Images Released From Inside The Rehearsal Room Of Physical Comedy Ensemble Company SPYMONKEY'S THE FROGS | The Fan Carpet Ltd • The Fan Carpet: The RED Carpet for FANS • The Fan Carpet: Fansites Network • The Fan Carpet: Slate • The Fan Carpet: Theatre Spotlight • The Fan Carpet: Arena • The Fan Carpet: International

Images Released From Inside The Rehearsal Room Of Physical Comedy Ensemble Company SPYMONKEY’S THE FROGS

18 December 2023

The Frogs
A Royal & Derngate, Northampton, and Spymonkey co-production

Friday 19 January - Saturday 3 February 2024
Royal & Derngate Northampton

The Frogs - Spymonkey’s tragically funny attempt to pull off a classic Greek comedy

Northampton’s Royal & Derngate are delighted to be collaborating again with leading physical comedy ensemble company Spymonkey for their latest Made in Northampton co-production, The Frogs, which premieres on the Royal stage from Friday 19 January to Saturday 3 February

This hilarious production is the result of a long term development process between Spymonkey and Royal & Derngate, and follows on from previous successful collaborations including The Complete Deaths of Shakespeare and Oedipussy

Spymonkey’s Toby Park and Aitor Basauri are at the end of the road. The other Spymonkeys have taken themselves off to a better place, and they’re about to call it a day. To their rescue rides mega-rich philanthropist Patty Getty and her theatrically ambitious niece Jacoba with an offer they can’t refuse! But does this beleaguered comedy duo have what it takes to perform the classic Greek comedy The Frogs at Patty’s legendary amphitheatre in Hollywood?


The Frogs rehearsals – Toby Park and Aitor Basauri – photo by Manuel Harlan

Shot through with Spymonkey’s uniquely surreal comedy, The Frogs is a delirious trip through Greek theatre, a monster-filled Underworld and classic vaudeville double acts, promising more existential angst than Clash of the Titans and more bronzed oiled torsos than Waiting For Godot. Oh, and there’s a jumping chorus of tap-dancing frogs!

Reimagined by Carl Grose (OedipussyGrinning Man) and Spymonkey, with massive apologies to Aristophanes, The Frogs is directed by Joyce Henderson, who recently did the comedy direction for Bleak Expectations, and has gloriously silly, inventive design by Spymonkey’s designer Lucy BradridgeThe Frogs is performed by Toby Park, Aitour Basouri and Jacoba Williams, along with a community ensemble of local tap dancers.



Spymonkey’s The Frogs can be seen at Royal & Derngate from Friday 19 January to Saturday 3 February. Tickets are priced from £15*. Concessions are available including £10 tickets for 16 to 25 year olds and students. The production is suitable for anyone aged 12 and upwards. For times or to book, call Box Office on 01604 624811 or visit Royal And Derngate. The run includes two integrated BSL performances, as well as audio-described and captioned performances.

Spymonkey’s The Frogs is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

* A non-refundable £4 per-transaction fee applies for bookings of £20 and over. Does not apply to Groups, Members and Access Patrons. Prices may change subject to availability.



Press Night: Wednesday 24 January 2024, 7pm

Royal & Derngate, Derngate auditorium 

Royal & Derngate, Guildhall Road, Northampton NN1 1DP
Press Night: Wednesday 24 January at 7pm
Dates: Friday 19 January to Saturday 3 February
Times: Evenings 7.30pm (except Wednesday 24 January 7pm)
Matinees – Thursdays and Saturdays (excl. Saturday 20 January) 
No performances on Sunday
Tickets: From £15*  
Box Office: 01604 624811 or online.

Access performances:
Captioned – Thu 25 January 2.30pm
Audio Described – Thu 1 February 7.30pm
BSL Integrated – Fri 2 February 7.30pm (incl BSL interpreted Post-show Talk) & Tue 30 January 7.30pm 
Touch Tour – Thu 1 February 6.30pm

* A non-refundable £4 per-transaction fee applies for bookings of £20 and over. Does not apply to Groups, Members and Access Patrons. Prices may change subject to availability.



