shows / Moby Dick

Moby Dick

Moby Dick

A glorious mis-telling of the Herman Melville novel, on tour in the UK from September 2009.

“A masterclass in physical comedy, sublime lunacy and exquisitely silly wordplay by four of the greatest clowns currently working in British theatre” Time Out

Four whalers find themselves trapped in the belly of a literary monster. As they ponder the irony of their fate they recount a story of Moby Dick, sparkling with their own fantastical flourishes. The novel’s epic examination of good, evil, fate and obsession is lost on them. And then, mysteriously, found on them again.

Will Ahab’s thirst for revenge be unhinged by the well-meaning but staggeringly inept attentions of his crew? Now that he has found true love, is Ishmael still fated to be the sole survivor of the Pequod? Can a mermaid figurehead get pregnant? And what does a cannibal harpoonist from Bavaria eat?

Gloriously anarchic, constantly entertaining. Inspired comic misrule. Moby Dick will give you a whale of a time The Times

Stuffed with invention and a delightful lack of respect for theatrical convention, Spymonkey’s Moby Dick brings together a remarkable team of creators, combining the hilarious physical comedy that has delighted audiences around the world with Music Hall, burlesque, dance, big show-stopping songs, puppetry, illusion, mentalism and a raft of stunning special effects.

Spymonkey’s award-winning brand of comedy is a 21st Century mix of Fawlty Towers, Marx Brothers and Mel Brooks, overflowing with brilliant characters, visual humour, slapstick comedy and outrageous naughtiness. Since their formation in 1997, Spymonkey have built a huge international following in 20 countries, with sell-out shows at Just for Laughs Festival Montreal, Sydney Opera House, Melbourne Comedy Festival and London’s Leicester Square Theatre. Spymonkey’s surreal, inventive and irreverent style is an uproarious highlight of theatrical culture.

“Must be the funniest show on any stage in Britain” Birmingham Post

Jos Houben was an original member of Complicité and director of physical comedy duo The Right Size for 10 years. Recent work includes Peter Brook’s Beckett Fragments and his remarkably successful one-man show ‘The Art of Laughter’. He is a professor at the École Jacques Lecoq Paris.

Venues in the initial UK tour in 2009-10 included the Royal & Derngate Northampton, Lyric Hammersmith, Liverpool Playhouse, New Wolsey Ipswich, Edinburgh Traverse and Bristol Old Vic.

The show toured to Finland in 2009 to Espoo Theatre, and made a 10-city Dutch/Belgian tour in 2011 in association with Baasbank & Baggerman Amsterdam, including the De La Mar Amsterdam and Schouwburg Bruges.



Performed by Aitor Basauri, Petra Massey, Toby Park & Stephan Kreiss

Directed by Jos Houben & Rob Thirtle

Stage Design Graeme Gilmour

Costume & Prop Design Lucy Bradridge

Lighting Design Phil Supple

Original Music Toby Park

‘Fecund’ music by Neil Filby & Toby Park, lyrics by Petra Massey

Sound Design Toby Park & Andy Purves

Choreography Barry Grantham, Janine Fletcher

Company Stage Manager Nick Hill

Technical Manager Andy Purves

Production Manager Bob Holmes

Company Production Manager Tanya Peters

Studio Photography Corné van der Stelt

Graphic & Web Design Tork

Spymonkey’s Moby Dick was a co-production with the Royal & Derngate Northampton and was developed with the support of The Showroom at Chichester University and The Point Eastleigh.

Spymonkey’s Moby Dick was made possible with funding from Arts Council England and Brighton & Hove City Council

Video Gallery


Unit 7b Level 3 North, New England House,
New England St, Brighton BN1 4GH


Spymonkey is resident ensemble company at Royal & Derngate, Northampton.

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