This may sound confusing at first, but just bare with me. Gorillaz are set to revive Monkey. We are not talking about a new ape-based version of E.R., which features monkey surgeons operating on wounded apes using nothing but bananas and cocnuts, airing on the Animal Planet channel. Rather, the team behind the animated group Gorillaz has decided to revive a Chinese literary classic at next year’s Manchester International Festival.
According to NME, Monkey: Journey to the West will be a circus production with a musical score composed by Damon Albarn. The other half of Gorillaz, artist Jamie Hewlett, will handle the visuals for the show, which will also include acrobats, martial arts performers, Shaolin Monks and singers from the Peking Opera. The story is based on the tale of the Monkey King, and is being written by Chinese theater director Chen Shi-Zheng.
Now that Albarn and Hewlett have scrapped their worldwide Gorillaz tour, this should definitely keep them busy for a while. The circus spectacle will premier on June 28, 2007. This is the first event commissioned for next year’s Manchester International Festival.