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Great Apes

Written by Will Self, adapted by Patrick Marmion
Directed by Oscar Pearce

14 Mar 2018 to 21 Apr 2018
Arcola Theatre, London

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'I want my life back now. Feel human again. Homo erectus.'

When Turner Prize-winning artist Simon Dykes wakes up one morning after a wild night out, he finds his world has changed beyond recognition. His girlfriend, Sarah, has turned into a chimpanzee. And to his horror, so has everyone else. Immediately rushed to hospital, Simon is taken into the care of charismatic radical psychiatrist Zack Busner and treated for being under the psychotic delusion that he's human.

Great Apes is Will Self's hilarious, disturbing and dazzlingly original take on man's place in the evolutionary chain.

This raucous new stage adaptation from Patrick Marmion (The Divided Laing) mixes razor-sharp language with movement and puppetry, journeying into the mystery of what it means to be a human being.

Planet of the Apes meets Nineteen Eighty-Four . . humorous, gripping and provocative.
The Guardian on Will Self's novel

Prodigiously original and very funny
The Observer on Will Self's novel

Watch the trailer . .


Donna Berlin
John Cummins
Bryan Dick
Ruth Everett
Ruth Lass
Vivienne Smith
Stephen Ventura


Text - Will Self
Direction - Oscar Pearce
Adaptation - Patrick Marmion
Designer - Sarah Beaton
Lighting Design - Matt Haskins
Sound Design - Daniel Balfour
Movement Director - Jonnie Riordan
Production Manager - Ben Karakashian
Stage Manager - Catherine Cooper
Assistant Stage Manager - Sophie Macfadyen
Costume Supervisor - Kate Hemstock


     The Upcoming

"Wildly entertaining and extremely thought-provoking"
     Mind the Blog

"Wonderfully physical"
 The Stage

"Packed with debate"

"Real invention and swagger"
 The Guardian

 Time Out

"The cast masterfully pull off this bold concept"

"Visually stimulating"
 Islington Gazette

"I managed to catch a performance of #GreatApes at the Arcola last weekend, it's really funny, so if you get the chance to watch it in the future, I'd recommend it!""
 Mick Jagger via Twitter


Stepping Out Theatre
13 Creedwell Orchard

Registered Charity (CIO) 1179310 (since July 2018), Formerly Charity 1117912 (since February 2007)

m. 07896 684097

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