Kiln Theatre, London:
Thursday 8 February – Saturday 2 March 2024
London press night: 9 February 2024 at 7pm 

Aitor BasauriToby Park and Jacoba Williams
Creative team:
Reimagined by Carl Grose & Spymonkey (with massive apologies to Aristophanes)
Director Joyce Henderson
Designer Lucy Bradridge
Original Music Toby Park
Lighting Designer Amy Mae
Sound Designer Beth Duke
Choreographer Simone Murphy
EDI Creative Consultant Sharon White
Community Engagement Facilitator Helen Clifford
Integrated BSL Interpreter Becky Barry
BSL Consultant Deepa Shastri
Chief Executive Jo Gordon
Artistic Director Jesse Jones

Royal & Derngate Northampton is the main venue for arts and entertainment in Northamptonshire and one of the major regional producing theatres in the country, with its acclaimed Made in Northampton work touring nationally and internationally.

The theatre was nominated for Theatre of the Year in The Stage Awards 2022. Eight of its productions transferred to London and the West End in 2019, with The Worst Witch winning the 2020 Olivier Award for Best Family Show and Our Lady of Kibeho being nominated for the 2020 Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre. The adapted screenplay from Royal & Derngate’s original play commission of The Pope was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay at the Academy Awards as Netflix’s The Two Popes.

Recent Made in Northampton productions have included Ralph Fiennes in the world premiere stage adaptation of T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets which transferred to the West End and was made into a film, a new version of Joe Penhall’s Blue/Orange, improvised show An Improbable Musical, touring co-productions of Animal Farm and Othello with the National Youth Theatre, a brand new musical Gin Craze! by April de Angelis and Lucy Rivers, the world premiere stage adaptation of Mog The Forgetful Cat, touring to the Old Vic and Edinburgh Fringe this summer, and the national tour of Michael Rosen’s Unexpected Twist.

The venue also presents a diverse range of visiting productions on both the Derngate and Royal stages, featuring musicals, dance, comedy and music, and its two-screen cinema presents the best in world, independent, British and mainstream film.

Royal & Derngate’s nationally recognised Creative Learning programme engages with schools, families and communities in Northamptonshire and beyond, and its Generate artistic development programme regularly supports hundreds of regional artists each year. The theatre is also working in collaboration with Projekt Europa to support the work of first generation migrant communities.

Box Office 01604 624811

Facebook: /royalandderngate, X (formerly Twitter): @royalderngate and Instagram: @royalderngate.

is the UK’s leading physical comedy theatre ensemble, with a distinctive style rooted ‘somewhere between Monty Python, the Marx Brothers and Samuel Beckett’ (The Houston Chronicle), and founded in 1997 by Toby Park, Petra Massey and Aitor Basauri. After Stephan Kreiss joined them in 2000, the quartet travelled the world, delighting audiences and critics from the Edinburgh Fringe to Just For Laughs Montreal, from London’s West End to the Sydney Opera House. As originators of a distinctive brand of physical comedy emerging out of the teachings of French Clown teacher Philippe Gaulier, they have established their Theatre of the Funny on stages as diverse as Cirque de Soleil Las Vegas, the Royal Shakespeare Company, the National Theatre and the Vienna Volksoper.

Spymonkey productions have included Stiff (1998), Cooped (2001), Cirque du Soleil’s Zumanity (2003-2005), Bless (2007), Moby Dick (2009) Love In (2011), Oedipussy (2012), Every Last Trick (2014), Mrs Hudson’s Christmas Corker (2014), The Complete Deaths (2016), A Christmas Carol (2018-2019), Orpheus in the Underworld (2023) and Hairy (2023).

Screen appearances have included starring with Naomi Campbell in Solstrom (US Bravo Cable Network), Melbourne Comedy Festival Gala, Miranda and Hyperdrive for BBC. Variety and cabaret work includes La Clique/La Soirée, Tina C, Miss Behave’s Variety Nighty, hosts of Time Out’s Alternative Eurovision at the Udderbelly, Christmas Cracker with Sandi Toksvig and Ronnie Corbett at the Royal Festival Hall.

Since 2019 Petra Massey has been on long-term secondment as the host of Spiegelworld’s ATOMIC SALOON in Las Vegas.

Toby and Aitor have worked as physical comedy and clown directors on a number of projects including Sacha Baron Cohen’s The Grimsby Brothers, Chichester Festival Theatre’s Mack & Mabel starring Michael Ball, Fantastic Mr Fox for Southampton Nuffield, Merry Wives of Windsor for RSC, Tartuffe and Jack Absolute Flies Again for National Theatre. They recently directed their first full scale opera Orpheus in the Underworld for the Vienna Volksoper.

Toby and Aitor teach Spymonkey’s acclaimed international Theatre of the Funny workshops including New York, Los Angeles, Berlin, London and Northampton.

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