Old Vic Theatre. Who carefully search those coming in through the front door… forgetting that you can use a side entrance to their underground bar, and walk straight up the main stairs from there into the foyer – unchecked…

Decorated Storyboard to: The Donmar Warehouse for putting a “Visual Story” download on their new website for autistic visitors.

Vidal’s Sassoon (for sexiest haircut) to: Gemma Arterton’s hairdresser, for the cut she was given in “Saint Joan.” Wow.

A Tetrapac milk carton, for consistently infuriating, but popular, design: to Bob Crowley. A designer whose imagination suits nobody in the stalls, this genius who blocked the view of the final sequence at “Love Never Dies” does it again, this time denying all effects to the stalls for the entire length of “The Glass Menagerie.” Concurrently, the “Theatrical Corpse” for unexpected stage hilarity. At key night moments, a fin rose from the orchestra pit, and lit up. “Jaws Goes Disco” (and we need a bigger boat). A moon, or just a guest appearance from a Great White in neon? Your guess is as good as mine.

Poundland Mop and Bucket to: the Royal Court. As they don’t have one. At the interval of “The Ferryman” someone spilled wine in the aisle. All the usher had was a handful of paper napkins to mop it up with.

Pippa Middleton Wiggle (for Best End) to: “Out There On Fried Meat Ridge Rd.” Simple, and simply brilliant. Say no more.

The Golden Needle (for best on-stage costume change) to: Kate Fleetwood for changing into a dress centre-stage during “Ugly Lies The Bone.” An unforgettable and deeply moving piece of acting that said volumes in a few minutes and vocal notes.

The Abbot Radio Script (for stupidity in numerical comprehension) to: The pair of idiots sat on the fire-exit step at the Donmar Warehouse Theatre. As I opened the doors to leave, one failed to understand the concept that the 200 following me down would do more damage than just the 1 person sensibly advising him to stand while he still could…

The Harold Lloyd Sledgehammer (for a physical stunt breaking the fourth wall) to: “Bat Out Of Hell.” SPOILER ALERT. Driving the car into the orchestra pit, then having angry musicians climb out on the pit with broken instruments onto the stage to berate the cast made the monkey’s night. SPOILER ENDS. Concurrently, a Native American Trading Post for swapping “audience opinion” market research surveys for a magnificent poster, for those lucky enough to be asked to complete one.

The First Call Memorial Phone (for box office innovation) to: Kevin Wilson and ATG Tickets, for inventing the “al-fresco” box office on the street outside the Playhouse Theatre on the hottest night of the year, to allow Press Night guests to collect their tickets in comfort – or get a suntan trying…

Br’er Rabbit’s Giggle (for best new Laughing Place) to: Steve Tompkins and Roger Watts of Haworth Tompkins Architects. They designed the auditorium for the new Bridge Theatre, and came up with a place that simply loves audience laughter. Well done, gentlemen. Concurrently, The ‘Miss Congeniality’ sash to the whole team for a friendly welcome, caring manner with access guests, and delicious madeleines.

A Fraggle Rock (for worst audience) to: Wyndhams Theatre, stalls, matinee, 19th August 2017. In a 90 minute play, more than a dozen people managed to disturb everybody by needing to leave for the toilets – some after just 20 minutes. Consecutively, a Doozer to the idiot ushering staff member directing leavers straight across the sightlines of other audience members. Consecutively, a blunt pencil to the person totally missing the point of the complaint afterwards. Also note… same ushering staff member proved equally inept on a later visit, marching around during the performance for no good reason and providing a one-person disruption with a (suspected) much practised skill.

And finally:

Stan Flashman reversible Raincoat (for inept ticket touting) to: the genius on Ebay who was selling a “priority booking access code” for “Hamilton” tickets for $60. Problem was, priority booking had closed the week before…


And with the awards presented for another year, the monkey thanks those who attended, and looks forward to a 2018 full of stuff it can use to fill a blog article. Thank you all.

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