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Monkey-Journey to the west

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songanddanceman2
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Monkey-Journey to the west#1
Posted: 6/26/07 at 8:14pm
OK so first of all i had no idea what to expect when this show was announced to have its world premier here at the Manchester Palace Theatre.What an odd combination , Chinese tale,Opera, Acrobats etc etc and Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett???

BUT WOW

Get yourself to the palace now to see this mind blowing spectacle with one hell of a talented cast.

The sets, costume, music is fantastic , the Animation is great and the performances are just superb.
With amazing fight scenes , Wire work , circus style tricks illusion etc this is one hell of a show.

Its not what we all probably choose to go and watch at first glance but my god we should.

This show of course is opening the Manchester International Festival and they needed something special to kick it off and this ticks every box.

Tonight was its dress run in front of a Live audience and apart from a few technical problems it went great.

The Palace is so proud to have this show have its world premier with us and now i can see why.

The show is only with us for 2 weeks so beg borrow or steal to get a ticket but don't miss it as this will be its only venue inj this country.
Namo i love u but we get it already....you don't like Madonna
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songanddanceman2
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re: Monkey-Journey to the west#2
Posted: 6/28/07 at 8:52pm
So it was the WORLD PREMIER tonight of Monkey Journey To The West and what a night it was.

This was a HUGE premier attracting the likes of Jude Law and Dennis Hopper as well as many others.TV stations from around the world including UK,FRANCE,GERMANY,USA etc were all there.

The paparazzi were outside as were loads of fans and the show got a red carpet (wooh wooh)

As per usual the Palace pulled the premier of perfectly and all went well.

The show ran so smooth and again was jaw dropping, THIS CAST ARE AMAZING ,There is not one weak, the Wire Work, Choreography ,Music,Animation,Circus Acts etc are mind blowing.

This really is one you CANT miss , its 2 hours of pure magic.

Don't let the whole Opera part put you off(its not an opera in the traditional sense of the word)

The cast got a huge standing ovation by the enthusiastic crowd as did Damon Albarn ,Jamie Hewlett and the director etc when they took to the stage themselves for the bows.

Its so nice to see theatre again what is this exciting

GO SEE IT xx
Namo i love u but we get it already....you don't like Madonna
Wicked63
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re: Monkey-Journey to the west#2
Posted: 6/29/07 at 2:32am
What do you do at the Palace?
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songanddanceman2
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re: Monkey-Journey to the west#3
Posted: 6/29/07 at 9:22am
Just work front of house part time (so much fun, best team of people in the world)
Namo i love u but we get it already....you don't like Madonna
Wicked63
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re: Monkey-Journey to the west#4
Posted: 6/29/07 at 9:31am
cool! I worked at the Palace as ASM on the 1st national tour of A Chorus Line.
Love The Palace and love Manchester.
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re: Monkey-Journey to the west#5
Posted: 6/29/07 at 9:31am
cool! I worked at the Palace as ASM on the 1st national tour of A Chorus Line.
Love The Palace and love Manchester.
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re: Monkey-Journey to the west#6
Posted: 6/29/07 at 6:05pm
Independent Review wooh wooh

First Night: Journey To The West, Palace Theatre, Manchester
Dazzling portrayal of simian magic and mischief
By Andy Gill
Published: 29 June 2007

I don't know much about Chinese opera, but I know what I like. And I loved this. Based on Wu Cheng'en's classic Chinese folk tale Xi You Ji (better known in the West as the basis for the fantasy television series Monkey), Journey to the West is a classic quest story.

Three flawed characters - depressed cannibal Sandy, gluttonous Pigsy, and the arrogant, self-proclaimed "great sage" Monkey King - are charged by the goddess Guan Yin with protecting the devout Buddhist monk Tripitaka on his journey to India to retrieve some holy scriptures that will save China from its descent into decadence. Readers will spot the parallels with The Wizard Of Oz as our heroes seekredemption on this pilgrimage.

Sandy, aka the Sand Monk, wants to forsake the predatory ways to which he was condemned after enraging the Jade Emperor by breaking a valuable chalice during a banquet. Pigsy, a former heavenly General whose lust led him to the terrible faux pas of flirting with a goddess, for which he was exiled from heaven as a pig, would like to escape from the life in which he has been "stupid, lazy and confused". And the Monkey King, as we see in the early scenes, is tormented by the thought that his life might end, and seeks immortality. As for the monk, he fancies having a golden body, which sounds less devout than one might expect from a Buddhist.

