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Sit-com hilarity at Derby in 1970s Philadelphia

By Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  Posted: February 07, 2013

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RESTORATION comedy meets 1970s class divisions in Philadelphia in One Monkey Don’t Stop No Show.

The Eclipse Theatre Company is the only black-led theatre company to present an annual mid-scale tour to regional theatres and artistic director, Dawn Walton, brings their production of Don Evan’s One Monkey Don’t Stop No Show, to Derby Theatre.

In 1970s Philadelphia, the Harrisons are the most respectable middle-class black family in the suburbs.

However, the arrival of their young niece and her radical ideas from the rural South turns their polite, Christian life on its head.

This hilariously outrageous play is all about how hard we try to hide who we really are.

Presented as a live television recording of the period, equipped with canned applause, recording gear, and a great soundtrack, One Monkey Don’t Stop No Show frames itself as as a sitcom in recognition of the play’s contemporary influences.

The play stars Jocelyn Jee Esien, the first and only black woman who has had her own TV comedy show in the UK and her performance as Myrna Harrison has been described as a “comic tour de force” by the Daily Telegraph.

The Eclipse Theatre Company started life as an ACE initiative in 2003 and is now under the artistic directorship of Dawn Walton.

The group’s mission is to raise the profile of Black British theatre and practitioners by producing high quality middle-scale tours, to broaden the diversity of work on offer and to develop and retain new audiences, influencing and instigating change that will lead to a more diverse and equitable theatrical landscape.

One Monkey Don’t Stop No Show is at Derby Theatre from Wednesday, February 20 until Saturday, February 23. Nightly performances start at 7.30pm and matinees will be held on the Saturday and on Thursday, February 21 at 2.30pm. Tickets for the performances are from £10 to £22 and more information is available by telephoning 01332 593939.

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