Monkey Business


Current News

Pete the Sheep nominated for a Helpmann Award!

We are very proud to announce that Pete the Sheep has been nominated for Best Presentation for Children in the 2015 Helpmann Awards!

Congratulations to the incredible team that helped us to create, stage and tour this beautiful play – Jonathan Biggins, Phil Scott, James Browne, Matt Marshall, Kingsley Reeve, Andrew James, Nat Jobe, Jeff Teale, Todd Keys, Alexander Butt, Cally Bartley, PJ Gahan and Sanja Vukelja – as well as Jackie French and Bruce Whatley for their wonderful story.

And congratulations to all the other fabulous nominees..

The Unknown Soldier in rehearsals

Through extensive research, Monkey Baa Co-Creative Director Sandie Eldridge has written a new play to honour the Centenary of WW1. The Unknown Soldier is a powerful and deeply moving piece of theatre.

It’s week 2 of rehearsals and the characters are coming to life in the rehearsal room.
Don’t miss our 2 GP shows
Sat 16 May at 3pm & Tues 19 May at 7pm

or book tickets (if available) during our school season
18-22 May at 10:30am or 12:30pm
$25pp / $90 Family 4 and $100 Family 5 / $23pp for groups of 10+

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Bugalugs Bum Thieves in action for Monkey Baa

Great interview with Director John Saunders in the Daily Telegraph, Thursday 2 April
by Chris Hook.

“There are so many qualities to the show that young people identify with,” Saunders says.

“It’s very knockabout with lots of clowning and lots of slapstick, because they’ve all lost their bums and their pants are falling down. Adults love it too, but the four to eight-year-olds just think it’s great...”

To read the full article click here. April School Holiday Season of The Bugalugs Bum Thief kicks off next week from Tuesday 7 April. For more info and to book tickets click here

Mark Dessaix (Billy), Gideon Cordover (Skeeta) and Stephen Anderson (Mick)
Picture: Bob Barker.

The search is on for Clever Monkeys

NEWSFLASH! The search for Clever Monkeys begins…
Our Clever Monkeys (Eva, Tim and Sandie) are creating five fantastic new plays for 3 – 18 year olds and need your support…

We are looking for Clever Monkeys (aged 3-18) to share their ideas and passions, come to readings and rehearsals, give us feedback and help us to create exciting new theatre for young people.
FOR MORE INFO Click here.


Month of Love – StorytellingStorytelling (2)

February has been the Month of Love and Monkey Baa Theatre Company are extending the love to this Sunday March 1st.
There will storytelling 1pm, 2pm & 3pm.
This is a free event.

Young Artists Draw Inspiration from Anne Spudvilas

Monkey Baa Theatre Company had some fantastic young artists show off their talents over the weekend. Learning techniques from Anne Spudvilas, the illustrator of The Peasant Prince, the workshop participants put charcoal to paper and drew some fantastic artworks!

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Kung Hei Fat Choy – Happy Lunar New Year!

Monkey Baa is welcoming the Year of the Sheep with two charcoal drawing workshops with Anne Spudvilas, illustrator of Li Cunxin’s  beautiful children’s book, “The Peasant Prince” on Saturday 21 Feb. For more information and tickets, please click HERE.


Busy Monkey’s

This morning we had our first performance of King-Hit, followed by a workshop with the wonderful Stefo & Tom from Zeal Theatre. All week students from all over New South Wales will have the opportunity to learn some new acting skills and study the one punch phenomenon. There are still tickets available for our Wednesday night performance, so don’t forget to BOOK!

Last Thursday our awesome education team met with ten fabulous teachers as part of our new Monkey Baa Arts Ed Western Sydney Project. The year-long project is all about embedding drama into the greater curriculum.

Less than two weeks until Drawing Inspiration from The Peasant Prince workshops. Art supplies for the charcoal drawing workshops were purchased last week and we are getting very excited about having illustrator Anne Spudvilas here at the theatre.

