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The Goodmonkey Awards for 2018

January 30, 2019

Another year, another round of visits with much to remember. Plenty of awards recognised the best in acting and writing. Most miss those things in between – the stuff normal audience members experience. As ever, Theatremonkey is here to fill a gap that doesn’t really need to exist.

So, with even less ado than usual, and before anyone notices that we got in here…


Given that nothing merited the award of a Gold Medal for something that really impressed the monkey in its selflessness, here we go with a couple of Silver medals before the fun stuff…

Theatremonkey Silver Medals to:
The mixing desk team at the Victoria Palace Theatre on 3rd November 2018. Auditorium lights went down to start the show, and the audience cheered. Then silence. Then more silence, then the lights went back up. Announcement to stay seated as there were technical difficulties. From a side box, Monkey was able to watch as a row of audience members in front of the sound desk were asked to wait in the foyer, and three technicians armed with torches groped about beneath the desk to fix the issue in 20 minutes, to let the show happen in the room that afternoon.

Also to:
Steph Parry, who on 8th June 2018 went at 18 minutes notice from understudy at “42nd Street” to play “Donna” in “Mamma Mia!” at the Novello Theatre next door, thereby saving the performance when the original Donna was injured a few minutes into the show.


And now, let the fun begin.

The Dilly Dally: to Vicky Featherstone. For temporarily cancelling “Rita, Sue and Bob Too,” at the Royal Court Theatre, thus making diary space for me to finally see the utterly, incredibly astoundingly brilliant “Everybody’s Talking About Jamie.” Can’t thank her enough.

Foghorn’s Leghorn (for vocal ability): to Michael Byrne as Talbot in “Mary Stuart” at the Duke of York’s Theatre. Deciding to deliver his line from the stalls as he approached the stage, Mr Byrne did so at full volume right down the monkey’s right ear, as it sat at the end of row B. An ear thus left ringing for hours afterwards….

Lucas Industrial Light And Magic (for fabulous set and lighting effect): to Es Devlin and Oliver Fenwick. Their blue to colour set for “Girls & Boys” at the Royal Court in February 2018 was unforgettable in every way. Concurrently, a Duelin’ Banjo (for best Hicksville set) to Grace Smart for her amazing Trailer Trash mobile home in “Killer Joe” at the Trafalgar Studio 1.

A chorus of “Goodbyee”: to the genius who put a mermaid in the glass case at the exit door of the Menier Chocolate Factory for everyone to pass as they left “Barnum.” And very friendly and lovely the lady was too.

The school note from home (for best latecomer excuse): to the lady who excused herself to an entire row with, “Sorry, emergency granny sitter to sort out.” A prize in next year’s awards (yes, the monkey will publish this page again in January 2020, try stopping it) for anyone throwing more light on that particular situation.

The Joanna (for creating a Perfect Dark character): to Jason Watkins for Ralph in “Frozen” at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket. Had the monkey not been the centre of a row, the play could have ended two hours early, as it wanted to punch out the pedophile drooling over his child porn video collection.

A Private Dancer (for enhancing our entertainment): to the mixing desk at team at “Tina The Musical.” The sound was perfection at the preview the monkey attended.

“Old Sparky’s Fuse” (for most dangerous seat) to: Stalls B26 at the Piccadilly Theatre for “Strictly Ballroom.” When not dodging actors pounding down the stairs in front, it was flying lightbulbs and hair clips. Concurrently, D27 Open Air Theatre for “Little Shop Of Horrors.” When the seed began to fly, they substituted the cannon-balls from “Peter Pan” with disastrous effect on this audience member for one.

Pooh’s Ponder (for most random thought-inducing scene): to “Macbeth” at the National Theatre. When Macduff placed Macbeth’s head into a plastic carrier bag, the instant thought was, “did he have to pay 5p for that?” Apologies to all concerned who heard the slight snigger in the front row.

The Dench / McKellen Elocution Lectern, for best delivery: to Nimax Theatres for the wonderfully sparkly blue envelope they delivered the “Everybody’s Talking About Jamie” London cast recording in.

Abe Lincoln Memorial for honesty: to the Bridge Theatre for giving us £10 credit due to stage height at “Allelujah.” Not even a problem really, but a lovely gesture all the same.

The Cecil B. DeMille lens for cinematic staging: to “The King And I” for a wonderful “Moving Pillar” effect to create a fabulous ballroom for “Shall We Dance.”

The Shenton Kindergarten Scholarship (for aspiring critics): to the delightful 6 year old girl piping up, “that journey was a right pain in the bottom” to the carriage at the end of a fraught tube journey. Having just come from 2 hours of adults pretending to be kids at “Dance Nation” (Almeida Theatre) the impact was doubly fun.

The Peter Kaye Fox (for employment of “emergency chairs”): to the Victoria Palace Theatre. The chairs in Royal Circle Box B were clearly temporary when the monkey used them. One had foam spilling out of the worn out cover, the other was so saggy the thighs were on the wooden surround, butt below on the seat. Well done to Front of House for spotting that chairs were missing during pre-show checks, and coming up with a fast substitute.

The Grand Canyon Gap (for best opening): to Craig Cash and Phil Mealey for the brilliant “Rogers and Hammerstein” reference to kick off the live stage version of “Early Doors.”

Peter Hall Diary (for Shakespearean Scholarship): to Polly Findlay for discovering that Lady Macbeth uses honeysuckle talcum powder. Well, the front row at the RSC Barbican production got covered in it as she tried to remove the spot, anyway.

The Kaleidoscope from a great height to the skull: to the total idiot in the marketing team at Qdos Pantomimes, who decided that putting drinks into cups that light up and flash when lifted was a great idea to be taken into the auditorium at the New Wimbledon Theatre this year.

And on that festive note, here’s to another year. The monkey already has three notes made, in fact, so who knows what else 2019 will bring. Until then, please gather up your trinkets and make your way quietly to the exit before anyone spots us where we shouldn’t be, thank you.

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