• Amy Toledano

Monkey's Blood Presented by Eastlake Productions

What is it?

A one man (and his monkey's) show that examines the behaviour of people living in both small and big communities of the UK and the impact their opinions have on the younger generations.

What's it all about?

Micky (Jamie Eastlake) is a boy who loves puppets. He has spent his childhood making his own and performing for family and friends at every opportunity. But growing up in Hartlepool does particuarly make for many opportunities, so when Micky has the chance to join the local Am Dram society he takes his best friend and best puppet Colin (Antonia Draper) and heads straight for the local Serviceman's Club to audition. During his time there Mickey finds his love of the stage but, also falls in with a group of older men whose opinions of the local immigrants is far from pleasant. Mickey is easily persuaded and follows them to marches and protests until it is Colin who convinces him to leave Hartlepool and do something more with his life.

After Mickey moves on, his opinions and mind are broadened and he finds success after success until a ghost from his past haunts him in a very real way, and brings his accomplishments crashing down in an abrupt and ultimately grave ending.

How did it make me feel?

This show is a non-stop energy rollercoaster. It is zany and includes an array of colourful characters and locations. Antonia Draper is outstanding as Colin and literally every other character in the show, with clear choices and originality to match. Eastlake is also totally loveable as Mickey and despite his characters controversial choices throughout he is able to win the audience over with his innocent nature. The show has legs that are very strong indeed, and the only real criticism I have is that perhaps the show, at times, gets away from itself, losing sight of its end point, and what the show is building to.

Anything Else?

This show is wacky and fun and the cast's joy seeps out of them from beginning to end, which is, in my opinion, definitely something worth watching.

Amy x

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