Pete the Sheep brings home a Glug Award

Congratulations to our whole team for this Glug award for best children’s production 2014. It was a great night!!! Go Pete!!!

photo 2                  tim

Next Week: A powerful play about the one punch phenomenon

Monkey Baa Theatre Company opens our 2015 education season, with a powerful play about the one punch phenomenon. As well as school performances, we will be hosting an evening performance of Zeal Theatre’s King-Hit. Not shying away from the tough issues, King-Hit offers an alternative to potentially fatal decisions, peer pressure and anti-social behaviour. A must see performance for young audiences (14 years and older) next Wednesday 11th of February at 7pm.

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Monkey Baa Theatre Company Patron Jackie French 2015 Senior Australian of the Year

Monkey Baa Theatre Company congratulates our Patron and best-loved author Jackie French on yesterday’s announcement as 2015 Senior Australian of the Year.Jackie resize2

Living in a shed and needing to register her car, Jackie French wrote her first children’s book, Rainstones, in 1991. While her editor said it was the messiest, worst spelt manuscript ever received, the book was shortlisted for Children’s Book of the Year and Jackie’s career as a best-selling author began. One of the few writers to win both literary and children’s choice awards, Jackie has published 140 books in 32 languages and received more than 60 literary prizes for beloved children’s classics such as Diary of a Wombat. Overcoming dyslexia herself, Jackie is a tireless advocate for children with learning difficulties. As the current national Children’s Laureate, Jackie is travelling the country to promote literacy and share the transformational power of reading, creativity and story-telling in the lives of young Australians. Passionate about the conservation of wildlife and our planet, Jackie is also a director of The Wombat Foundation that raises funds for research into the preservation of the endangered northern hairy nosed wombat.

Author Jackie French believes a book can change a child’s life, give them the power to dream and to change the world for the better. She told the crowd on the lawns of Parliament House yesterday as she received her award. “Every book a child reads creates new neurons in that child’s brain. If you want intelligent children give them a book. If you want more intelligent children give them more books.”

Monkey Baa‘s extraordinary association with Jackie started 2005 when they adapted her novel Hitler’s Daughter. After successfully touring Australia, Hitler’s Daughter was the company’s first production to tour internationally, visiting 15 theatres in the USA. Monkey Baa’s creative association with Jackie French continued in 2014 with the production of Pete the Sheep based on Jackie French and Bruce Whatley’s picture book, touring to 54 venues in every state and territory of Australia. We look forward to our next creative endeavour of adapting and producing one of Australia’s most awarded and bestselling picture books ever, Diary of a Wombat.

Monkey Baa Creative Director Eva Di Cesare said.Jackie’s generosity of spirit and her incredible and very real connection with young people has always been an inspiration for us at Monkey Baa. She has fast become an Australian icon and today’s announcement fills us with enormous pride.

From the company – our board, staff, actors and creatives and our audiences we congratulate you on receiving this great honour and look forward in continuing to work with you and reading your books.


Giraffe close up profile SPT Red and dancing girls hi res Giraffe_Puppet

From this Wednesday January 21, join us on an exotic journey with the little giraffe, Zeraffa, as she travels across land and sea to impress the King of France. Monkey Baa Theatre Company’s presentation of Sydney Puppet Theatre’s Z For Giraffe is a puppetry delight for ages 4 – 8. Don’t forget we have Crafty Monkey activities in the foyer of the Lend Lease Darling Quarter Theatre pre-show, so come down early and make your own giraffe puppet! Tickets are still available for Friday and Saturday afternoon, BOOK HERE!

Simon Tedeschi: Pianist and Prankster heads to Melbourne


“If maths were music, Simon would be at the top of his  class” reads Simon’s Year 4 School Report.

 Simon Tedeschi: Pianist and Prankster will visit Melbourne  Recital Centre this Thursday January 15. Directed by  Monkey Baa Theatre Company’s Eva Di Cesare and  written by Simon Tedeschi, Tim McGarry and Eva Di  Cesare, the show premiered here at the Lend Lease  Darling Quarter Theatre last September.

Join one of Australia’s most inspiring musicians, Simon Tedeschi, as he takes the audience on a journey through his musical life from his first public performance at the age of 8 at the Sydney Opera House to the heights of Carnegie Hall.

Simon plays some of his favourite music, shares some hilarious and moving anecdotes, his cheeky unconventional practice techniques and his secrets on how to play the piano without really trying!

