Damon Albarn's Monkey: Journey To the West Monkey's World

Thursday, September 04, 2008 Craig Grobler 0 Comments

Damon Albarn's Monkey: Journey To the West Monkey's World - Through Nov & Dec 2008

After a phenomenally successful run, wowing audiences around the world to exceptional acclaim– Monkey finds a new home in London.

First performed in the UK at the inaugural Manchester International Festival in 2007, following sold-out runs, Monkey: Journey to the West is a new opera for the 21st century, directed by the world renowned Chen Shi-Zheng, with music composed by Gorillaz award-winning mastermind Damon Albarn, and design and animation by Jamie Hewlett based on the ancient Chinese legend of spiritual enlightenment.

This reworked version is a dazzling spectacle involving nearly 40 circus acrobats, martial artists and singers from China with an orchestra of Western and traditional Chinese instruments.

Monkey, headstrong, self-important hero of the story, is hatched from a stone egg on the Mountain of Flower and Fruit. After crossing the all-powerful Buddha, Monkey is given the opportunity to redeem himself by travelling to India with the young monk Tripitaka to bring the Holy Scriptures back to China.

Damon Albarn's score deftly weaves Chinese and Western influences to provide a sparkling setting for the story as it moves between heaven and earth. Adaptor and director Chen Shi-Zheng, musician Damon Albarn and artist Jamie Hewlett have created this spectacular opera which is coming to the Royal Opera House this July.

Monkey: Journey to the West is a stage adaptation of the 16th Century Chinese novel Journey to the West, by Wu Cheng'en. It was conceived and created by the Chinese actor and director Chen Shi-zheng, together with the British musician Damon Albarn and British artist Jamie Hewlett. However, the original idea came from Jean-Luc Choplin, head of the Chatelet Theatre in Paris