This is not as frivolous as it sounds, for the underlying message of Journey To The West concerns the surmounting of one's baser desires to achieve a more transcendent, blissful state. As the Buddha explains in the subtitles projected across the stage, "enlightenment comes when nidanas cease".

But the route to nirvana is paved with opportunities for fighting, and lusting, and generally snotty behaviour, as the pilgrims engage in frequent bouts of martial-arts ballet with enemies such as the Spider Woman, the White Skeleton Demon, and the Iron Fan Princess.

The choreography is dazzling, incorporating gymnastic tumbling, plenty of skilled wire-work of the kind used more sparingly in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and some extraordinary contortionist work. The acting, too, is delightful, with Fei Yang's performance as the Monkey King quite outstanding, an engaging portrayal of simian mischief that lifted each scene as he took the stage.

The result is part Chinese Circus, part pantomime (indeed, Tripitaka is played, principal boy style, by the female actor Yao Ningning), part cartoon, part opera, part ballet, and part fairytale - the kind of labour-intensive multimedia spectacle that makes western art seem trivial and lazy.

Where else would you find acrobats whirling on suspended ribbons or slithering up 20-foot bamboo poles, an orchestra performing discordant tone-clusters, an animated world tour in less than a minute, an octopus pushing a plate-spinning prawn and turtles toting American missiles alongside references to nidana and fried wheat gluten.

And, of course, 90 minutes of fascinating music by Damon Albarn, in which Oriental and Occidental forms are skilfully combined. The traditional Chinese elements - brittle wooden percussion and finger cymbals, astringent lute and violin sounds - are blended with western beats, orchestral ostinatos that recall Philip Glass, the whine of bowed saw, fairground and oompah music, sombre brass passages, sprinkled throughout with moments that trigger memories of a vast range of musical touchstones, from Harry Partch and Laurie Anderson to Gregorian chants.

What more could you want? Indeed, what more could they have crammed into this enchanting show?
Namo i love u but we get it already....you don't like Madonna
Wicked63
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re: Monkey-Journey to the west#7
Posted: 6/29/07 at 10:39pm
Hope this goes further as it was regarded as dead squib when first talked about by producers a while back.
The reviews have been tremendous and will now almost gaurantee that the show will go further. What West end house do you think will hold it the best SongAndDanceMan??
masque2
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re: Monkey-Journey to the west#8
Posted: 11/30/08 at 12:09pm
Didn't want to start a brand new thread on this, so resurrecting this one.

Just went to see this at the 02 last night. Some great sequences with the acrobatics and fighting! The music was spectacular and a real surprise. We went in not knowing too much of the plot (which proved to be a bit confusing), but really enjoyed it nevertheless. I thought the audience could have been a bit more responsive. There were several bits where a good round of applause was needed. The animations were great and I loved the mixture of animation and theatre. Costumes were great as well! Overall, a strange, but ultimately entertaining night out.
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MamasDoin'Fine
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re: Monkey-Journey to the west#9
Posted: 12/4/08 at 2:13pm
re: Monkey-Journey to the west

Its just been extended until Jan 4th with more dates expected!

Updated On: 12/4/08 at 02:13 PM
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re: Monkey-Journey to the west#10
Posted: 12/4/08 at 4:45pm
I hear there are some horrible sightlines caused by the tent poles.
masque2
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re: Monkey-Journey to the west#11
Posted: 12/4/08 at 4:54pm
There may have been a couple areas that were blocked by tent poles... but the stage is pretty big and there is quite a bit going on in every scene. We were seated in front of the tent poles. My problem (and it wasn't a big one... loved the show) was that the subtitle screens were a bit hard to see because they were both so far to each opposite side of the stage. I had to just glance at them every so often. I just kind of skimmed the subtitles and paid attention to the spectacle on stage. I used the program to catch up during intermission. Overall, I highly recommend it for anyone wanting a fun and different night out.
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re: Monkey-Journey to the west#12
Posted: 12/5/08 at 6:24am
Im so thrilled this show has had a life

It was so good at the Palace, i want it to come back

Maybe it could come instead of WWRY lol
Namo i love u but we get it already....you don't like Madonna
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re: Monkey-Journey to the west#13
Posted: 12/6/08 at 2:09pm
seeing this 2mrw I think?
Very much looking forward to it.