For more information or to book tickets, please visit


The Arts Health Institute are running their third Amazing Magic Club in Australia, and their second at the Lend Lease Darling Quarter Theatre, home of Monkey Baa Theatre Company in January 2015.MagicClub2015

The Amazing Magic Club is a two week program for children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy. During the two weeks, the children learn magic tricks and performance skills from Professional Magicians. Children with hemiplegia experience movement difficulties to one side of their body. This program incorporates specially chosen magic tricks to encourage these children to use their two hands together.

The Arts Health Institute are looking forward to making magic happen again in 2015 at the Monkey Baa Theatre! For more information see the website:


Join the cast of quirky and captivating characters at the Australian National Maritime Museum from January 4 – 25, with Captain Nemo’s Nautilus, written by our own Monkey Baa Creative Directors Eva Di Cesare, Tim McGarry and Sandie Eldridge as part of the museum’s Voyage to the Deep exhibition.

When Peta accidentally travels back in time to the extraordinary world of Captain Nemo’s Nautilus, there are curious and wonderful adventures; daring escapes from ravenous creatures, time-travelling volcanoes and swirling storms!  This thrilling underwater adventure, inspired by 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea shows at 11:30am and 2pm daily (except Saturdays) and is FREE with your museum Big Ticket entry.


This Christmas give a gift the whole family can enjoy

Tis the Season of Giving, so this Christmas give children the opportunity to let their imaginations run wild and experience the magic of theatre and storytelling.

What is the most magnificent way to travel from Africa to France? By coming to Monkey Baa Theatre Company’s presentation of Sydney Puppet Theatre’s Z For Giraffe these January school holidays. Come on an exotic journey with the little giraffe Zeraffa, as she travels across land and sea to impress the King of France. Tickets are selling quickly, (21 & 22 Jan, 11am shows SOLD OUT) so be sure to book early!

Dates: January 21 – 24 at 11am & 1pm
Suitability:  Ages 4-8
Cost: $15 + $2.50 booking fee

Happy Holidays from all of us at Monkey Baa!

It’s been a huge year for Monkey Baa Theatre Company…

  • We took Pete the Sheep to 54 venues across every state and territory of Australia.
  • I Am Jack to 14 venues across the USA.
  • Performed to over 80,000 young people, their families and teachers.
  • Conducted 100s of workshops in our theatre, with charity partners and in classrooms across the country.
  • Presented over 15 theatre works at our home, Lend Lease Darling Quarter Theatre.
  • And we are in the process of creating 9 new works for young people (aged 3-18).

Thank you for helping to make it all happen – we really couldn’t do it without our artists, crews, teachers, audience members, advisors, donors, sponsors and champions.

And so, Happy Holidays from all of us at Monkey Baa and best wishes until we see you in the theatre or on the road in 2015…

Eva, Tim and Sandie xxx


Hold on to your fleece ladies and gentlemen our woolly flock – Pete the Sheep – has been nominated for 3 Glug Awards;Pete the Sheep nominated for 3 Glug Awards!

1st nominations for the
2nd nomination for the
3rd nomination for

We are in great company in all three categories and are very excited and look forward to February when the winners will be announced.

Pete The Sheep cropped the boys

Pete the Sheep Returns & Congratulations to author Jackie French!

As Monkey Baa’s national tour of Pete the Sheep wraps up this week – after 29 weeks, 32,000km and 54 towns, cities and venues across Australia, the shearing season will wrap up this Thursday 20 November for Ratso, Big Bob, Bungo, Shaun and our much loved sheep sheep Pete in Gunnedah. A big thank you to all ewes, rams and little lambs who came to see our flockstars!

A big Congratulations to author of Pete the Sheep, Monkey Baa Patron and Australian Children’s Laureate, Jackie French, as the finalist for the NSW Senior Australian of the Year.

Don’t miss a very special opportunity to hear Jackie French talk about how to find the ‘magic’ book that will get even the most reluctant young readers hooked on books at

Bankstown Arts Centre, Wed 3 Dec 6:30 pm $10. 



2015 Program is Launched!

Oh what a night! Thanks to all who came and those who were there in spirit we had a wonderful launch – we are going to be busy busy monkeys in 2015 with giraffes, bums, gumnut babies, witches and much, much more. We look forward to seeing you at the theatre!

NEWS 2014

NEWS 2013

NEWS 2012