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Spymonkey return to Leicester Square Theatre

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

SPYMONKEY are returning to the West End for four nights only with Cooped, the critically acclaimed 2001 hit that earned the company its name as an international comedy sensation.

Directed by Cal McCrystal, comedy director for the National Theatre’s smash hit One Man Two Guvnors, it plays at Leicester Square Theatre from December 4 to December 7, 2013.

Described as a deliciously outlandish classic, Cooped has toured extensively over the last decade, delighting audiences and garnering critical acclaim both in the UK and across the world.

Beautiful, fawn-like, but a hostage to love, Laura du Lay arrives in the remote county of Northumberlandhamptonshire to take up her position as confidential secretary to the reclusive Forbes Murdston.

She has ignored for as long as she can the unsettling rumours that surround her new employer, his ominous teutonic manservant Klaus, swarthy-but-sweaty lawyer Roger Parchment and the ancient mansion. But Murdston’s violent mood-swings can only signify one thing…

Cooped is performed by Aitor Basauri, Stephan Kreiss, Petra Massey and Toby Park.

Spymonkey was founded by Toby Park, Petra Massey and Aitor Basauri in 1997. With their dark, edgy physical comedy rooted ‘somewhere between Monty Python, the Marx Brothers and Samuel Beckett’ (The Houston Chronicle), and a quartet of performers from Spain, Germany and England, Spymonkey have proved to be a truly international phenomenon, enjoyed by and accessible to a wide range of international audiences.

They have created six shows to date, with recent credits including Spymonkey’s Moby Dick (Lyric Hammersmith and touring, 2009), Oedipussy created with Kneehigh director Emma Rice and writer Carl Grose (touring, 2012, winner of an Argus Angel Award, Brighton Festival 2012) and Love In, winner of the Best Comedy, Brighton Festival in 2011.

The company are currently developing Fleapit, a TV sitcom with writers Emma Edwards and Abigail Dooley, as well as new performance projects with National Theatre of Scotland, Royal Shakespeare Company, stand-up Phil Nichol and Royal & Derngate Northampton.

Production design is by Lucy Bradridge and lighting by Andy Purves.

Cooped is suitable for ages 14+.

Tickets: £15 – £22 – available from the box office on 08448733433 or online at

Times: Wednesday to Saturday at 9.45pm; Thursday matinee (December 5) at 2.30pm.

Running Time: 80 minutes.

Also at Leicester Square Theatre: the adult panto, Dick! Comes Again: Bigger, Longer, Harder!.